How good was Brian McClair?

RedRonaldo

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Kinda of like Mata. Choccy diary, its old version of Mata blog.
 

Revaulx

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He did have a great debut season, no doubt about that

The returning Hughes was a favourite of mine so we obviously have totally different perspective on it!
Fair enough :)
I remember Fergie tried to play them together upfront but they didn't work as a partnership at all, so then he had to choose and eventually McClair was switched to midfield where he worked hard but I always felt he was a weak link in the team.
It was a hopeless partnership. Fergie admitted that his first mistake as United manager was getting rid of Davenport as he would have been able to work alongside both McClair and Hughes, despite their being totally different types of player.

Choccy did take a while to adjust into a midfield role, but I think that once he had done so he was very good.
Still he was a major part of the first few Fergie trophies but he was relegated to squad player soon after.
As @buckooo1978 observes, he was rather indulged by Fergie in his declining later years and, not unlike Rooney, it has to be said that a lot of fans were glad to see the back of him.
 

Eckers99

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He had 1 season where he was a lethal goalscorer and broke a couple of old records. Then we signed Mark Hughes, in the hope of forming a legal partnership - but they never hit it off and McClair found himself playing deeper and deeper. After that first season he was pretty poor, to be fair.
 
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I don't remember McClair at all in 92-93. Remember Cantona being the catalyst Giggs and Kanchelskis tearing teams apart. Hughes providing a compliment to Cantona and forming a brilliant partnership. I remember the back four Parker Irwin Bruce pallister. Ince becoming the best midfielder in the league. Robson finally looking like he was on the way out. Schmeichel being sensational. Darren Ferguson looking quite cultured but lacking in pace. I don't remember McClair at all. I've no recollection of him that season.
Darren Ferguson was shocking, ridiculous he has a league medal. Pure nepotism.
 

Jeppers7

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Darren Ferguson was shocking, ridiculous he has a league medal. Pure nepotism.
I quite liked him when he first broke through.....but he was very limited and got found out, never really improved. When you think that Steven Gerrard never got one...then you've got to say he's a legend :lol:
 

Maccataq

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In fairness it did bobble sideways.
Yeah I think it did to be fair.

I've always liked Choccy, he was my favourite player when I was young but that might have started because he was our no.9 and scored the goals. He always was a great character in the squad and I remember in his twilight years, coming off the bench for the last 10-15 mins of games where we were cruising and start adding some nice touches, flicks etc.
 

Maccataq

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Mclair actually scored the 4th goal in the cup final in 1994 to win the first double
I remember this was an absolute gift of a goal because Ince didn't trust his left foot! I think there was a good quiz question for a while about players that had scored in both FA and League Cup finals. I can't remember who else but both Choccy and Sparky had done it, when not many had.
 

Class of 63

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Yeah I think it did to be fair.

I've always liked Choccy, he was my favourite player when I was young but that might have started because he was our no.9 and scored the goals. He always was a great character in the squad and I remember in his twilight years, coming off the bench for the last 10-15 mins of games where we were cruising and start adding some nice touches, flicks etc.
An intelligent player, a very intelligent Man, his game-management skills from the bench were invaluable.
 

Class of 63

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I remember this was an absolute gift of a goal because Ince didn't trust his left foot! I think there was a good quiz question for a while about players that had scored in both FA and League Cup finals. I can't remember who else but both Choccy and Sparky had done it, when not many had.
A desperate attempt at saving his United career more like. Paul would regularly shoot from 30/35 yards out with that left-foot he didn't trust ;)
 

Maccataq

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Full Time Devils latest podcast features the man himself. He's on for the first 25 minutes discussing the brawl with Arsenal amongst other things. It's well worth the listen, he's on good form.
 

Maccataq

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A desperate attempt at saving his United career more like. Paul would regularly shoot from 30/35 yards out with that left-foot he didn't trust ;)
The self appointed Guv'nor, a big time charlie and now just a gob for hire. He was a very good player for us once upon a time but he's made it hard to like or respect him. Playing for Liverpool did not help.
 

StrettyEnder07

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Inspired by Lee's thread by MyOnlySolskjaer.

He was as per wiki, 2 times our POTY, must have been an important player. Anyone from those times give a profile about him, and how important he was to Manchester United during those days.
Phenomenal football player, loved Choccy what a player, lethal in front of goal when he was played up front, more of a false 9 you would look at it now, always dropped deep, had a great touch, great pass and could finish, when dropped back into midfield he was a great link up between midfield and attack.

Definitely a legend, remember him being a massive influence when we won the Cup Winners Cup in 91, think we played Montpellier away in the quarters or semi and Blackmore scored a free kick, McClair was superb, played very well against Barca in the final as well.
 

André Dominguez

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He was quite a good player. I remember the good old days where we had EPL matches live in the 90's all weekend on national tv here in Portugal. Still remember Le Tissier screamers for Southampton, Les Ferdinand and Dean Holdsworth were feared strikers, Cantona was spreading magic for Leeds before joining us and remember wanting Darren Anderton to join United because I absolutely thought he was class. Never happened though.
 

