Atkinson's United

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Skills, Dec 6, 2018 at 07:45.

  1. Dec 6, 2018 at 07:45
    #1

    Skills Snitch

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    How was it for those who remember watching it?
    I wasn't even born at the time but it seemed like it was very unlucky team. Won a couple of FA Cups and were near the top of the table, throughout his tenure but never had quite enough to actually win it.

    Would he have eventually figured it out had been given more time? Did people feel that his sacking was a bit premature considering what he'd achieved at the club already? How was the football compared to the Ferguson years and after?
  2. Dec 6, 2018 at 07:52
    #2

    Darkhorsez Full Member

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    I always had a soft spot for Big Ron. A positive manager with a lot chrisma. Seem to remember him wearing a toga of gold jewelry :D I was actually gutted when he was sacked. But the truth is that during his time, we were very inconsistent. Lots of highs and lows. I suppose that’s why we did better in the cups than the league. Time has told us that it was a good decision to make the change.
  3. Dec 6, 2018 at 08:09
    #3

    Revaulx Full Member

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    Good coach. Good football. Poor team builder; Robbo was a great player but the lack of any sort of strategy to prevent the team turning to crap during his frequent absences was Ron’s undoing. The same was true of Sexton and Wilkins though.

    Letting Robbo rule the dressing room and suck the likes of Whiteside and McGrath into his drinking circle was grossly negligent. Everyone in Hale and Bowdon knew what was going on.

    I’m absolutely certain he wouldn’t have been able to turn things round, and given the random stuff he was doing towards the end, I’m not sure he thought he could either. Sexton’s sacking seemed a lot less justified at the time.
  4. Dec 6, 2018 at 10:07
    #4

    Strachans Cigar Full Member

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    People say this about Big Ron & whilst it’s hard to disagree with any of this whilst he was at Utd, don’t forget he built a mighty fine Villa team afterwards that pushed us all the way in the PL. So whether he’d learned from some mistakes and errors of judgement previously in his career I’m not sure, but a more mature Big Ron COULD have delivered us a league title no question, that Villa side proves it.
  5. Dec 6, 2018 at 10:14
    #5

    Patrick220571 Full Member

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    Always liked Big Ron. Set his teams up to play good football and entertain.

    He was unlucky that our key players in that era, Robson, Whiteside and McGrath were all injury prone. Liverpool were a good distance ahead of us though, even though we could match them on any given day, we lacked the consistency to match them over a season.
  6. Dec 6, 2018 at 10:40
    #6

    Revaulx Full Member

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    Oh I agree. He was helped by McGrath staying fit all season, and Souness being an idiot and letting him have Houghton and Staunton :)
  7. Dec 6, 2018 at 10:48
    #7

    Moriarty Full Member

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  8. Dec 6, 2018 at 10:50
    #8

    Maticmaker New Member

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    Ron Atkinson, lots of football 'nous' but seemed to lack strategic capability in his planning.

    Ron had some good teams and played some good football, cup wins a speciality, but could never seem to advanced all short term gains, unable to progress. As others have said, or indicated, his experience at United made him a better manager afterwards and Villa reaped the rewards.
  9. Dec 7, 2018 at 10:39
    #9

    Revaulx Full Member

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    Sums him up perfectly.

    He signed plenty of good players, and with the exception of Alan Brazil (who was obviously finished by injuries; our medical department has history) they all played well for us. It was rather haphazard though; you never got the idea that he was identifying areas of weakness and bringing in players to fill the gaps.

    The weirdest one was Peter Beardsley. Bought for £300k (younger readers: a big sum in those far-off days), played for about 10 minutes, given back on a free a few months later.

    His record at bringing on homegrown or cheaply signed young players was decent: Hughes, McGrath, Blackmore, Hogg and Whiteside all did well to varying degrees. He seemed to do better at clubs both before and after United (West Bromwich; Villa) where his spending was more restricted and he was forced to take more care before splashing out.
  10. Dec 7, 2018 at 11:30
    #10

    Oldgiggsfan New Member

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    Had some great individuals but never enough consistency to challenge at the top.
    Great character though.
  11. Dec 7, 2018 at 12:35
    #11

