Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Edgar Allan Pillow, Nov 30, 2017.
I'm going to ask my non-United mates this, beings as it's a question I've never posed before.
I don't buy it, though.
Established world stars coming into the league was always the thing - the wankfest over someone like Klinsmann, was on another level because the league was absolutely devoid of these kinds of players beings as they had no reason to be here over Serie A and then La Liga.
Outside of United, and on a league scale, everything went up a number notches once we (United) started playing giants of Europe.
I don't think any one player was responsible for the explosion of the league, personally.
Cantona elevated our profile to heights untold, but I don't see the connection between that and the league at large. Great attacking teams and the age-old rivalries did that, or Fergie himself and his infamous clashes with Keegan and Wenger.
That's my take, anyway.
I wasn't lucky enough to be a fan of United during Cantona's time, but after reading his biography (the Philippe Auclair,) I have no doubt that he was every bit the legend many claim him to be.
Sneijder or Gaitan
I think you underestimate the impact he had. He was the catalyst that put us on the road from being also rans to being the biggest team on the planet, and in turn dragged the league out of the 80s and gave it a personality that the FA have marketed the hell out of until the present day.
Spot on! Cantona was the catalyst for making United and the Prem what they are today. No two ways about it. He had a bigger impact on the English game than any player before or after. Not even debatable unless someone started watching after 1997.
Honest question - did you start following the game and United after 1998? That would make this understandable. You fail to realize what Cantona did. Do read that Planet Football article on him and you'll start to perhaps get a sense of the magnitude of his impact. Keegan, Wenger... these feuds and clashes would never have occurred at all if there were to be no Cantona. We'd not have the league dominance and we would likely have lost Fergie too if we'd failed yet again (we were 5th when Cantona joined).
As for the league, the PL was shiny and new, but still trailed the Serie A in particular by miles when it came to a global base. United led the PL's charge in overseas popularity. And United were propelled by Cantona. Really, I don't know what I could say, but as someone who lived through it all, I can tell you that I know fans of all hues who readily admit that Eric Cantona just has to be the most influential player in the league's history (even if not the "best" at anything specific. Maybe kung-fu?). Cantona's emergence was the perfect storm. Great player, mass media explosion, big money with United, best manager going and of course the "Class of '92)... None of this would be folklore though if not for The King.
I think you're conflating two things here. My post prior to responding to yours directly stated my thoughts on what Cantona did for us and I said that, without question he would be the next in line for a statue. I've never given much thought to what he would've done to the league at large, until I read what you posted.
You go back to that time period and Klinsmann was a player with a world profile, Shearer became a megastar because of Euro '96 and when the likes of Zola arrived there was a shock off his name alone (that he would even come to England).
If you're saying that without him, we wouldn't have gotten to the platform to be acknowledged as we were, then sure, but if you're saying that because of what he did for us, it somehow impacted upon the whole league, moreso, then say, those epic clashes with Juventus from when we were facing them in the mid 90's all the way until when we were their equals by the end of the decade - when the league really exploded - then, again, I don't see the connection as he'd long since retired by then and our profile directly elevated as direct by-product of our exploits in Europe, not the Premier League.
Would you say Manchester United became the brand they are, with the profile they had without Europe? That actually goes for Busby's era, too - we are intrinsically tied to our exploits in the European Cup and it is that, too, that elevated Best to global star, just as it did the club to global entity.
It's threadworthy in itself to pose this question to non-United fans in the other forum. They won't share any romanticism we may have, and will call a spade a spade. I just think you're making a massive leap with taking him from catalyst for us to catalyst for the entire Premier League.
I watched a United before Fergie arrived, so no, not post -'98.
As I said above, it's quite a leap to take a player from our legend to catalyst for an entire league, especially in that climate where he wasn't the biggest name globally, and made his name here.
Klinsmann coming to England when he did was a huge furore at the time, huge. One could argue he ushered in others by being so high profile and off the back of him, more stars came.
I don't think anyone is talking about 'best' in this convo, just purely most important, for the entire league at large, not just Manchester United.
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"The Unknown Fan"
i agree totally with that i our darkest hour jimmy murphy kept uniteds light shining to prove to the football world the man united will never die god rest you jimmy
I dunno why but this post made me feel weird in a sad way.
How about Eric Djemba Djemba?
