Eric Cantona: Legends of Old Trafford

Posted on May 01, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Legends, Man United, Players   No Comments »
Eric Cantona won four league titles in five seasons at Old Trafford

It seems only like yesterday a certain Frenchman strutted his way through the Old Trafford doors, collar up and with a point to prove. A genius piece of business by Sir Alex Ferguson saw Eric Cantona join Manchester United in the November of 1992 from, then, Champions Leeds United. What happened over the course of the next four and half seasons, I don’t think any Red will ever forget for as long as they live.

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Roy Keane book: Legendary captain is honest in his assessment

Posted on October 18, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Legends, Man United, Players   1 Comment »
Roy Keane with Paul Ince in his first season at Manchester United, over twenty years ago

Roy Keane is one of the best players I’ve ever seen in a Manchester United shirt. Sure, there were players such as Cantona, Ronaldo and Giggs who were technically superior to the Irishman, but Keane would turn losses into draws and draws into wins with his sheer will to win and his boundless desire to excel. A born leader, and  a born winner. He was Sir Alex Ferguson’s leader on the pitch and in his 480 appearances for the club he won title after title, relentlessly demanding high standards from everyone around him.

Since leaving the club he has had a well-documented falling out with United’s legendary ex-manager and has been outspoken regarding the quality of his former teammates – with high-profile exits in the European Cup to FC Basel and, more recently, to Real Madrid in Ferguson’s final European Cup game. It was announced some time ago that Roddy Doyle would ghost write Keane’s second book “The second half” – and extracts have been widely published in the press over the past few weeks.

But what do we make of the book after all? A good read? A compelling read? Would Keane finish every chapter in the style of Alan Partridge, proclaiming “Needless to say, I had the last laugh”? Would there be a chapter entitled “I hate Fergie”? Some footballers release abysmal books. Succumbing to the 21st century’s demand for celebs, need to be famous and rich footballers – we’ve seen twenty year old Wayne Rooney release “My Story So Far” and of course, everyone’s favourite left back Ashley Cole had a belter called “My defence” (a 20p car book steal if there ever was one). But Keane’s story is different. He is to the point (as you’d expect), quite insecure about his management, and demonstrates self doubt throughout.

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1995/96: No Champions League, Cantona returns and kids do well

Posted on July 20, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Legends, Man United, Players, Premier League   No Comments »
Eric Cantona scores against Arsenal in 1995/96
Eric Cantona scores again in yet another 1-0 victory against Arsenal back in 1996.

The good times appear to be back at Old Trafford following a disastrous post-Ferguson campaign that saw the legendary manager’s successor dismissed ten months into a six year contract. The club have taken the well received decision of appointing Louis van Gaal, a world class manager who has won titles in numerous countries and lifted the Champions League trophy with Ajax.

The Dutchman’s triumph in Vienna with an youthful side consisting of Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf and eighteen year old Patrick Kluivert is one of the tournament’s finest, which actually fell on Eric Cantona’s birthday. The Frenchman was half way through his eight month ban for his kung-fu kick on an abusive Crystal Palace fan and the club had missed out on Champions League football having finished second to Blackburn Rovers in 1994/95. It is the only time since Manchester United have failed to qualify for Europe’s elite competition – until last season.

With no Champions League football this season, van Gaal can focus solely on challenging for the Premier League title and re-establish the club domestically. It is nearly twenty years since the summer of 1995 that saw Mark Hughes, Andrei Kanchelskis and Paul Ince leave the club to be replaced by a batch of inexperienced youngsters. Alex Ferguson chased Eric Cantona around the streets of Paris on a scooter and everyone had written United’s chance off before the season had even begun.

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With Louis van Gaal imminent is this Ryan Giggs’ final appearance at Old Trafford?

Posted on May 05, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Hull City, Legends, Man United, Managers   1 Comment »
Will Louis van Gaal be the manager of Manchester United next season?

Ryan Giggs will walk out at Old Trafford tomorrow night in what could well be his final home appearance for Manchester United, either as one of the most decorated players to have ever graced a football pitch or even in his short managerial role. Giggs has played 962 times for United, that is 204 more appearances than Sir Bobby Charlton, who he overtook that evening in Moscow back in 2008. Looking back to that rainy night, it would be hard to imagine United in limbo less than a season without the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson.

David Moyes had a torrid time in the hot seat, a seat that will forever be reminded of the task at hand with with the name of the greatest manager of all time plastered across the stand it faces. Moyes couldn’t even start to rebuild and was sacked following the 2-0 defeat away at Everton. United now know they have to get it right as another season without Champions League football will be catastrophic for the club. The two main contenders are club legend Ryan Giggs or the disiplinarian Dutchman Louis van Gaal, who won the Champions League with a young Ajax side in 1995. Who would you pick?

