Showing posts with label Walter Winterbottom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Walter Winterbottom. Show all posts

On England's 1000th game the best MUFC XI

The squad:
Alex Stepney (GK)
Gary Neville
Gary Pallister
Rio Ferdinand
Roger Byrne
Duncan Edwards
Bryan Robson (C)
David Beckham
Wayne Rooney
Tommy Taylor
Sir Bobby Charlton

Subs: Ray Wood, Phil Neville, Nobby Stiles, Ray Wilkins, Steve Coppell, Teddy Sheringham

England's first, youngest and longest serving team manager was Walter Winterbottom who had a brief spell as a player at MUFC in 1930's. Between 1946 and 1962 he oversaw England participation in all four World Cups wherein the quarter-final defeat to eventual champions Brazil in 1962 was his best result. In 1958 World Cup in Sweden his squad was depleted due to the Munich Air Disaster which robbed him of three first team regulars in Roger Byrne, Duncan Edwards and Tommy Taylor and prior to the event were beaten only once in 17 consecutive games. He did pick a young Bobby Charlton but did not play him even for a single match while Pele debuted spectacularly for Brazil being 3 years younger.  During his tenure a selection committee usually picked the squad and his influence was limited mainly as a trainer which he professionally taught and wrote about. Hungary famously beat England at home 6-3 in 1953 and 7-1 away in 1954.

Jack Mew and Alex Stepney won just one cap, Gary Bailey two and Ray Wood and Ben Foster three is the tale of MUFC goal keepers who have represented England. Alex Stepney has easily been the most successful at club level. Steve Bruce is perhaps the most famous MUFC player for never having represented England (Jimmy Greenhoff and Alan Gowling were also denied) being the first double winning captain of MUFC while his partner at centre-half Gary Pallister earned first of 22 caps while still playing for Middlesbrough in the second division. Rio Ferdinand became the youngest player to debut as a centre-half at 19 years 8 days while still playing for West Ham and ended up with 81 caps. Gary Neville holds the record for most caps by a right back at 85 and played with his brother Phil in the same team 31 times; Phil has 59 caps. Bill Foulkes sole cap came against Northern Ireland in 1954 as a right back. Roger Byrne held the record for most consecutive appearances for England with 33 at left back and being the Captain of the famous Busby Babes.

Duncan Edwards became the youngest post-war player to play for England in 1955 at 18 years 183 days against Scotland, in total played 18 times scoring 5 goals including that 'boom-boom' shot against World Champions West Germany. His England captain Billy Wright had this to say "There have been few individual performances to match what he produced in Germany. He tackled like a lion, attacked at every opportunity and topped it all off with cracking goal."

'Captain Marvel' Bryan Robson leads the team as he carried the side on numerous occasion on his own in the 80's, once scoring a goal in just 27 seconds against France in 1982 World Cup. David Beckham peaked as England captain under Sven-Goran Eriksson scoring that crucial free-kick at Old Trafford against Greece to secure the qualification and was rumoured to want away from MUFC when Sir Alex Ferguson reversed his decision to retire as the Swede Eriksson was lined up to succeed. Paul Scholes had lesser impact than either Nobby Stiles or Ray Wilkins. Steve Coppell's impressive career on the wing with 42 caps 7 goals came to an abrupt end at just 28 years when he sustained a knee-injury while playing against Hungary to qualify for 1982 World Cup.

Tommy Taylor had an incredible goal ratio for both MUFC and England, scoring 131 goals in 191 games for club and 16 goals including two hat-tricks in just 19 appearances for country. Alfredo di Stefano called him 'Magnifico' and was seen as a long term replacement for aging Nat Lofthouse. Wayne Rooney beat the all time scoring record long held by Sir Bobby Charlton at 49 goals for more than 45 years but could only score one of his 53 goals in World Cup competition against Uruguay in 2014 and four at the Euro's across three tournaments! George Wall the left winger who was a key player to during the reds first victorious phase in late 1900's decade comes close to cementing that spot but in terms of best MUFC players to represent England have Sir Bobby Charlton at left wing. Charlton's best came against Portugal in the semi-final of the 1966 World Cup and the great 'Der Kaiser' Franz Beckenbauer summed that glorious World Cup as "England beat us in 1966 because Bobby Charlton was just a bit better than me." Teddy Sheringham's best came in two spells on either side of his MUFC tenure, firstly partnering with Alan Shearer to reach the semi-finals of the Euro '96 and then being used as a tactical sub for his intelligent play especially in the 2002 World Cup in Japan; overall scored 11 goals in 51 games.

Viv Anderson was Sir Alex Ferguson's first signing in 1987 and became the first black player to represent England while playing for Nottingham Forest in 1978. Owen Hargreaves who got most of his caps while playing for Bayern Munich before his move to MUFC to help win the 2008 Champions League was in fact born in Canada. Most notable player born outside England was James Princep who was born in India and held twin records of being the youngest player to represent England in 1879 at 17 years 252 days and to play in FA Cup final at 17 years 245 days. He held both records for around 125 years!


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.

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