George Best was way bigger. El Beatle to millions who had barely any interest in football at all, and one of the top players that ever lived for those that did. Best got more world-wide publicity in a month than Cantona in a career. I'm a Cantona fan too, but your statement isn't just debatable, it's wrong.
That's a brilliant shout. Was the start of a great era and also allows players like Giggs / Scholes to be recognised too.
Jimmy Murphy and put it next to Sir Matt's.
He is talking about EPL I think.
Agree about El Beatle, nobody can match his mystic, that aura. I mean even my parents were not born when he played for us, but you just need to watch a 3min video of him(no I have even watched full matches yet) to get that feel. He is electrifying, the first superstar of English football.
Class of 92 is a nice idea but the problem with it is that 3 of them contributed significantly more to the club than the others
As much as I love them becks, butt and phizza really don't warrant such an accolade imho
I'd rather commerate the treble winning squad as a whole somehow. Perhaps something similar to 'the raising of the flag on iwo jima' but with the whole squad holding up maysie
Way to make me feel old.
I jumped out of my chair when he scored that goal against Benfica in the European Cup Final.
tbh my mom must have been 1 year when he scored that goal, and my dad was not born yet
I'd build a statue of someone who has done tireless work for the local community, a lifetime of effort to improve the local life...
Let the club get behind the people instead of building statues of lucky men that were born with a talent and got paid a ton of money
Picture the scene:
An empty perch, with a dead Liver bird on the ground next to it. Meanwhile, a bronze bust of SAF in full hunting regalia lies prone with rifle in the bushes nearby.
Peter Bolton in a quiet spot on a decorative bench.
This one goes behind them.
No offense intended but I'm assuming you a little too young at the time he played?
Cantona really was the difference maker. We had a good team with some battlers and excellent pro's but he was the catalyst. The world class player in his prime and the presence he brought. Signing him made us Champions and then when that team broke up he was the most important player when Giggs, Scholes, Beckham etc; were coming through and making their mark. It says it all we won the league 4/4 times he played a full season (2 of which were doubles). The reason we didn't win the league was his suspension. He retired and we won nothing the next season.
92/93 - first league in 26 years
93/94 - first club double
94/95 - suspended most the season won nothing
95/96 - double
96/97 - won the league
97/98 - he'd retired we won nothing
So for Footballing reasons and for everything else he meant he absolutely would be my choice for a statue. In my lifetime (born in 1985) not one single player had the impact on the club as much as Cantona. It was instant and took us to a level we hadn't seen in over 20 years.
Pure arrogance as a player too, in a good sense.
I think of him as a bit if a Zlatan+ in modern terms.
He gave his all for the club playing through pain and injury as well as turning out with some players who had half of his ability. He could have moved if he wanted but he stayed and finally saw that elusive title.
Yeah, he was filthy. A nutter and in a great way too. By all accounts everybody at the club loved him and so Fergie. Just watch the way the likes of Beckham and Giggs talk about him. If we have another player in the next 20 years that equals his impact we are in for a lot of fun.
I'd also be more than happy to see Robson get a statue. A better leader and tougher player mentally and physically you probably can't find.
Spot on close the thread
Wait another 10 years to erect the new holy trinity statue of Rashford, Martial and Pogba
Probably yes this. Your post has had me most convinced. Even though I did state he was brilliant earlier when I saw him (nearer to the end) so I don't need to defend his (lack of) quality.
Nice post thanks
Speak like a true man, mate. Kids. You can't win anything with kids.
Something like this?
If I was a mod I'd ban you, worst post I've ever read on this site.
Klinsmann came to England 2 years after Cantona. Zola 4 years after in the same year Shearer lit up Euro 96. Cantona helped raised the profile of the league to one players like Klinsmann and Zola would even consider joining. I'm not sure either would've picked pre-Premiership English football ahead of the more glamorous options on the continent.
Maybe Klinsmann would've come and done it. Maybe Zola would have - we'll never know that. I have my doubts that either had the charisma to go with their undoubted talent to make the impace the King had even if they had.
What we do know is that Cantona came and raised the profile of this league more than any other individual. For the first two or three seasons he was the superstar. He was the player every kid dreamt of being and the player people from other countries tuned in to watch the Premier League as well as, or instead of, Serie A. He was our answer to Baggio, Batistuta and Van Basten but with added panache, controversy and je ne sais quoi.
Thank heavens your not then. Damn you horrible person who doesn't share the same views as me.
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