How good was Lee Sharpe?

MyOnlySolskjaer

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Name in home country:
Lee Stuart Sharpe
Date of birth: May 27, 1971
Place of birth: England

Height: 1,83 m
Position: Midfielder - Left Midfield
Foot: Left
Current club:
Retired
Joined: Jun 10 1988​
 
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MyOnlySolskjaer

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Before my time. He left United the year I was born. :nervous:

I only know him as the guy that Giggs beat to the starting XI. Just how good was he? I see a lot of people comparing Daniel James to him.
 
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17Larsson

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He was brilliant. Fast, strong, could get goals, had a good swagger about him and a sprinkling of magic.
A real Manchester United player of the time
 

2cents

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My main impression of him looking back is that he lacked the blistering pace which would have made him a truly world class winger, and lacked the commitment to the game which would have helped him compensate and become a more well-rounded footballer. Certainly had his moments though, and played with a swagger which epitomized Fergie’s earliest successes at United.
 

acnumber9

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He’d be comfortably one of our best players now. A winger who could actually cross the ball. Imagine that.
 

dwd

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His celebration was amazing. Recreated it loads over the park.

I'd actually forgotten how good he was:

 

El Zoido

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I always remember him as being really good at taking corners.
 

FrankDrebin

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Talent but always looked out of place due to his Spice Boy personality.
 

Alfie Robson

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He certainly didn’t lack pace as a teenager. Rapid. Better crosser of a ball than Giggs. In a game against Sunderland at Old Trafford he produced the best 45 minute display I’ve ever seen at a professional level. Shame it’s not on YouTube.

Always thought he’d have made a cracking fullback behind Giggs once he got into his 20s. I don't think he’d have bought into that idea though! Lost his pace very early (for whatever reason) and was never the same player.
 
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Snow

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I started watching United towards the end of his United career and to kid me he was a less good version of Giggs.

Saw him play live once. He was 32, fat, playing in Southern Iceland for a relegation battling team and he didn't look like he was good enough to play in the league and this was back when he would have been one of few actual professional players in the league. After 3 matches he pulled a hamstring and the club and him agreed to mutually terminate the contract.

Can't comment too much on how good he was at his best but he has to be one the few players that can claim the sharpest fall of grace as a player, excluding criminal activity and retiring from injuries.
 

711

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My main impression of him looking back is that he lacked the blistering pace which would have made him a truly world class winger, and lacked the commitment to the game which would have helped him compensate and become a more well-rounded footballer. Certainly had his moments though, and played with a swagger which epitomized Fergie’s earliest successes at United.
Memory plays tricks but mine is that blistering pace was his major asset. Agree about the commitment though.
 

Adam_S

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His best was very good. Having him, Giggs and Kanchelskis all competing for spots on the wing was insane and he could cover left back too. I think he struggled a bit in terms of commitment and professionalism though and he seemed to drop off really quickly as he started getting his late 20s and the injuries really started to pile up.
 

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Memory plays tricks but mine is that blistering pace was his major asset. Agree about the commitment though.
I think maybe my memory is affected by the comparison with Giggs and Kanchelskis, who were both quicker. Also I think Sharpe had lost a bit of pace through injuries by the time those two cemented their place ahead of him in the pecking order.
 

RedRonaldo

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He was one of the best party boy we’ve ever had. He was a good “player”.
 

711

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I think maybe my memory is affected by the comparison with Giggs and Kanchelskis, who were both quicker. Also I think Sharpe had lost a bit of pace through injuries by the time those two cemented their place ahead of him in the pecking order.
Yeah, he lost a lot of pace very early on with illness and injuries, and the other two were lightning anyway.
 

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Sharpe was great - he was overshadowed by Giggs, undoubtedly, but that's a bloody high bar to judge anyone against. Combination of off-the-field commitment and injuries fecked him, and you can see that in his career after he left. But for a few seasons he was exceptional - I mean, his "Di Canio" volley at 2.23...

 

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The very best at his very best. Though that only lasted for about 2-3 seasons, with a dramatic fall off after that.
 

SecondFig

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Negative. He played LB quite a few times.
Was trying to edit that as soon as I'd posted it - what I meant was, he was never a proper left-back. He covered, yes, but in the days of smaller squads. You'd be wasting most of his talent sticking him at LB. If we had him today, I'd want to see him as a wide attacker in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3.
 

RedTiger

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My main impression of him looking back is that he lacked the blistering pace which would have made him a truly world class winger, and lacked the commitment to the game which would have helped him compensate and become a more well-rounded footballer. Certainly had his moments though, and played with a swagger which epitomized Fergie’s earliest successes at United.
Agree with everything you said apart from his lack of pace. He was rapid, not ryan giggs level rapid but still quick.
 

DVG7

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Lee Sharpe... It's actually really hard to nail down exactly what made him a good player, but i think the best way to sum him up is i'd definitely stop short of calling him great. Another way to think of him would be to imagine some of our players off the field personas,who's performances don't justiify the bravado. Sharpes performances made it easy to forget about his image away from the game.

As you can see from his celebrations, he was a bit of a showman and football for him was always about more than just the game, he enjoyed the lifestyle a bit too much but without ever wanting to become a celebrity the way Beckham did.

