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27 Jul 2017 11:56:59
Currently reading Cantona - The Rebel who would be king for the second time (nearly done) . Have to say, it is a great book. What a man Cantona! A real shame he didn't get a Champions League trophy or an International trophy. I know that some of that is his own doing, but still. It's amazing to think of the impact he had on our club and how almost instantly, became the key that unlocked all the potential we had. Not forgetting how he pretty much won the title himself after coming back from the ban and THAT FA Cup winning goal. Amazing.

People mention Zlatan having this Cantona effect but they are different. Ego and Pride, yes they are similar. Cantona, however, was a real team player I felt. He would shine a light on others in some matches, as it says in this book, and take more of a backseat so that others could come in to the game and flourish. Just feeding them time after time. Zlatan is far too individual I feel. He is out on the pitch for himself first and then others.

I feel that if he signs a new contract, it will be detrimental to our team. We need to move on. I cannot see how we can accommodate him and keep him happy. Lukaku will have to start every game. He is our number one striker. I fear that if we give Zlatan a new contract, he will start to become a bad apple unless he is starting games. That is where Jose comes in. I think there is no doubt that if he is offered a new deal then he WILL start most games with Lukaku. This would effect the balance of our team and I would think, annoy the players benched to bring him in to team. He is an amazing talent but with his age, his ego, his demand to start games, his wage, I hope we do not go down this route.

I would be interested in everyone else's thoughts on this.

Does anyone feel we have a Cantona type player within our ranks? Maybe not talent wise but more in a sense of being the player everyone looks up to, can go out on the pitch and be that sort of team player Cantona was. I don't think we need someone to unlock our potential as he did all those years ago. We just need to gel and I feel the goals will come.

is there anyone we could sign that could be this sort of player even?

Also, any recommendations on other books I could read? Football related, doesn't have to be United related. I have read some of the more popular ones so maybe something different?

Agree2 Disagree0

27 Jul 2017 13:03:26
Eric was the final piece of the jigsaw, if we hadn't signed him I'm not sure we would have won the leage that year and then who knows what would have happened. He had an aura and bravado without being arrogant (! ) . He arrived when we were stuttering and suddenly we clicked. He was also a huge influence on the class of '92, staying after training to practice free kicks, a habit that rubbed off on them. He also signed pretty much every autograph after training, he lived in a modest house and there were no airs and graces with him.

I honestly think I know when he decided to retire. He missed a penalty and as the game went on he stood there staring in disbelief, it was almost as if he had realised his powers were fading, never one to do the obvious he went out at the top.

There is no other Cantona, there are other characters but he was the right person in the right place at the right time. It was a privilege to watch him and see him in action in the flesh.

Ibra has his own personality and charms but he is no Cantona, I don't see anyone to compare.

In terms of books, most football books are pretty pants, and I've read an awful lot of them. Addicted by Tony Adams is pretty good, Keane's are all entertaining, Perry Groves was ok, and if you want to step away from football, Marcus Trescothik's is good.

27 Jul 2017 13:13:40
Good post Amz. Cantona book sounds very good. Funny enough, I put on a movie the other night called "The Salvation", and there was Cantona, playing a bad character in a movie about a Danish settler in the Wild West.

But to your point, the players have said they learned a lot from Zlatan, about a winning mentality, confidence and that sort of thing. But I cannot see Mourinho playing Zlatan and Lukaku together.

Good question on finding a leader of that level, that elevates the team. Very hard to find. Even today's best players, Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, none are that type. It would have to be someone with a commanding presence to go along with great ability.

27 Jul 2017 12:57:24
Zlatan is an unbelievable player who if he was signed again would score plenty provided he has recovered well from his injury. However, I don't see any sense in resigning him. We have Lukaku now who is more mobile and our creative players should be better this year due to that. Rashford and Martial are backups at CF who can also run in behind.

As for a book, I've just finished reading one called The Mixer, it's about how and why premier league tactics have evolved over the last 25 years. If you enjoy the more tactical side football with insights into how managers have developed their teams it is a very good read.

I'm now reading another called The European Game: the secrets of European football's success. Only about half way but it outlines the different ways European clubs develop their business, players etc. Also very good.

