Would United have won the league with Tommy Docherty?

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by vidic blood & sand, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. Sep 30, 2018
    #1

    vidic blood & sand Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,137
    We were an exciting up and coming team that Shankly said would win the league within a few years, and then after a an FA Cup win over Liverpool, the Doc was sacked. Enter Dave Sexton........
    Docherty wanted to sign Peter Shilton, but the club refused his £200 a week wage demands. Seems crazy by todays crazy standards. But with Our young exciting team, and Shilton in goal, it would have been interesting what would have happened.
  2. Sep 30, 2018
    #2

    el3mel Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2016
    Messages:
    26,469
    Location:
    Egypt
    I know yesterday was pretty tough but feck sake, not to that degree! :D
  3. Sep 30, 2018
    #3

    vidic blood & sand Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,137
    :lol:
    Thinking back to the post Busby era and all the appointments seemed wrong apart from the Doc.
  4. Sep 30, 2018
    #4

    Salus Populi Suprema Lex Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,779
    Location:
    Salford
    My dad says no, not against that Liverpool team of the time, so I'll have to trust him. Doc's side were great to watch but Liverpool were a ruthless machine. The old man hath spoken :D
  5. Sep 30, 2018
    #5

    Al-T Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    676
    Location:
    The Slough of Despond
    Maybe if he'd never picked Paddy Roche......
  6. Sep 30, 2018
    #6

    Moriarty Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,886
    Location:
    Reichenbach Falls
    Supports:
    A wife and a cat.
    Tell your dad I think the Doc would have had us champions by 1980, Liverpool notwithstanding. We'd have built on that FA Cup win, added a couple of players, and mounted a serious challenge. But he's right that Liverpool were a machine. A machine that could back-pass anyone to death.
  7. Sep 30, 2018
    #7

    Inigo Montoya Leave Wayne Rooney alone!!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    20,743
    No.

    He wasn't pragmatic enough. His mantra of 'you score 3, we'll score 4,' worked against some clubs but wasn't clever enough to win titles
  8. Sep 30, 2018
    #8

    Revaulx Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Messages:
    1,729
    Location:
    Saddleworth
    United’s best chance of winning the league under the Doc was 1975-76. Liverpool only started to become a ruthless machine after beating United (and Dave Sexton’s very good QPR) to the league title that year.

    Indeed! It was bizarre; Stepney was still playing well at the time. We should have hung onto Jimmy Rimmer.
  9. Sep 30, 2018
    #9

    Robbie Boy Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Messages:
    17,638
    Location:
    Dublin
    Lol.
  10. Sep 30, 2018
    #10

    Moriarty Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,886
    Location:
    Reichenbach Falls
    Supports:
    A wife and a cat.
    He did all right on his debut but had a nightmare at Anfield the following week, then another at Highbury a week or two after that. I was at Maine Road for the League Cup match which we lost 0-4. It wasn't just Paddy Roche that night. The whole team were shocking and even Martin Buchan gave the ball away for one of their goals. That bad run came at a bad time too with Christmas on the horizon.
  11. Sep 30, 2018
    #11

    K2K Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    18,155
    Location:
    "Can Manchester United score? They always score"
    Didnt he get us relegated?
  12. Sep 30, 2018
    #12

    Salus Populi Suprema Lex Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,779
    Location:
    Salford
    Yes, he was manager when we went down, though it wasn't his team. He broke the side up, got us promoted first time and then up towards the top of the First Division.
  13. Sep 30, 2018
    #13

    diarm Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    9,244
    Location:
    Dublin
    I'd fight a real life bear for a bit of that mantra right now.
  14. Sep 30, 2018
    #14

    Salus Populi Suprema Lex Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,779
    Location:
    Salford
    Definitely
  15. Sep 30, 2018
    #15

    711 Full Member Scout

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    Messages:
    19,056
    Location:
    Don't Sign Old Players
    I remember it being said that Docherty's was the youngest team ever to have played in the top division at the time, which may or may not be true, but it was certainly young. Attacking and exciting, I'd love to have those days back again.
  16. Sep 30, 2018
    #16

    Mike Oxard Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    Messages:
    531
    Docherty put a ‘Cup Team’ together. Players who could turn a game on their day, but nowhere near the best in the league (bit like we are now actually.). So the answer is no, not a chance.
  17. Sep 30, 2018
    #17

    Salus Populi Suprema Lex Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,779
    Location:
    Salford
    Surely the Babes were younger? Not sure, but I would guess so.
  18. Sep 30, 2018
    #18

    711 Full Member Scout

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    Messages:
    19,056
    Location:
    Don't Sign Old Players
    Yeah the Babes were average age 21/22, I'm glad I hedged my bets!. Thinking a bit more it was probably a side Dochert put out in one particular week, but I'm buggered if I'm going to set about researching that. The point is he bought young, attacking, exciting players so he's one of the better managers for me.
  19. Sep 30, 2018
    #19

    Revaulx Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Messages:
    1,729
    Location:
    Saddleworth
    Yikes - so was I!

