Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
Do unto others....
on 21 January 2013
I recall being devastated when Manchester United was relegated in the 70's, a sign of an aging team that had lost their way and a far cry from the European Cup victory of 1968. But under the management of Tommy Docherty they bounced back and got to two FA Cup finals' losing one and winning the other. New players were brought in to deliver the flair demanded by the fans and I remember with joy what an exciting team they were to watch and there were some great players pulling on the red jersey at that time.
This is the story of one of them, Brian Greenhoff, a highly versatile and professional player, at his best when in central defence partnership with the excellent Martin Buchan where he brought the ball out to drive the play forward. His brother Jimmy was eventually also brought in as a striker, so this was (I think) the first instance of two brothers playing at United. More of that later.
So this is `Brian's tale' from joining United as a teenager and seeing through a number of managers before falling foul of the dubious management of Dave Sexton and then moving on. It also covers his England career. It is a known fact that after a falling out with his brother post United, they have not spoken for 20 years. It is said that this relates to their joint managership of Rochdale and while this did sow the seed, it was actually a wedding invite (or lack of) that was the final straw.
Brian comes over as a stand-up guy and a grafter with stacks of personal integrity and expectations of similar behaviour from those he deals with. It was lack of character from those he dealt with that had him falling out with Sexton and his brother.
So this is a tale of football in the 70's when it was not the big money game it is now and when you left the big clubs you had to find ways of earning the money to feed your family. In today's cash rich game, it is hard to imagine a footballer that spent 10 years at a big club not having sufficient banked to not have to work.
I remember the team with great fondness and it was good to find that one of the players turned out to be as nice a guy as you hoped he was.