1985 United vs 2018 United

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Sir Scott McToMinay, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. Nov 25, 2018
    #1

    Sir Scott McToMinay Full Member

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    I wasn’t present as a supporter back in the pre-SAF days, and I mainly would like to hear from the people who were.
    I know we won the odd Cup back then and we were also one the richest clubs in the country back then too, I do know our current academy is in the best shape it’s been in years if not more than that.
    I’m not asking literally the comparison between the 1985 and the current team, but more about the pre and post-SAF eras, not on a financial or a global appeal scale, but purely from a purely footballing aspect of things? how far we are as a team from being properly competitive again and who would you ideally like to see as our next manager?
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  2. Nov 25, 2018
    #2

    vidic blood & sand Full Member

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    Under Atkinson we were very much an exciting attacking team but far too inconsistent to ever win the league. We could beat any team on the planet one day, then lose to a Bournemouth or Oxford the next.
    Super memories, probably greater than the SAF years simply cause I worshipped the club and players as a teen back then. We were a really entertaining team to watch at times, unlike today.
  3. Nov 25, 2018
    #3

    red thru&thru Full Member

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    Infrastructure.
  4. Nov 25, 2018
    #4

    Crustanoid Full Member

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    Even though half of them were drunk all the time, they looked like Barcelona in comparison to the current team in terms of their attacking cohesion
  5. Nov 25, 2018
    #5

    buchansleftleg Full Member

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    In 85 we had players of genuine ability who could beat any team on their day. We were very inconsistent though, sometimes due to key injuries other ttimes due to attitude and mentality.

    Some of Atkinson's players thought they were so good they could win and play hard in equal measure.

    There were some team issues as well as some players were more industrial in their approach to tackling than others.

    Atkinson also often rested key players ahead of big games...a luxury United managers have not had since games were televised more.

    We would beat Liverpool away but then lose to mid table sides.

    The key difference is expectation I suppose. United were expected to put up a challenge for the title back then, but were like Spurs in that they would fail when the pressure told.

    After Sir Alex we expect to be serious title challengers.
  6. Nov 25, 2018
    #6

    Moriarty Full Member

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    We were a decent side under Atkinson. We had some great attacking talent in Whiteside, Stapleton, Olsen, Sparky, and Strachan. We had Muhren, Robbo, and Wilkins in the middle and McQueen and Moran at the back. We had Bailey in goal who, for my money, should have won far more caps than he did. Like @vidic blood & sand said, we could be scintillating against Liverpool, then fall on our arses against lesser sides. Back then, Liverpool were pretty much unstoppable. I'd put the 1984 Liverpool side up against the City of today and fully expect them to win. Player for player, we should have won at least one title but we didn't have the consistency. Liverpool did. Year after year.
  7. Nov 25, 2018
    #7

    big rons sovereign New Member

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    The 85 team would spank these gutless wonders. Robbo, hughes, whiteside, olson, stapleton, moran etc would breeze past this lot.
    There's not a single pair of balls between the current squad.
  8. Nov 25, 2018
    #8

    kundalini Full Member

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    In 1985 Ron Atkinson was coming towards the end of his spell in charge. The team started the 1985/6 season with 10 wins in a row then fell to pieces as injuries to key players hurt performance levels then confidence. We were generally an exciting team but not a competent one. The style of football was fine. Defeats away at teams near the bottom of the table were a common feature of the Atkinson era. We were missing a 20 goal a season striker (instead of Stapleton's regular 13 goals in 42 starts) and needed more professionalism, fewer crazy drinking sessions led by captain Robson, training that was more detailed that Atkinson's 5 a side games. Our results against Liverpool were typically good throughout that period, showing that we could perform when we wanted to.

    The difference between then and now, is the quality of football being played on the pitch. We are simply miles off the top sides and have been for nearly all the post-Ferguson era.
  9. Nov 25, 2018
    #9

    vidic blood & sand Full Member

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  10. Nov 25, 2018
    #10

    Josh 76 New Member

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    Great memories. Whiteside, Stapleton, Robson.
    Football seemed more enjoyable in those days. No board room politics, no ridiculous player wages. It was all about what happened on the pitch.
    It was so exciting waiting for Sportsnight or Midweek Sports Special on Wednesdays to actually watch football. Barry Davis, John Motson and Brian Moore's commentaries were so special. One live match a week, made you crave football.
    Oh sorry....What was the question ?
  11. Nov 25, 2018
    #11

    Sir Scott McToMinay Full Member

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    Interesting replies, thanks for that.
    Would you say we’ve had a better group of players back then compared with what he have now, or was it the coaching and the lesser pressure to win the title that enabled them to play with more attacking freedom?
  12. Nov 25, 2018
    #12

    vidic blood & sand Full Member

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    I think the greatest disappointment was the 83/ 84 season when we put a terrific run together and went top in early 84 I think, then went off the boil.
    Also a fantastic performance away to Juventus in the CWC SF when we came back and looked like winning (without Robbo) but conceded in the last minute. Almost in tears after that game.
  13. Nov 25, 2018
    #13

    Red_Ramirez Banned

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    Thanks for that..