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The Book Of Red Revelations

Posted on October 10, 2013  by Bricki  in Bricki, Legends, Man United, Managers   1 Comment »
Will Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography heap more pressure on David Moyes?

Author: Bricki

Follow Bricki on Twitter – @Bricki‎

David Moyes appears to have found the adjustment to managing Manchester United difficult at times so far. This is totally understandable and it would appear the majority of match going United fans have his back right now. Each game has shown loud vocal backing and an understanding that the early days will be difficult.

Is Moyes being dealt a fair hand however by others associated with the club?

In particular the man he succeeded – Sir Alex himself?

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Rio Ferdinand testimonial is a fitting gesture for a great player

Posted on August 08, 2013  by Stretford-end  in Legends, Man United, Players, Premier League   2 Comments »
Rio Ferdinand scores for Manchester United
Rio Ferdinand has been one of the best centre halves of his generation

United had lost the title the season previous to a rampant Arsenal, who added the ultimate insult by winning the championship at Old Trafford. It wasn’t supposed to have been this way. At the start of the season, Ferguson had acquired the creative magician Seba Veron from Lazio and the sharp shooting Ruud van Nistelrooy who had so cruelly been denied the chance the summer before due to injury.

United’s attacking arsenal was somewhat overshadowed by the frailties in defence following the departure of fans favourite Jaap Stam to Seba Veron’s old club. Lauren Blanc was brought in and United struggled, losing at home to Bolton, away at Newcastle and 3-0 at home to Chelsea to name a few. For all Blanc’s qualities in the 80s and 90s, in 2001 he was well past his best.

As Ferguson’s United always did in defeat, he regrouped and looked at how to wrestle the title back from North London. In the summer of 2002, Rio Ferdinand made the same journey to Old Trafford as Eric Cantona, Gordon McQueen and Joe Jordan from Leeds United to break the British transfer record. He and United have never looked back.

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Sir Alex Ferguson voted greatest manager of all time

Posted on July 02, 2013  by Stretford-end  in Legends, Man United, Managers, Press   2 Comments »
Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson has been voted greatest manager of all time by World Soccer

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been voted the greatest manager of all time by World Soccer. Regular readers of the blog will remember that less than three weeks ago we questioned the negative approach towards Ferguson’s career at United, with Brain Glanville – a well respected and highly insightful journalist – focusing more so on previous European Cup winners and the 99 questions posed to Ferguson by former shareholders of Magnier and McManus. Glanville indeed voted for Ferguson.

The summer issue takes a totally different viewpoint, with the great man just beating Rinus Michels by three votes to win the greatest manager of all time.

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Sir Alex Ferguson tributes devalued by sycophants says Glanville

Posted on June 22, 2013  by Stretford-end  in Champions League, Legends, Man United, Press   12 Comments »
Manchester United celebrate winning the 2008 European Cup Final
Sir Alex Ferguson won the 2008 European Cup with Manchester United

One thing I can’t stand since this blogging phenomenon came along is an angry response to an authoritative figure behind the furious bashing of a worn out keyboard. This is closely followed by the pretentious and cringeworthy open letter, which of course would be used as toilet paper by the person it is indeed intended for.

But I would like to discuss the comments by the well respect and extremely knowledgeable Brian Glanville in this month’s World Soccer – a superbly glorious historical football publication. The legendary journalist decided to focus on Sir Alex Ferguson, probably for the final time, but instead of gushing over the unprecedented era of success, Glanville has opted to concentrated on Ferguson’s handling of individuals within his profession and the 99 questions posed to the great man by Magnier and McManus.

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Win a signed Denis Irwin Manchester United shirt

Posted on June 09, 2013  by Stretford-end  in Competition, Legends, Man United, Man United News   No Comments »
Win a Manchester United shirt signed by ex player and legend Denis Irwin have got hold of a Manchester United shirt signed by ex left back and legend Denis Irwin as a prize give away. Irwin signed for Manchester United in 1990 from Oldham and went on to make 529 appearances for the club, which puts him 8th on the all time list – a remarkable achievement. Irwin won seven League titles, a European Cup, three FA Cups, a League Cup and a whole host of other honours at his time at Old Trafford. Read onto to find out more!

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The day graced Old Trafford

Posted on June 03, 2013  by Stretford-end  in Competition, Fun, Legends, Man United, Players   2 Comments »
The home side pose for a photo alongside Manchester United legends Andy Cole & Denis Irwin

Although extremely rare, there are opportunities that come along in your life that simply do not make sense. In early May I was offered the chance to run a competition for a lucky reader to play at Old Trafford alongside some of the Manchester United legends squad. Our blog was also offered the chance to send two representatives along to participate in the match and a training session run by coaches who teach the academy. Read on to see some of our photos of Denis Irwin, Gary Neville, Dion Dublin and Andy Cole.

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