StrettyEnder07

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Class footballer and man. Underrated player on here apparently, Alex Ferguson rated him extremely highly.

Sounds stupid but the 3 foreigner and then later the 5 foreigner rule meant we missed him in Europe because he was Scottish - we couldn’t play Kanchelskis, Giggs, Schmeichel, Cantona, Irwin, McLair and Hughes all in the same team! Which meant our fantastic early 90’s side never really got going in Europe and a big reason nobody on various forums rates many of these guys at quite the levels they were actually capable of.

Good article on that here, worthy of a discussion in and of itself, but between 92-95 Britain based footballers were affected badly by the rule

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/relief-at-end-of-foreigner-rule-1526032.html
We would be on maybe 5 or 6 European Cups now if that rule had never existed, didn't we play Kevin Pilkington away at Barca when we got smoked 4-0, crazy to think if you were Irish/Scottish etc. you were classed as a foreigner ha mental
 

JohnnyKills

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I actually had McClair's name on my shirt when we released the Newton Heath kit.

Not blessed with pace or any great skill but a good goalscorer and an incredibly hard worker for the team. Could play up front or in midfield, a really intelligent player.

Got phased out when we signed Keane but a crucial player up until then.
 

Speako

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Don’t ever underestimate the impact he had on the rebuilding of United. I remember us all on the Stretty the day he scored his overhead against Chelsea saying what a player we’d bought - and that 20 goal haul gave us great impetus. He also moved into other positions to accommodate players without much fuss and supported the youngsters coming through. Always an underrated star in my eyes.
 

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Good striker and a very good battler when played in Midfield. Always done a job for you.
 

Superden

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technically very adept, an eye for a goal, great engine, excellent tactical awareness (to play CM at the highest level) top level desire and commitment. the sort of player that would walk into our first team now.
 

Foxbatt

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In his first season, he was awersome.
He never let the team down. Was a good player. But will never be named in any all time great Utd teams under Fergie. But then again, apart from Bryan Robson, no one would from that era.
I do not know. To me Paul McGrath is a better player than Rio Ferdinand. The same with Irwin. I would put him as the best full back we had certainly under Fergie and up to now.
 

Foxbatt

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"I Started A 20 Man Brawl Against Arsenal!" Brian McClair Full Time Devils Podcast #34


Yes we need these kinds of players now. Norman Whiteside, Robbo, McGrath, Hughes, Chocky, Incey, they all can fight as well as play top class football. We only have McTomminay but Fred seems to enjoy in getting himself involved in a fracas, and so does Rojo. This is why I prefer Rojo to Lindelof. Rojo will not back down.
 

Josh 76

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I do not know. To me Paul McGrath is a better player than Rio Ferdinand. The same with Irwin. I would put him as the best full back we had certainly under Fergie and up to now.
Irwin was part of the treble wining team, wouldn't put him in that era of pre premier league.
As for McGrath, I would partially agree he was one hell of a player, but to say he was better than Rio is a bold statement. Intact all the 'all time' great teams i have seen from past players and fans, Stam, Bruce, Pallister, Vidic and Rio all have been mentioned before McGrath.
 

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The self appointed Guv'nor, a big time charlie and now just a gob for hire. He was a very good player for us once upon a time but he's made it hard to like or respect him. Playing for Liverpool did not help.
The class of 92 saw through him straight away, he collared Giggs, Neville, Scholes, Butt et al at training one day and asked them to start calling him Guv'nor, Giggs said okay Paul, and they all walked off laughing.
 

lsd

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You dont score 127 goals for Utd by being ordinary .

He was called he served he is counted
 

Eckers99

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Irwin was part of the treble wining team, wouldn't put him in that era of pre premier league.
As for McGrath, I would partially agree he was one hell of a player, but to say he was better than Rio is a bold statement. Intact all the 'all time' great teams i have seen from past players and fans, Stam, Bruce, Pallister, Vidic and Rio all have been mentioned before McGrath.
Off-topic but McGrath was easily better than Bruce and Pallister and probably better than Vidic. In fact, from that list, I'd only put Rio above him.
 

Josh 76

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Off-topic but McGrath was easily better than Bruce and Pallister and probably better than Vidic. In fact, from that list, I'd only put Rio above him.
Not disagreeing with you. Maybe McGrath playing in an era when Utd were mediocre probably over shadowed how good he was. Think he got into the PFA team of the year when he left Utd for Villa.
 

ScarleyUtd

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Wasn't he super brainey too? A degree etc....which was even rarer in those days.
 

Rolledo

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Quite enjoyed one of his chants back in the day: «He'e here, he's there, he's f***ing everywhere, he's Brian McClair».
 

big rons sovereign

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Loved McClair, went to war every week and left everything on the pitch.
Saw him savage a Wimbledon player at plough lane, can't remember who it was but they shat themselves.
 

2cents

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Two legendary assists for Beckham and Cantona in 96/97. Bizarrely, he stayed on for another season after that.