    Class of 63 Full Member

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    A nearly man who just got too giddy when the pressure was cranked up, but saying that I feel if he could have got Mark Lawrenson(who wanted to come), and Gary Lineker we'd have almost certainly won the League under Big Ron, eventually
  12. Dec 7, 2018 at 12:46
    #12

    poleglass red Full Member

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    Ron liked the fast life as much as any of his players. Was different times back then re fitness and how players looked after themselves but he allowed the likes of Robson et al too much rope.Big Ron had a good footballing perspective, his teams played exciting football. There's a story at Villa where Deadly Doug got a call from an agent offering a top class player. He tried to contact Big Ron in so many different ways to let know but couldn't get a hold of him, Big Ron had fecked off to Barbados or somewhere like that, the player signed for someone else. Sums up big Ron to perfection. It's no surprise he did well at smaller clubs, where the pressure wasn't so great. Always had time for big Ron, he knew the game just maybe lacked the focus to be a top, top manager. 85 fa cup still to this day, one of my favourite memories even through all the subsequent glories we've had
  13. Dec 7, 2018 at 12:50
    #13

    Red4Ever Full Member

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    Won the first 10 or so games in 85 season and I thought it was finally gonna be our time. Collapsed badly we had the mad dogs but we were a small enough team imo & injuries and what fergie rooted out as a drinking culture didn’t help. The team that made me fall in love with united as a boy though
  14. Dec 7, 2018 at 13:42
    #14

    Spoony The People's President

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    I loved Big Ron's United. But I'm biased - I truly fell in love with United during the early 80s.
  15. Dec 7, 2018 at 14:03
    #15

    Addled New Member

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    I always smile when I think of Big Rons United. Bailey, Albiston, McGrath, Moran, McQueen, Buchan, Robson, Whiteside Copell, Stapleton et al. Ron always tried to get the team playing proper football. He had his weaknesses but I will always remember that era fondly.
  16. Dec 7, 2018 at 14:53
    #16

    bonothom New Member

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    Won the first 10 games of the 1985/86 season before collapsing after Xmas before eventually finishing 4th. I remember reading the headlines of 'give them the title now' when they were on the winning run. First 15 games unbeaten and 10 points clear. I remember Big Ron blaming the muddy pitches for Uniteds demise that season. I read recently that after that season he wanted to quit in the summer as he thought he couldn't take the team any further. They then started the next season as they'd finished the previous one and he was sacked with United in the bottom 3.

    Regarding the drinking culture I think Fergie referred to it as the drinking club.
  17. Dec 7, 2018 at 15:51
    #17

    Rifer Full Member

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    Wasn't born in the period of the time either.
    But it seems post-Busby and pre-Ferguson still adhere to the similar positive attacking football ideas of Busby era plus the identity which makes United famous worldwide eg. youth, exciting players and hardworking players whom fans will get connected to, etc.

    That's what matters the most and exciting, and I felt the club just built up on each successive manager, while making sure to retain the same ideas, eventually hit the jackpot with Alex Ferguson.

    Basically, whoever is in charge back then knows more about football and especially the United's brand of football. Heard one of our managers in those period even get sacked for finishing second or something, that's huge or maybe there may be some more reasons behind that, nevertheless. Also heard fans back then doesn't mind too much not winning too many trophies especially league (comparing to post-Ferguson where fans even 'tolerating' managers like Mourinho of the later two seasons and second season LVG), we win so very few trophies mostly cups and second league titles when promotion in those days. Having a more consistent weekly of usually good fun United football and players playing that way helps a lot I suppose to cheer more unconditionally to winning trophies.

    If other posters could clarify all of these would be cool. :smirk:

    Anyway, on topic, Atkinson's United is also exciting, Robson leading the team is so fun to watch. The squad Atkinson assembled should have win a lot more though, impressive assembly of exciting good players but football is not won on papers.
  18. Dec 7, 2018 at 17:13
    #18

    Foxbatt Full Member

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    I was lucky enough to see his best match. This was the 3-0 drubbing of Barcelona and Maradona etc. Actually it was not a drubbing as we hung on for dear life at the end as it was a home and away and we scored 3 goals and we had to stop them from scoring. Robson got two.
    We played Juve in the semis and they had Rossi, Platini, Boniek etc. We just lost by the odd goal and Robson did not play because he was injured. I do not think even Wilkins played as he may have been injured too.
    Whiteside was a beast even at that young age. He was nasty too. When you look at the players we had it is a wonder why we did not win the league. Man for man they were as good as Liverpool's.
  19. Dec 7, 2018 at 17:16
    #19

    Class of 63 Full Member

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    United(13-3-4-6-16-16-13) were 19th when Big Ron was sacked, the only teams below us were Chelsea, Manchester City, and Newcastle.
  20. Dec 7, 2018 at 17:21
    #20

    Skills Snitch

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    I grew up watching those highlights constantly on MUTV (though I'm born almost 10 years after the game actually happened) :D
  21. Dec 7, 2018 at 17:22
    #21

    buchansleftleg Full Member

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    The pretty appalling pitches in what was then the First Division didn't help a team that liked to get the ball down and play.

