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Ron B

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  1. Ron B


    Yeah. In slightly unclear as to when Kenny first tried to sign Speedie. It might have been at the time Rushie left (I’m more than glad we got Aldo instead) or it might have been instead of Rosenthal (which I’d have been fine with, looking back). Gary Mac didn’t think he was good enough to force his way into the side, which sounds mad, but then you remember that we already had Whelan and McMahon absolutely bossing it, and that when Leeds won the title a couple of years later Gary Mac was the least celebrated of that Batty-Strachan-Speed-McAllister midfield. I believe this was why the deal for Big Jan to go to Barcelona fell through.
  2. Ron B


    I always feel that Carter gets a lot of stick simply because Kenny left so soon after his arrival. As the article says, he was man of the match in his second game, and he was already a First Division player who was good enough on the wing to make Tony Cascarino look like a top striker. We beat Arsenal to his signing, and even after Souness made it publicly clear that he didn’t fancy him we still got almost all of our money back. Speedie is a different story - apparently he and Souness had never got on, going right back to their time with Scotland half a decade earlier. But Kenny had tried to sign Speedie a few times over the years, and he made an immediate impact when he came in. The real transfer boobs were made much earlier. Glenn Hysen had a good first season, then an iffy second season, and barely featured in his third. Ronny Rosenthal was a brilliant loanee, but once he’d arrived for £1million never hit those heights again.
  3. Ron B

    Tommy Doc passed away

    I remember reading an interview with Docherty, years ago now although also still years after he had retired, and inevitably the Mary Brown episode came up. It was right at the end of the piece, and if the journo had any sense it was probably right at the end of the interview session too (even if the Doc been reasonable it would have changed the mood of the conversation). Doc simply said “I was out of order there.” And you know what? He was. But he also paid a pretty heavy price himself. He’d been brilliant for a while at Chelsea, then had an oddly up and and down few years managing everywhere from the First Division to the Third, in Portugal, and the Scottish national team, as well as taking various coaching jobs. Yet at Manchester United he seemed to finally find himself. They were on their arses when he arrived, and he went down with them, but then he had them immediately promoted, challenging at the right end of the trophy, and as @Gnasher says he stopped us winning the treble in 1977. He genuinely seemed to be made for the club. In all events he’d never been so well-suited or so successful in any of his previous jobs. None of his previous (or future) jobs lasted even half as long as his five years at Old Trafford. A couple of months later and, well, his position was untenable really. And it was never that good for the Doc again. Derby, a farcical spell at QPR, four (four!) jobs in Australia, a spell at Wolves which included 21 consecutive league games without a win, and finally a season with Altrincham. Can you imagine someone managing Manchester United for five years in the 21st century... and 10 years going to Altrincham? So it was a heavy price for some lousy behaviour. But he was a proper football man - as you’d have to be to have managed at that level, and when you were no longer in favour just roll your sleeves up and head to Altrincham. Plus it really was love with Mary Brown, as they were together until he died. He had a quick wit, a fascinating life, and he loved the game. RIP Doc
  4. To be fair... It’s only three years since Chelsea did the double, and they spaffed an unconscionable amount of money in the summer; Leicester were the title winners before them, and are a solid top six team who are better placed than most to become a regular top four side as Arsenal continue to decline; Manchester United may be managed by a gimp but they have an insanely expensive and well-remunerated squad that’s packed with international players; Manchester City have won four of the last nine titles; I don’t wholly discount Spurs with Mourinho at the helm, although it would be a grindingly dull title win. All five of those teams ought to be in the conversation for the title race, even if you wouldn’t put your money on them. The one side who stick out like a sore thumb in that list are Everton.
  5. Ron B

    Opposition View: West Brom

    Bilic has done a decent job with minimal resources. If their priority this season was staying up, they should have granted him a fighting chance by giving him time and/or money. If they were willing to accept relegation as a trade-off for not investing, he’s done fine so far. If they didn’t think he was capable of doing keeping them up whilst spending little to no money, they should have at least done a Watford by thanking him for his work and letting him go in the summer. On the plus side, if WBA go down it may be the last we see of Fat Sam.
  6. Ron B