He had magnificent technique on his left foot, and remarkable composure inside the box. I remember thinking that when through one-on-one, Sharpe was always odds on to score because he knew how to get it under the keeper. He also had a pendent for the spectacular, as you can see from his scissor kick and then volley against Neville Southall.

In the modern game, he'd probably make an excellent left wing back, he had enough pace about him and did have that determination on the field that saw him get stuck in plenty of times and he knew how to track a man. His delivery was excellent and he had a knack for being in the right place in the box for a cross from the other side. Prime Beckham would have absolutely love playing with Sharpe. I personally think he could have had at least a dozen more caps for England, especially when you consider that he was probably the last pure left footed left winger they had.

The story goes that Ryan Giggs could have ended up going down the wrong path if he kept spending time with Sharpe away from the club but I think that did a disservice to Sharpe's love for the club. He is quite a good after dinner speaker and speaks openly about his mentality perhaps not being the best, but that was more in contrast to the guys we had breaking through at that point and the change in the culture off the field.
 

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He was ahead of the times...

Direct, skillful but pragmatic, penetrative - and an absolute star quality.

Imagine him in his prime paired up with Vardy... I'd LOVE to see that.
Absolutely agree with this. Sharpe was fecking brilliant and so much fun to watch, then he lost his pace and that was the end of Lee Sharpe!
 

MoskvaRed

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Sharpe was great to watch in 90-91 and 91-92. I always remember him terrorising Mel Sterland (the Leeds fullback). When he started to lose his pace (didn’t he have meningitis?) he dropped off a cliff and we fleeced Leeds we we sold him for a big fee.
 

davidmichael

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He was my first favourite United player by choice, Bryan Robson was my default favourite as United and England captain as a very young kid.

I think he would have started for every other team back then but we had the luxury of Giggs and Kanchelskis not long after Sharpe was a first team starter, I find it crazy he barely played for England seeing as there was serious problems on the left for England back in the early 90’s.
 

Rockets Redglare

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He certainly didn’t lack pace as a teenager. Rapid. Better crosser of a ball than Giggs. In a game against Sunderland at Old Trafford he produced the best 45 minute display I’ve ever seen at a professional level. Shame it’s not on YouTube.

Always thought he’d have made a cracking fullback behind Giggs once he got into his 20s. I don't think he’d have bought into that idea though! Lost his pace very early (for whatever reason) and was never the same player.
The only problem with him playing behind Giggs is we had a far better fullback in Denis Irwin playing there.
 

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Did folk on here actually watch him? Seems to be the second coming, when in fact he showed flashes of brilliance and then disappeared for weeks.
He is a couple of years older than me but, at the time, his attitude and persona were a bit twatish. Came across as a clown and I suspect that’s why he didn’t really reach the heights. He would be destroyed today with social media had he played in this current team.
That all said - would walk into any United side this last 10 years. He was an old school winger who ‘got chalk on his boots’ and could whip in a good ball.
 

Can7onA

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Used to love Sharpey!

Only Giggy turning up stopped him becoming a great at Man Utd.
 

Spaghetti

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Used to love Sharpey!

Only Giggy turning up stopped him becoming a great at Man Utd.
I don’t think his love for parties helped him too much...

Sharpe was a class player though, in his teens early 20 at least. Spoilt rotten for about 5 years with Giggs, Kanchelskis and Sharpe.

Strangely enough, after selling Kanchelskis and Sharpe in consecutive seasons, we became even better.

From 96 onwards, Beckham and Giggs were used as the wide players and I’m having a brain freeze as to who the back up players were. Blomqvist signed at the start of the treble season, so who were the reserve wingers from 96-98?

EDIT: didn’t we sign Poborsky and Cruyff in the summer that we sold Sharpe? I guess it was them.
 
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Josh 76

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He was signed from Torquay for a small fee as a 17yr old. Not much fuss was made at the time, then he had a major season when he scored a hatrick at Highbury in a 6-2 win then scored the winner at Goodison Park 4 days later. His major asset was his pace. Not much skill (a bit like Dan James). He stood out in a average team, but when the class of 92 started coming through and Utd started becoming a force he faded. (Think he had a illness too, which was a major factor him losing his pace). Maybe he didn't have the mentailty of what was needed to become the very best. Some of the stuff he wrote in his autobiography seemed to back that up.
 

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He was signed from Torquay for a small fee as a 17yr old. Not much fuss was made at the time, then he had a major season when he scored a hatrick at Highbury in a 6-2 win then scored the winner at Goodison Park 4 days later. His major asset was his pace. Not much skill (a bit like Dan James). He stood out in a average team, but when the class of 92 started coming through and Utd started becoming a force he faded. (Think he had a illness too, which was a major factor him losing his pace). Maybe he didn't have the mentailty of what was needed to become the very best. Some of the stuff he wrote in his autobiography seemed to back that up.
I'm not having that. Sharpey had a lot more in his locker than James, technically. There's no way James is pulling off some of those outrageous finishes in front of goal; most notably a delicious flick vs. Barcelona in the CL!

:D