    I only started supported in 1987 when I was 7yrs old.

    So only remember the tough first few years under Fergie onwards

    Although my first football memory was watching the FA Cup Final in 85
  14. Nov 25, 2018
    #14

    Robbo's Shoulder Full Member

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    Had you off your seat 1 minute and totally frustrated the next. Played some fantastic football at times only to go and lose against a side in the relegation zone.
    I believe if we had a prolific 25 goal a season centre forward we would have at least 1 title under big Ron.
    I personnally would take that team over the current 1with no hesitation. I'd like to bring up Arthur Albiston among those already mentioned, absolute quality that lad and hardly ever seems to get talked about.
  15. Nov 25, 2018
    #15

    Moriarty Full Member

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    The Barca game was something else. Best atmosphere that night for many a long year. The 83 semi-final against Arsenal was another highlight. Loads of reds packed into Villa Park. Even when we went behind, I knew we'd come back. Robbo's equalizer and Whiteside's winner will live long in the memory. When Robbo scored, a girl jumped on my back and almost throttled me.



    Almost forgot the League Cup semi at Highbury. That was a good game too.

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  16. Nov 25, 2018
    #16

    kundalini Full Member

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    Although Atkinson wasn't United's first choice for the job (Lawrie McMenemy, Bobby Robson and possibly Ron Saunders, turned us down), he got the position due to the exciting football his West Brom team played. There was plenty of pressure to win the title during that time. Tons of discussion on the number of years since United had won the title.

    With the exception of striker (Stapleton, Alan Brazil, Terry Gibson, Peter Davenport), Atkinson tended to make decent choices in the transfer market. Olsen and Strachan were both high quality players, Bryan Robson, Muhren was never quite as good as he was for Ipswich. Atkinson inherited Ray Wilkins, Albiston, Gary Bailey, Moran, McQueen, Coppell. Whiteside, Hogg and Hughes came through the youth system while Atkinson was in charge. McGrath joined from Ireland but not sure whether that was at the end of the Sexton era or beginning of Atkinson.

    To a large extent, Atkinson performed as well as you could reasonably expect him to do, given his record before joining United. Of course the club will have hoped that he would add competence to his brand of exciting football but he never quite managed that.

    Both LVG and Mourinho joined United as serial title winners across various leagues yet have failed to reproduce that winning formula, or even get close to it, despite having huge financial resources to bring in players.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  17. Nov 25, 2018
    #17

    Strachans Cigar Full Member

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    Last time I looked on YouTube I couldn’t find any footage of the ‘83 semi v The Arse, but remember the Whiteside goal really well so great to see it again :)

    The other thing I remember about that game was Big Ron being interviewed by BBC/ITV afterwards under a shower of bottles lobbed from the Arsenal supporters. Ah, those were the days :)

    Great Scousebusting FA Cup run of ‘85 too. Robbos goal in the SF replay. Tremendous.

    What we could do with a captain marvel now.

    That 85-86 10 game winning start & what happened next still pisses me off now. Grr.
  18. Nov 25, 2018
    #18

    Moriarty Full Member

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    @Strachans Cigar That replay was some match. The noise was deafening in Maine Road that night. Liverpool looked deflated at the end, which was something you rarely saw. I still can't fathom why we never made a bid for Paul Walsh when he was at Charlton or Luton. Always thought he'd have been a great addition to the side.

  19. Nov 25, 2018
    #19

    Rory 7 Full Member

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    We were never boring in 1985. Never.
  20. Nov 25, 2018
    #20

    Rory 7 Full Member

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    Robson, Whiteside, McGrath, Moran, Hughes, Olsen, Strachan. They'd all walk into today's team.
  21. Nov 25, 2018
    #21

    Sir Scott McToMinay Full Member

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    With the experience and the memories of being around before the SAF days, realistically, who would you like to see come here as a manager to get us out of this mess?
  22. Nov 25, 2018
    #22

    deafepl Full Member

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    We abandoned our traditions policy to play an attractive brand of the football and entertaining our fans since the Glazers have overtaken us. Ajax, Bayern and Barcelona always keep the tradition, they would never drop that even for short success instant.
  23. Nov 25, 2018
    #23