    Yes that was a shocker. At the time Roche was blamed for sucking all the confidence out of what was after all a young and inexperienced team. The team recovered fairly quickly though; it was the awful defeat at Ipswich towards the end of the season that really killed it.
  20. Sep 30, 2018
    #20

    Moriarty Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,886
    Location:
    Reichenbach Falls
    Supports:
    A wife and a cat.
    Yes, that and back to back defeats to Leicester and Stoke just after that. I remember the Leicester match because the Doc played Peter Coyne, a kid we had high hopes for. He scored too but never made much of an impact. In those days, any youngster that played for us was the next great thing. Shame we didn't have Jimmy Greenhoff that season.
  21. Sep 30, 2018
    #21

    Addled New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2013
    Messages:
    451
    I distinctly remember that this was “an accusation” that was thrown at the Doc. The belief was we could beat anyone on our day but consistency was beyond us. I think at the time of his sacking this was probably true but had he been given time I think he would have won the league. However, it is very important to remember that the Edwards owned United at the time. They were not the type of people to spend money easily.
    The contrast with today could not be more stark. The Doc had the attitude that his team would always out score the opposition. Jose hates the opposition scoring.
    Attack, attack attack versus defend, defend, defend.
  22. Sep 30, 2018
    #22

    Fitchett Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Messages:
    770
    Location:
    Manchester
    No!
    They were a great team to watch, full of bold attacking football, with a real fighting spirit. But they were a touch naive. Think of a Klopp team and you won't be far away.
    Liverpool at that time were the complete article, the same way that we were once Fergie had sorted us out.
    So, we were a cup winning team then, but not a league title winning team.
    Far better to watch though than the dross we've had to endure since SAF retired.
  23. Sep 30, 2018
    #23

    SirMattlives Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2018
    Messages:
    88
    My memory of the Doc era is a little less positive. He took us down, sure, and we played awfully that season. Not his team? Well, no, but he had a season and a half of them and never got much going so relegation was at least partly his fault, at least by today's standards. The young team that came through was exciting enough, great memories of Stuart Pearson bangin' them in, Gordon Hill lobbing it over defenders and catching the volley on the other side, Coppell bounding down the wing but I never really felt that squad strong enough to beat Liverpool and the likes over a season. The Doc was great for quip and sense that all was positive, and we could use a bit of that now, (and some of Martin Buchan's magic at the back) but his managerial career never really showed he could assemble champions. I'd vote 'no' but the thought does bring a smile.
  24. Sep 30, 2018
    #24

    Sultan السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته Staff

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Messages:
    43,615
    Location:
    Don't talk unless you can improve the silence
    The atmosphere during Doc years was probably the best ever I enjoyed. Loved watching the team. Winning the league would have been difficult due to Leeds and Liverpool having strong teams.
  25. Sep 30, 2018
    #25

    Mike Oxard Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    Messages:
    531
    Amen to that. It was a lot of fun, but to be honest, life was more fun generally back then.
  26. Sep 30, 2018
    #26

    Moriarty Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,886
    Location:
    Reichenbach Falls
    Supports:
    A wife and a cat.
    Leeds were on the skids though. We beat them home and away that season. Sammy Mac scored a brace at Elland Road when they tried to kick us off the pitch. Liverpool were just beginning their dominance but I still think that, with the addition of a good central midfielder and centre half, we would have been more consistent. The addition of Jimmy Greenhoff the next season added more goals but the Doc never addressed the need for a midfield general like a Giles or a Wilkins. Oh well, What might have been...
  27. Sep 30, 2018
    #27

    wolvored Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2016
    Messages:
    4,372
    You have to believe we would have been close. He had a lot of young players Hill Coppell Daly etc along with a lot of scottish players, but finishing 3rd after coming up was a fantastic achievement. If only he could have kept his hands off Mrs Brown.
  28. Sep 30, 2018
    #28

    freddie the red New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Messages:
    222
    A team with a beautiful buccaneering spirit, much like our 95 lot, the complete antithesis of what we are currently enduring.
  29. Sep 30, 2018
    #29

