Showing posts with label Bill Shankly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bill Shankly. Show all posts

Wish Ole did a Shankly about Managerial contract

60 years ago in the 1959-60 season this fixture #MUNLIV did not happen in the league as Liverpool FC were in the old 2nd division and legendary Bill Shankly had just taken over as their manager on 14-Dec-1959 after another tepid start to the season seeking promotion to the old 1st division. Shankly replaced Phil Taylor an ex-Captain of 1950 FA Cup final fame who succeeded Sir Matt Busby the player for LFC between 1936-39 at right half.

Manchester United did meet Liverpool in the FA Cup 4th round, Jan 1960 in the first of 16 meetings between Busby and Shankly. MUFC beat LFC 3-1 away at Anfield in which the maestro Sir Bobby Charlton regained his form after a barren spell to score two expertly taken goals as England coach the ex-MUFC player Walter Winterbottom watched. Bill Shankly later said "It was our misfortune that Bobby hit his real form against us."

It was Bill Shankly who called Sir Matt Busby as "without doubt the greatest manager that ever lived." such was the respect among the two Scottish rivals. In the last season of Shankly 1973-74 MUFC were relegated and tables turned but Busby had been retired for four years.

Shankly had earlier managed Sir Denis Law at Huddersfield Town still in his teens "I'm sure that had I not had Shankly around at that stage of my career, things might have turned out differently." He accepted Ray Wood at Leeds Road in 1958 the goal keeper of the famous Busby Babes team that won two league title's in '56, '57 and an loss in FA Cup final of '57, calling him "the best goal keeper in the second division". Shankly who preferred to 'make stars rather than buy them' enabled Huddersfield Town to become debt free. 1964 saw the only direct player transfer between MUFC and LFC that of 22 year old inside-right Phil Chisnall for #25,000. Later after quitting as manager of LFC, Shankly confirmed to Tommy Docherty the potential of Steve Coppell when Jimmy Murphy had initially scouted him.

In the hindsight given how well Ole Gunnar Solskjaer started as an interim manager, wished he said the following lines from Shankly "Never mind about a contract; give me the team and leave the rest to me." Hope this match is the turning point of the season for MUFC and Ole.

LFC seek the Shankly magic after 60 years to end the 30 year wait to finally win the League, while MUFC would want to once again thwart LFC as they did last season with a battling performance.

Pivotal game against arch rivals amid the shadows of 73-74 relegation

Fans and media must keep the pressure on Ed Woodward esp since Oliver Holt's article in the Daily Mail which hit the nail on its head. There are parallels with end of Busby and Ferguson illustrious trophy laden reign - towards the end the investment in the squad dried up which meant they did not replace their key players like Herd, Foulkes, Stiles, Charlton, Law from 1967 on wards and Keane, Ronaldo, Neville, Giggs, Vidic, Ferdinand from 2005 on wards. In 1974 MUFC hurtled downwards to relegation with a very decent defense in Buchan and Holton but without any prolific striker, a situation very similar now. Is the MUFC team now too good to go down? This accentuates the urgent need for MUFC to buy a proven striker in January.

Ed Woodward has come out with his justifications on wasting most of #850 million dollars under his watch and how can any sane MUFC fan believe him. What worries fans further is that this 6 years & #850 million mess is not the benchmark to rectify other areas like youth policy where they are well behind most of their rivals. He has however backed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ahead of the most crucial fixture in our calendar but has it come a week early? Does Ed believe that MUFC will get anything out of this game?

MUFC have in the past ended Arsenal's 49 game unbeaten run that stopped the invincible's in the famous 'Battle of Buffet' and now despite being in bad form, crucial players in Paul Pogba and David de Gea injured and the squad being low on confidence, given the nature of this fixture between the two most successful English football clubs they can stop LFC's run of 17 game winning streak. Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe being the academy lads will be crucial to channel their high emotions into decent performances belying their age given the thread bare squad. While the wide area's at full back need to counter LFC surge and Ole might play a three man defense to release Dalot and Young while another exciting prospect at left back Brandon Williams might get some game time.

Huge credit to Marcus Rashford for carrying on despite his lack of form and non-coherent midfield where he does not know where the through ball is going to come from. Yet he has backed himself for the cause of the team and being on the pitch. Having aspirations to be central striker is not bad which means he is prepared to work to make it happen despite being found out a few times or missing a few runs. Marcus Rashford is of the same age as Tammy Abraham and already with 36 caps for his country while Mason Greenwood a good four years younger. One of the traits of players like Cristiano Ronaldo who reached 700 career goals is how they personally look after themselves and avoid injury in spite of  training regimes at club and country. Rashford has at least kept himself in the reckoning for a start always where as Anthony Martial who finally gets his chance at being the No 9 is returning from injury. Martial though has still scored a third of MUFC goals this season and hoping the Frenchmen adds to his tally against LFC to cement his favourite position #AM9.

On paper and form its a 0-3 defeat and anything better especially team coherence and fighting quality with a plan from Ole will take it as a positive sign. 1973-74 season after 8 games 10 points(3W, 4L, 1D - 8GS 10GC) and in 2019-20 season after 8 games 9 points (2W, 3L, 3D - 9GS 8GC) a serious cause for worry. Coincidentally the 9th game of 1973-74 season was against Liverpool at Old Trafford which ended in a 0-0 stalemate, even a similar result in 2019-20 might not be good enough in the eventual league standings at the end of the season.

As for LFC it will be crucial to not only win but do the double over their arch rivals MUFC similar to 1963-64 season that setup them up for a first League Championship win after 1946-47 and not mind the margin of victory. In hindsight Klopp might seek to improve the performance at Old Trafford where they dropped two points last season while at the end they lost the league title by only one point to MCFC. Old Trafford is the last summit LFC need to conquer to avoid complacency of last season and lay down the fears of a meltdown that accompanied Arsene Wenger's Arsenal after the 49 game unbeaten streak was ended by MUFC.

Return of Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United were nudged by Jorge Mendes, the expert agent of Cristiano Ronaldo when he opened direct talks with local rivals City abou...

Popular Posts