    The agricultural tackling that teams were allowed get away with didnt help either. The fact you 'got one for free" early in the game created a lot of injuries and wear and tear.

    I didn't mind full blooded tackles but the sneaky wack on the leg early doors as a "reducer" was pretty endemic still.
  22. Dec 7, 2018 at 17:37
    #22

    Foxbatt Full Member

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    The next match we get beaten by Coventry. That was the ups and downs of a United fan those days.
  23. Dec 7, 2018 at 17:55
    #23

    bonothom New Member

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    Yeah sorry I knew it was near the bottom, 4th from bottom. Never finished lower than 4th in his full seasons in charge. Great personality, Big Ron, always remember the exuberant celebration after Whitesides winner against Everton in the 85 Cup Final.
  24. Dec 7, 2018 at 18:15
    #24

    Class of 63 Full Member

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    I didn't think we were that low in the League to be honest, i'd have said 14/15th at worst, but those stats are from the Oxford United programme(SAF's first match)on 08/11/86
  25. Dec 7, 2018 at 18:17
    #25

    Moriarty Full Member

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    Ah, the infamous post-European hangover. United are the only team that seem to suffer from it. Liverpool would win away in Europe, come home, and batter some poor sods on the following Saturday. European football was such a rarity in those days for us that the players probably went on a three-day bender after the Barca game, and Big Ron probably did too.
  26. Dec 7, 2018 at 18:20
    #26

    Darkhorsez Full Member

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    :lol:
  27. Dec 7, 2018 at 18:25
    #27

    Moriarty Full Member

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    My kid sister used to work at Mere Country Club and also at the Belfry when she was at college. United players would often go there and Big Ron would turn up, dressed to the nines and dripping gold, and order bottles of fizz. She said it was surreal but they were great tippers.
  28. Dec 7, 2018 at 18:29
    #28

    Darkhorsez Full Member

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    I could just imagine that. The gold and big smile!
  29. Dec 7, 2018 at 18:36
    #29

    Class of 63 Full Member

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    It was WBA at the Hawthorns(2-0)
  30. Dec 7, 2018 at 18:52
    #30

    Sauldogba New Member

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    Wasnt born when he was our manager but is it safe to say his tenure was a slightly more entertaining version of lvgs?
  31. Dec 8, 2018 at 00:03
    #31

    buchansleftleg Full Member

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    No Ron's side played with flair and verve, especially against the big sides.

    He just had a problem with consistency against smaller clubs and there was an issue playing against London teams, probably due to players looking forward to going to Stringfellows after the game.
  32. Dec 8, 2018 at 00:49
    #32

    big rons sovereign New Member

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    Started watching united when Ron was in charge. Seemed like everybody was a liverpool fan but me. Bunch of dicks. Nothings changed there. I wouldn't have swapped Robbo or Jesper or Whiteside for any of their shower. Maybe Chris Turner, he was crap and i didn't trust his moustache.
    But they were definitely inconsistent, destroying West Brom one week then losing to Chelsea another.

    On a side note though, having grown up having to listen to the scousers bleating week after week, it felt so great seeing Fergie knock them off their perch :devil:
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2018 at 01:05
  33. Dec 9, 2018 at 00:11
    #33

    The Brown Bull Full Member

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    Nailed it.
  34. Dec 9, 2018 at 02:54
    #34

    Foxbatt Full Member

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    My mistake but that was a long time back and I knew it was somewhere around there in the midlands.
  35. Dec 9, 2018 at 02:55
    #35

    Foxbatt Full Member

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    I never understood why he bought Chris Tuner. He was short for a keeper I think.
  36. Dec 9, 2018 at 20:47
    #36

    Class of 63 Full Member

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