    Sultan السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته Staff

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Messages:
    43,615
    Location:
    Don't talk unless you can improve the silence
    Leeds were so physical and dirty. You're right I think they were ageing and coming to the end of their dominance.
  30. Sep 30, 2018
    #30

    Salus Populi Suprema Lex Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,779
    Location:
    Salford
    Fair post.
  31. Sep 30, 2018
    #31

    Revaulx Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Messages:
    1,729
    Location:
    Saddleworth
    All true. Maybe if Holton had stayed fit and Brian Greenhoff had remained a defensive midfielder? Gerry Daly may have been binned off too soon as well; he was still very good for a declining Derby side for a year or two after leaving Old Trafford.

    People have forgotten the immediate positive impact Wilkins had on the team when he arrived in 1979. We finished only two points behind Liverpool in his first season.
  32. Sep 30, 2018
    #32

    Moriarty Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,886
    Location:
    Reichenbach Falls
    Supports:
    A wife and a cat.
    Good old Gerry Daly. Scored a pen against the Bitters in a League Cup tie and send the place mad. The Doc didn't seem too bothered about the defence. Houston and Forsyth spent most of their time upfield and even Buchan played up by the halfway line for a lot of games. We could never slow a game down and a player like Wilkins would have added an extra dimension. I always liked him, especially when he held Chelsea to ransom to get the move to United. The chavs don't talk about that much.
  33. Sep 30, 2018
    #33

    lysglimt Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    8,005
    It was a young side, not counting Stepney the average was close to 22. At the start of the 75/76 season our most used players that season were:

    Stepney was close to 33
    Forsyth was 23
    Buchan was 26
    Houston was 26
    Coppell was 20
    Daly was 21
    McIlroy was 21
    Hill was 21
    Macari was 26
    Pearson was 26
    McCreery was 18
    Nicholl was 18
    Jackson was 26

    I still think this team was at least 3-4 quality players short of beating Liverpool.
  34. Sep 30, 2018
    #34

    Moriarty Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,886
    Location:
    Reichenbach Falls
    Supports:
    A wife and a cat.
    I remember the day he arrived. I'd gone down to Palace with some mates from school when we got battered 0-5. Someone had heard that Tommy Doc was in the stands watching so rumours started to fly because we all knew Frank O'Farrell was on his way out. Two days before Christmas, the Doc strode out onto the pitch at Old Trafford. The place was electric and Leeds were the opponents. Willie Morgan crossed the ball into the goalmouth at the Scoreboard End and MacDougall scored. A kid ran on the pitch and took the ball off Lorimer and Clarke equalized in injury time. It was mental. Just to cap the Christmas hols off, we lost 1-3 at Derby then went to see Bowie play the Hard Rock in Stretford on the 28th.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  35. Sep 30, 2018
    #35

    Salus Populi Suprema Lex Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,779
    Location:
    Salford
    Was it him or Sexton who sold Gordon Hill? One of my dad's favourite players, the cockney Red.
  36. Sep 30, 2018
    #36

    wolvored Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2016
    Messages:
    4,372
    Think it was Sexton but my memory isnt that brilliant on who sold Hill. He was a brilliant winger from Millwall if I remember right.
  37. Sep 30, 2018
    #37

    Red For Ever Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,576
    Gordon Hill was fantastic, enjoyed watching him ( Sold by Sexton, not a popular decision at the time )
  38. Sep 30, 2018
    #38

    Class of 63 Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2017
    Messages:
    4,797
    Location:
    Back of Beyond
    That's a blast from the past, remember seeing him(on a school trip to Wembley) scoring a hat-trick against West Germany in an u15 international.
  39. Sep 30, 2018
    #39

    Class of 63 Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2017
    Messages:
    4,797
    Location:
    Back of Beyond
    In answer to to the op, almost certainly, and if we'd signed Shilton and Colin Todd guaranteed, but we were run by tight Arabs then.
  40. Sep 30, 2018
    #40

    reddaz71 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Messages:
    960
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Now we are talking, that was a terrific side between 75-77 but neither strong or consistent enough to mount a title challenge,Liverpool back then were a juggernaut.