FourFourTwo magazine are interviewing Le King himself in one of their forthcoming issues and are asking United fans what would they ask the man who helped Manchester United to first Championship title in 26 years? So, it’s been 11 years since his last game against West Ham United at Old Trafford, which was the final game of the 1996/97 season, a 2-0 victory that resulted in United winning another back to back title. Much has been made about his final season not being the finest, which resulted in his departure from United at the relatively young age of 30 (or 31 I can’t remember the actual day but I know his birthday is the 24th May). I was devastated at the time as the man was my idol and hero and everything he did on the football pitch inspired me. Looking back on it now, I believe it was the right thing for Eric to do, not simply because his performances were faltering but because that was the way the man is. I’ve never seen a player have that much influence on fans that Eric had. Sure he wasn’t the quickest but he had superb vision, was strong and his flair and creativity was sensational. He also had the knack of helping everyone else raise their game; a quality not many people have.
One question I would ask him would be ‘did the Barcelona trip over the winter of 96 have an influence on your decision to retire?’. Fergie mentions this in his book that ‘Eric was never the same after Barcelona’. I’m sure he’ll get the old favourite ‘What was your best goal?’ and ‘Who was the best player you played with?’, but what questions would you ask him if you did have the opportunity for a one on one interview with our former captain? Would you speak about the Crystal Palace incident? Would you ask him about the rumours surrounding his Leeds exit (like he’d admit to that!)? Or would you simply focus on that memorable 95/96 season when he went on a one man crusade in the second half of the season to overhaul the twelve point lead Newcastle United had established?
Eric Cantona will always remain in Manchester United fans hearts and thoughts. His goals against Wimbledon in the FA Cup, Sunderland in the Premier League and Liverpool in the FA Cup final will live long in the memory. He has recently vented his frustration at the attitude of Cristiano Ronaldo (probably overlooking the fact that he sued the club for exploiting his name and for taking a fee out of the Munich memorial fund) and suggested that he could be a worthy successor to Sir Alex Ferguson. Eric Cantona, a superb footballer that did a lot for football in England and most importantly for Manchester United.
What questions would you ask him? I will compile a list of the best questions and submit it to FourFourTwo on behalf of Stretford-end.com.