27 Jul 2017 14:39:14
My favourite story about Cantona, is where some of the senior players at the time, would offer the likes of Scholes, Butt and other junior players at the time, a chance to add to their win bonuses with some type of gamble or bet. He always rewarded the ones who stepped up and took a shot at whatever challenge it was, even if they lost. Probably encouraging gambling, but I like the sentiment behind it.

{Ed001's Note - for me what made the difference about Cantona was that he always stayed behind after training to work on something about his game. That was what made Fergie give him so much leeway around the club, because the very first training session Cantona asked if it was ok if he stayed on to work on something (I can't remember what it was). Fergie always believed it was him that rubbed off on the likes of Beckham and inspired him, and others, to stay behind and practice shooting or free kicks after training was finished.}

27 Jul 2017 14:39:40
Fully agreed AJH. He was just something else. It says a lot when people like Neville still talk about him with so much respect and are still in awe of him.
I was just reading the part about when he missed that penalty. I don't know why, but he really seemed to let himself go off the pitch. He had visibly put on weight but the man that he is, his interests reached far beyond football. I think as you mentioned, he felt like an ordinary player after that miss and did not want to play if he could not perform as he had done in previous seasons. Trescothick's book is a good shout. Thank you
Zidaniel - I just feel that if Jose decides to keep him on then he will look to accommodate both. Just my gut feeling. He could ask Zlatan to take a supporting role, coming off the bench more often than starting but I really don't think Zlatan would accept that. I agree on there not being leaders in the mold of Cantona around any more. I think leaders these days are the ones who just go out and perform week after week. Players who get their teams out of tight situations and win games individually. You named a good few in your post. They're just not leaders off the pitch as much as they are on it. Maybe more to do with the modern times. Players are making the most of the money on offer and look to push their own individual agendas off the pitch.
RJ - Thank you for the suggestions. They do sound interesting and I will definitely give them a go.

27 Jul 2017 14:44:59
Sorry forgot to explain, what he asked for was a couple of youth teamers to stay behind with him and help him work on something.

27 Jul 2017 14:47:05
Love that story too Noucamp. You just couldn't see something like that happening now.

27 Jul 2017 15:24:28
Totally, Ed001. It's what separates the truly inspiring players from the rest of them. Going that extra yard to achieve perfection. Just my opinion, but with everything coming so easy for young players today, where everything is laid on a plate for them, and someone is there to wipe their bum's for them, I think that sort of dedication is getting rarer. It's essential that the junior coaches drill that work ethic into them, but sometimes I think they're fighting a losing battle.

{Ed001's Note - agreed.}

27 Jul 2017 15:26:58
Still my favourite player of all time.

We all rightly praise Fergie, but without Cantona we wouldn't have been the same time.

Even with all the superstars who have graced the premier league, for me personally, Cantona was the greatest ever player to play in our league. No one player had such an impact as Cantona did

Greatest player ever.

27 Jul 2017 16:38:42
Bizarrely, he was signed on a whim when the Leeds chairman rang Edwards to inquire about Irwin. SAF was in the room and mouthed 'ask him if we can buy Cantona' and the rest is history

Ed, you didn't read my first comment, I referenced the additional training, most of the class of '92 were involved because in 92/ 93 they were not in the first team squad, what a great introduction for them.

{Ed001's Note - yes but I was explaining why that rubbed off on them, because he asked for some of them to stay behind and help him. I wasn't missing it, I was trying to give more detail mate. Apologies if that didn't come across well.}

27 Jul 2017 16:52:48
No worries Ed. As a middle aged bloke I don't have many heroes but as you can probably guess, Eric is one of them. I had my season ticket back then and he strolled around Old Trafford with his collar up like the king cockerel. He was breathtaking at times.

{Ed001's Note - the greatest players are not those who stand out for their individual talents, great though they may be, the greatest talents are those who raise others up by their play as well. He was easy to detest as an opponent but easy to see why he was so beloved of the fans too.}

27 Jul 2017 18:22:23
It was odd because internationally and in Europe he rarely excelled yet in domestic competitions in he was incredible. I think he changed our club and took us on to that final level we needed. I think the only year he didn't win a League Winners medal was the year of his ban (the less said about that the better)

27 Jul 2017 19:25:32
There's a reason my name is Eric on here and have named my cat after the big man. There's no greater honour surely.



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