Showing posts with label West Ham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label West Ham. Show all posts

Sir Matt Busby 'Mr Manchester United'

On this day: 20th January 1994 Sir Matt Busby passed away as MUFC under Sir Alex Ferguson successfully went on to win the first League and Cup double which had eluded Busby. Earlier in May, 1993 MUFC had ended their 26 year wait to become English League Champions once again. Few poignant quotes from Sir Matt Busby...

Recollections on becoming the manager of MUFC: "It was not an easy assignment. The ground had been blitzed, they had an overdraft at the bank, what is more I had no experience as a manager, and I felt they were taking a great risk in appointing me."

Wearing a track suit whilst holding a training session: "Playing a wee bit o' football with the lads."

His first act after becoming MUFC manager was to ask Jimmy Murphy to be his assistant: "It could be that what either Jimmy Murphy or I lacked the other had. He would always give a straight-forward opinion. He was no yes-man."

To Stan Pearson facing big spenders Derby County in FA Cup semi-finals 1948 who duly scored a hat-trick in that match: "The greatest thrill in soccer is playing at Wembley on Cup Final day."

Keen on entering the new European competition against Football League's wishes: "Prestige alone demanded that the Continental challenge should be met, not avoided."

Introducing youth players from the academy be it Roger Bryne and Jackie Blanchflower vs Liverpool in Nov, '51 and many others since "If you’re good enough, you’re old enough."

His philosophy after winning the League in 1955 with Busby Babes: "From the very start I had envisaged making my own players, having a kind of nursery so that they could be trained in the kind of pattern I was trying to create for Manchester United."

Whispering to Jimmy Murphy as Busby lay in hospital bed after the crash: "Keep the flag flying"

Returning to Manchester for the first time: "Resting in Interlaken, Germany was one thing and facing Old Trafford another. When I approached the ground and moved over the bridge along which our supporters had squeezed fifty abreast in there tens of thousands to shout for us I could scarcely bear to look. I knew the ghosts of the babes would still be there, and there they are still, and they will always be there as long as those who saw them still cross the bridge, young, gay, red ghosts on the green grass of Old Trafford."

Trauma of being a survivor of a tragedy: "To be honest, I suppose I wasn't sane. I was raving and creating hell with everyone. Why us? Was it some human error or had this been decreed from above? If so, why hadn't I died with them?"

Fighting back: "There were many difficulties to overcome, but the hardest thing of all was coming round to flying again. For a few matches after Munich we went abroad by sea and train, but obviously that couldn't go on for too long. We all had to deal with it in our different ways."

Inspiration to carry on after Munich: "Frankly, ever since my wife, Jean, had told me in the Munich hospital that she felt sure the lads who had died would have wanted me to carry on, I had become increasingly obsessed about United winning the European Cup. It was almost as if this glittering trophy were the Holy Grail."

On Bobby Charlton scoring 68 goals in three seasons immediately after Munich "When things looked their blackest after the Munich accident, and there were times when I felt great despair, I was enormously cheered to think that Bobby Charlton was there. His presence was a great source of inspiration to keep working for the restoration of Manchester United."

On George Best who between 1964 to 1971 for 8 seasons hardly missed any games against hard tackling players like Ron Harris, Norman Hunter, Tommy Smith, Frank McLintock, Mike Doyle, Danny Blanchflower in an era when referees could not do anything to protect creative players: "George Best had more ways of beating a player than anyone I've ever seen. He was unique in his gifts." Incidentally George Best received the second ever Red Card in English game when it was belatedly introduced in 1976 when he used foul language against referee playing for Fulham in the second division.

Surprisingly lost to Partizan Belgrade in the semi-finals of European Cup 1966 when the United squad was at its peak: "We'll never win the European Cup now."

Decisive game of 1966-67 season beating West Ham 6-1 at Upton Park (who had three World Cup winners Sir Bobby Moore, Sir Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters and had reached the finals of Cup Winners Cup) with the finest display of football seen in England post the second world war: "This was my greatest hour." All three of the Trinity - Charlton(1), Law(2) and Best(1) scored in that game. That same XI except Denis Law who was injured and replaced by Brian Kidd played in the victorious European Cup final a year later.

