Posts Tagged ‘Sir Matt Busby’

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Football supporters of the top clubs these days are about as patient as a five-year-old on Christmas Eve.

Back in the seventies, when Mancheser United were relegated to the second division there were disappointed shrugs and sighs of resignation but little else.

It had been coming for a while and, when it finally happened in 1974, nobody was really surprised and the optimism of Tommy Docherty in predicting that the club would bounce straight back to the first division was infectious. (more…)

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When we were regulars in the Stretford End, Bobby Charlton was scoring the goals that would lead to him becoming the club’s top scorer. He was a model professional and never a moment’s trouble to his manager or, as far as we are aware, his wife.

Denis Law was “The King” and, to our knowledge, only rocked the United boat once over a pay rise he thought he deserved. Matt Busby disagreed and transfer-listed him. That was the one and only time Law caused any problem, insignificant as it was, for his club. He has also not caused any problems for his wife, again, as far as we are aware. (more…)

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These are the kind of questions often asked but seldom answered. Usually, the query will just invoke a smile, a shrug of the shoulders and any one of several quick retorts from, “priceless” to “nobody has enough money to buy them“.

In actual fact, there weren’t many members of that team who would be worth a fortune nowadays. Let’s take a look and a few educated guesses:

1. Alex Stepney – Goalkeeper. Arrived at United from Chelsea in 1967 to replace Harry Gregg, who was to retire through injury. Although capable of spectacular saves and a very reliable goalkeeper he was around during a golden age for English goalkeepers, hence he was only capped once for England. (more…)

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In the dim and distant past Manchester United had relatively few problems in enticing players to sign for them.

Pre-Fergie it was the lure of the name. It also helped that, in 1968, they had become the first English club to win the European Cup, although Sir Matt Busby made relatively few signings after that famous night at Wembley, a fact which was a constant source of annoyance to George Best.

Best expected the team to grow and prosper from that night on. Instead, Busby stuck with the older players and United won nothing of note again until the FA Cup defeat of Liverpool in 1977. (more…)

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When José Mourinho was sacked by Roman Abramovich a year ago, many people thought he had lost the plot and had reached the stage where managing a top flight football club was no longer the challenge he required.

He was well into his second coming at the club and had won the Premier League title in the previous season. So what happened?

Did he lose the players? It is an overused expression nowadays but it may have been true in this case, almost certainly with some of them. (more…)

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(José Mourinho has a few things to think about before Sunday’s game with Swansea)

Manchester United have gone from being challengers to strugglers in a few short weeks.

Whether it is more surprising that they actually played well at the start of the season, or that they returned to their abject selves after a very short while is debatable.

What seems to have been missed by Moyes, van Gaal and now Mourinho, is that the United players appear to find it virtually impossible to pass the ball to each other. The amount of times a pass goes straight to an opposition player is now too numerous to be put down to bad luck or just erratic passing. (more…)

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He was blamed, initially, for the appointment of David Moyes.

The story put out by the press at the time was that Moyes was invited to the house of Alex Ferguson where, no doubt over a glass of something either red or whisky coloured, he was invited to take over as manager of Manchester United. (more…)

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To answer this question in an honest manner it is necessary to understand the pressures under which the manager of a top Premier League club operates.

The first thing to appreciate is that José Mourinho will be judged on what he wins, not who he brings through from the youth team. This means that, in order to stay in the job long enough to blood potential first team players, he needs to be filling the trophy cabinet on a reasonably regular basis. (more…)

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In the first two or three weeks of the Mourinho reign at Manchester United it became fairly obvious that the leopard was trying to change some, if not all, of his spots.

He and the players were seen arriving at games in the standard issue club blazer and tie. He even managed to fasten the top button on his shirt. (more…)

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Some people, who shall remain nameless, even if their name is David Moyes, think that Louis van Gaal should be given more time.

Had Moyes himself been given more time, United could well be in the Championship by now which might have made them a less attractive proposition for an arrogant egotist like van Gaal.

Moyes would still have been sacked but United would have somebody other than the Dutch clown in charge, which would probably have been a good thing.

Moyes is currently touring the TV channels in his new found vocation as an ‘expert’. He has been a guest on Clare Balding’s show on BT, he has appeared on BBC to give his views on the FA Cup. Sky has welcomed him to their studios, once for a match and once for ‘Goals on Sunday’ so he could be asked infantile questions by the infantile Ben Shephard. (more…)