    Moriarty Full Member

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    Yep, and we also had Steve Coppell until he was forced to retire, not to mention the underrated Remi Moses and Ray Wilkins. I'd take those players over what we have today. You could toss a coin for De Gea and Bailey, Duxbury would get in over Young, Albiston over Shaw, McQueen, McGrath, or Moran over Smalling and Lindelof. Wilkins, Muhren, Robson, and Strachan over any of our current midfield, Moses over Matic at DM, and Stapleton, Joe Jordan, or Whiteside over Lukaku or Sanchez any day.
  24. Nov 25, 2018
    #24

    Josh 76 New Member

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    Toss a coin for Bailey and De Gea?, steady on mate.
  25. Nov 25, 2018
    #25

    Moriarty Full Member

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    Bailey was a terrific young goalie. He wasn't as agile as De Gea but he pulled off some remarkable saves.
  26. Nov 25, 2018
    #26

    Red Dreams Full Member

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    Bailey was That good.
  27. Nov 25, 2018
    #27

    Red Dreams Full Member

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    Remember Atkinson bringing in Robson.
    When asked if he was worth the record fee, he said.
    "He is pure gold"

    Not wrong was he?

    This side cannot hold a candle to that team.
  28. Nov 25, 2018
    #28

    Josh 76 New Member

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    I'm not saying Bailey wasn't a terrific young goalie, but he is no way near De Gea.
    Bailey wasn't even in the top 4 or 5 goal keepers in the Country, never mind in the World. (In the 80s).
  29. Nov 25, 2018
    #29

    Moriarty Full Member

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    I have to disagree. If England hadn't persisted with the aging Shilton, Bailey would have won far more caps. He certainly was in the top five 1st Division goalies. I know this is only a short video but it's worth watching.

  30. Nov 25, 2018
    #30

    Schneckerl Full Member

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    Don't think Bayern are known for having a special tradition of playing attractive football. Just a tradition of winning.
  31. Nov 25, 2018
    #31

    buckooo1978 Full Member

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    Some contrast to the way Jose has spoken about Pogba eh
  32. Nov 25, 2018
    #32

    buchansleftleg Full Member

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    Yes the 85 side just needed that prolific goalscorer to rip apart the easy sides. We had goals from all over the team but Liverpool had always had that Dalglish /Rush type striker that would nick the 1-0 wins on the road against the lesser teams.

    United under Atkinson always seemed to have an issue playing against the London sides away.

    Never sure if that was down to having too much fun in London or not having a ruthless striker.
  33. Nov 25, 2018
    #33

    galwayfa New Member

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    Stapleton never lost an Ariel dual, robbo won every tackle, Whiteside was a genius and McGrath was mcgraMc. How did we not win a league,
  34. Nov 26, 2018
    #34

    Whiteside1985 Full Member

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    Some real die-hard leaders in that team.
    Players who would run through a brick wall for the team, battle against niggly injuries and still put their hands up for selection.

    Grit, a good team culture, players who would lead by example.

    The current side may have 'technically' better players, but are sorely lacking those key attributes.

    We need a Robson.
  35. Nov 26, 2018
    #35

    Sir Scott McToMinay Full Member

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    Can’t think of many players who played with such non existing levels of disregard for their own welfare in the tackle like Robson. We could definitely do with a Robson in this team.
  36. Nov 26, 2018
    #36

    Strachans Cigar Full Member

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    Yep re: the strikers, amazing that we had a gap from George Best (in 1968) and Brian McClair (in 1988) between 20 goal strikers!

    Lineker clearly would have been a very good signing.
  37. Nov 26, 2018
    #37

    padzilla Hipster

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    We were an exciting team back then more suited for cup runs than league campaigns. We were much more exciting plus we largely had better players - Robson, Whiteside, Strachan, Olsen, McGrath and Hughes would be guaranteed first teamers in this squad we have now - if it was the other way round I would say only De Gea and maybe Pogba could say the same. That says it all really.
  38. Nov 26, 2018
    #38

    MoskvaRed Full Member

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    The mid-80s team was exciting to watch but frustrating (they would beat Liverpool and then drop points against much lesser teams). The current United team (and wider club to be honest) is insipid and soulless, to the point that I feel apathy more than anger.
  39. Nov 26, 2018
    #39

    POF Full Member

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    Phil Jones!

    Robson was a fantastic footballer. Going into tackles with complete disregard for his welfare was a weakness, not a strength. That United side relied on him and he missed too many games through injury.
  40. Nov 26, 2018
    #40

    Darkhorsez Full Member

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    Yeah good summary - oh brings back lots of memories! Remember it was my first year at Uni and I won a windfall on a sweepstake - don’t even remember what for. Norman was my hero having displaced Steve Coppell. Southall was an amazing keeper and how he curled that ball in out of his reach, amazing.