To his players before the start of crucial extra time in the European Cup final 1968: "I told them they were throwing the game away with careless passing instead of continuing with their confident football. I told them they must start to hold the ball and play again."

His decision to retire on 14th January, 1969: "Manchester United have become rather more than a football club. They are now an institution. I am finding less and less time to attend to the thing I consider paramount, which is the playing side."

Being conferred Manchester's first Freeman: "Football's great occasions are, for me at any rate, unequaled in the world of sport. I feel a sense of romance, wonder and mystery, a sense of beauty and poetry. The game becomes larger than life. It has something of the timeless, magical quality of legend."

Lacking the decisive second goal

Barring the opening day win over Chelsea, MUFC have failed to score more than 1 goal in 4 of the 5 matches played in the English Premier League. One of the familiar problems still haunting the club more than 6 years after Sir Alex Ferguson left. Scott McTominay has earned the right to be the mainstay ahead of Matic, while his partners in the engine room have constantly changed. Paul Pogba when fit is the first pick. The 3rd slot has been up for grabs and Fred against Leicester when he came on as a substitute might have done enough to keep it in the short term. Fred missed majority of the pre-season to be considered for the first team selection. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer retaining the Brazilian speaks about the faith in which he is held by the coaching staff. Unless McTominay-Pogba-Fred tick Ole will have to re-consider his preferred 4-3-3 formation with the players he has at his disposal.

Andreas Pereira hit a good free kick and got into good positions but his final touch lacked composure. Consistent run of games might help Pereira to sort it out. Juan Mata by his own standards was disappointing and the removal of Nemanja Matic lifted the handle on the brakes to attack. Fans have been screaming for Angel Gomes to be involved in the first team following his great form with the reserves. The Europa Cup mid-week game against Astana and League Cup against Rochdale later this month provides Ole with the opportunity. Ole will have to manage the young Daniel James and not wear him out. Right of the front three is a concern as Martial, Rashford and James having a preference for the left.

Injury to Pogba and Martial the defense stood out to sustain the early one goal lead into a victory. De Gea made a fantastic save and MUFC have the 2nd clean sheet at home already this season which equals the tally for whole of last season. Those two clean sheets last season were in a draw while the ones this time around are in victories! That's another turnaround.

James Maddison linked with a possible move in footsteps of Harry Maguire had a decent game. His shot saved by David De Gea after he got the better of Victor Lindelof. How he handles the limelight of being linked with MUFC and drafted into the England team setup will be crucial. Bruno Fernandes might come into reckoning finally as continues to impress with excellent stats in the new season if he holds the ball better and improves his pass percentage. Playing well for Portugal against top sides might decide his fate, esp that win against Netherlands to lift the inaugural Nations League in June. Portugal face leaders Ukraine in the next round of qualifiers for Euro 2020. If MUFC do sign a player in January it might be either and not both. With Wolves struggling this season there might be an possibility to tempt Ruben Neves, while Aston Villa might only agree to sell John McGinn if he stays on for rest of this season at Villa Park. Very early for January transfer speculation.

After Leicester City its the turn of another challenger for top 6 in West Ham who under Manuel Pellegrini have transformed the team with shrewd transfers. Almost a year ago at the London Stadium witnessed the unraveling of Jose Mourinho reign with a horrific 1-3 loss. That team was in complete disarray while for Ole this game against Leicester brought the best 'team performance'. MUFC are yet to win on the road this season and West Ham will offer a stiff challenge with Issa Diop for whom a bid was made will try to justify his undoubted talent, Manuel Lanzini is revitalized after injury and Sebastien Haller has had a great start after his move from Eintracht Frankfurt.

Incidentally its the U23 teams of Manchester United and West Ham who are vying for the top spot in the Professional Development League standings.

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