    Opposition View: West Brom

    A bit harsh on the support there (although spot on about the owner). “He got us there in one year and was then tasked with keeping us up with a squad that has a few talented young players but is lacking real investment and clearly not good enough,” suggests that the fans know that Slaven would have needed to work miracles to keep them up. My own view is that such a miracle might not have been healthy for WBA, if they’d stayed up in 17th place and then sunk like a stone 12 months later anyway - we’ve seen that happen a few times and all it usually means is that clubs are less healthy than if they ‘did a Burnley’ and yo-yo’ed for a few years. I used to think Fat Sam was OK - a bit of a dick, but not fundamentally unlikeable. Several things (not least his time as England boss and reading his autobiography) have changed my view on this. I wouldn’t be sad to see him take West Brom down.
  7. Allegri could easily be back at Juve shortly; despite winning nine titles on the bounce they’re currently seven points off top after a third of the season.
  8. Ron B

    Arsenal Post-Wenger

    Although when you compare their managerial credentials to those of Ole, Fat Frank or Arteta...
  9. For me, this United side are less Liverpool of 25 years ago, and more Ron Atkinson’s United. We had a decent team under Roy Evans, but tended to lose our nerve when the crunch came. I wouldn’t go so far as to say the title was ever ours to lose, but that team in 96 was fighting for the double until late April, and we had a few other title challenges that petered out in the later stages. By comparison Ole’s United side have never looked like title challengers, and I’d go so far as to say they never will. Which is why they won’t have to worry about losing their nerve, because they will be out of the reckoning before the moment of truth arrives. But Atkinson’s Man United? Impressive going forward, but wonky at the back? Check. Incredibly streaky side, who can be the country’s form team, but equally can just deflate entirely? Check. Several excellent players who for one reason or another they can’t fully rely on? Oh yes. A manager who frequently does enough to seem like he deserves another season without fully delivering? Entirely so. Get Ole some cheap jewellery and impenetrable slang, because if Ronald deserved five years at Old Trafford then Ole does too.
  10. Something like this would be excellent. There are loads of great photos which a statue could be based on. Hell, do a composite of the players from 77, 78, 81 and 84 all celebrating if you like (I’d exclude 05 and 19 because those were entirely separate sides whereas multiple players appeared in two or three of that initial burst of finals, and Phil Neal played in all four). It also means sone immortality for the likes of Fagan and Evans.
  11. Ron B

    Arsenal Post-Wenger

    Rafa is an excellent shout - if he’d be willing to go there. I know that he loves England and the Prem, but I’m not sure whether an absentee owner, limited control, and a hostile fanbase would be his ideal combination.
  12. Ron B

    Arsenal Post-Wenger

    Oh, and only a scoundrel would reply to this with a photo of Hodgson.
  13. Ron B

    Arsenal Post-Wenger

    Arsenal have truly screwed the pooch though. They don’t generate money like United do; they haven’t even flirted with a title challenge in I don’t know how long; their squad is horribly lopsided and poorly constructed; the owner sees it he club as a cashcow; and behind the scenes the director of football, recruitment team, etc, clearly aren’t good enough. None of which lets Arteta off the hook, and none of which means he shouldn’t go. But it does add up to: Which manager who could make them better would want to go there? Certainly no top boss would go to the Emirates - Pochettino is waiting for United or Real, it would be a huge backward step for Allegri, and anyone else is in work. But second-tier managers would be ill-advised to go there too: Even after a couple of brilliant seasons they would have done no more than get Arsenal back into the top four, which is hardly going to transform their CV. Which leaves Arsenal with... what? Guys who have won stuff in lesser leagues (could be the next Mourinho, more likely to be the next AVB or Marco Silva). Guys who haven’t won the big trophies but have done pretty well in big leagues (Emery Part 2). Up-and-coming English managers (names on a postcard please). Or a former player who has been doing some coaching elsewhere (which Arteta is currently showing as a really optimistic plan). I know all managerial appointments are gambles to some extent. But they’re a gamble for the guy taking the job too, and anyone who Arsenal would want in the job shouldn’t touch with a bargepole. You can’t even make jokes about Big Sam taking the job anymore.
  14. Ron B

    Rhys Williams

    And then treble-posted
  15. Ron B

    Rhys Williams

    Apparently I love it so much that I double-posted