If Bryan Robson had not suffered such regular injuries...

Saddy

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Think he broke his leg 3? times? There were big injuries in amongst the niggles.
It was the dislocated shoulder that came out at least twice and then ankle injuries I think - not sure he ever broke his leg playing for us I think that was West Brom his previous club.
 

Dante

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Was he ever considered world class from an international perspective?
 

Oldyella

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It was the dislocated shoulder that came out at least twice and then ankle injuries I think - not sure he ever broke his leg playing for us I think that was West Brom his previous club.
Sorry yeah just meant his general fitness.
 

Saddy

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Was he ever considered world class from an international perspective?
Played for England 90 times and captain 65 times - despite his injuries - I think it's 3rd highest number of times as captain. Juventus were after him and Italy was the top league in the 80s. I can't find any quotes to back up his "world class" status and he didn't win the World Cup but without doubt England's best player in the 80s so must be considered world class. His performance in the 3-0 win against Barcelona who had prime Maradona and Schuster in their team but Robbo dominated them in that match.
 

soapythecat

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I loved BR as a player growing up. Such a good footballer and a really made the difference in a very average United side. One of those players we will never grasp how good they were/could have been, had it not been for injuries.
A United legend for me.
Went on to become a pretty shocking manager. Maybe Woody has him lined up next!
 

RUCK4444

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England were brutal and merciless in their physical abuse against Maradona in that game!! So they weren’t being angelic in not cutting him down.

England were mentally all over the place and 1-0 down through the hand of God goal, so perhaps they were dazed because of that.

more like his close ball control and short bursts of acceleration were just impossible to catch... it was mesmerising you watch in real time, can’t imagine playing against it!
Oh yeah I appreciate it’s peak Maradona, one of my favourite ever players, you just think to yourself ‘chop him down!!’ when you watch it, easier said than done though I agree.
 

Joga Bonito

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Was he ever considered world class from an international perspective?
His four top 10 finishes in the Ballon d'Or and his price tag being 3 million pounds (the world record being £1.7 million) when Juventus were seriously after him, is evidence enough imo.

If you are interested in reading more about him and knowing about what kind of a player he was, here you go.

https://www.redcafe.net/threads/cla...-the-greatest-british-midfielder-ever.431217/

Went to that and in my top.5 ever United games as is another game he scored in.. the 85 FA cup semi. The first game was one of the best games of back and to football with two teams playing well that I've seen (up there with the Villa game in 93) and while the second game wasn't as good, it gave us this...


leading to a pitch invasion and him being mobbed for the god he was to us. The ability of Keane plus the cult like status of Cantona.

Despite his brilliant 'scousebusting' goal, he was actually quite the defensive rock in that game, esp aerially :lol: . Him being mobbed at the end :drool:

Unbelievable really, he was pretty much an all encompassing influence for United in so many aspects. So much so that the term 'B2B midfielder' does him no justice whatsoever, in terms of encapsulating what he was as a player.
 

Mr. MUJAC

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Walter Crickmer started it all...
Best box-to-box midfielder in the history of the game. He scored over 100 goals...many more than any other player in the same role.

If he had stayed injury free United may have won more trophies but you never know.

1982/83 - 12 points behind Liverpool
1983/84 - 6 points behind Liverpool (only six away wins and eleven draws)
1984/85 - 14 points behind Everton
1985/86 - 12 points behind Liverpool
1986/87 -
1987/88 - 9 points behind Liverpool
1988/89 -

So in 1983/84 he may have influenced a handful of games that would have made the difference.

In addition he missed the 1983 League Cup Final, both legs against Juventus in the Cup Winners Cup semi-final in 1984 and the first leg of the UEFA Cup against Videoton in 1985.

He may well have influenced all those games given the fine margins.

Best midfielder I have ever seen in a United shirt.

Interestingly, both Robson and Keane have very similar stats...including number of games missed through injury. However, Robbo scored twice as many goals as Keane.
 

Chesterlestreet

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A bit of shameless self-promotion (not for your sake but maybe someone haven't seen it). I swear, I can watch it over and over again until the end of times.

Glorious, ain't it?

I'm almost certain the whole match was available - somewhere - at one point (and in fairly decent quality too). It's not on footballia.net (which I initially thought).

ETA Footballia have lots of Robbo (full) matches, though - 60+ - including a small handful of pre-United performances (one for West Brom and a couple for England).
 
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sammsky1

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I think that was part of it, yes.

Being "injury prone" in a general (and very vague, from a scientific viewpoint) sense is...well, one thing.

Some players may be predisposed to certain types of injuries (which may not be known at the time). Others may be just plain unlucky.

But Robson played in a different era, where putting yourself on the line (as you say) was very much a thing for a certain kind of player (a leader, a general on the pitch - which Robson very much was). And - yes - the combination of being a less than super professional athlete (the man loved his booze - this is well known) AND the tendency to "give it all" on the pitch (one could say that this was something he was expected to do - and something he actively tried to live up to)...well, not ideal.

Anyway - injury free Robbo playing at roughly his top level all season (in his prime, at that): United win the league under Big Ron at some point (obvious case in point would be the 1985-86 season, where we won the first ten games: at the end of the season, Robson had only played HALF of all fixtures due to bloody injuries). He was that good, easily. And - I could add - the team was much better than is sometimes suggested, i.e. the idea that Fergie took over a shite team and turned it into gold. He did not. He took over a deeply flawed team (not least in terms of professionalism) - but United weren't miles off Liverpool (or Everton) under Big Ron.

EDIT The '84 CWC campaign is very interesting with regard to both how good Robson was - and what level United as such were under Big Ron: United came back from a 0-2 defeat in Spain to beat Barca (featuring Schuster and Maradona) 3-0 at Old Trafford in what many consider Robson's ultimate performance (he utterly dominated the match and scored twice).

We then proceeded to the semi-final, facing a legendary side - Trappatoni's Juventus, featuring Scirea, Gentile, Cabrini, Tardelli, Rossi and Boniek .

Oh - and some bloke called Michel Platini.

United managed a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford - and then lost 1-2 in Turin after a goal by Rossi in the last minute of the match (typical enough Juve style). Robson didn't play in either leg, as he was (of course) injured.

We had multiple very good-to-brilliant football players: Albiston, Wilkins, Stapleton, Whiteside, Hughes, Moses (the latter often heavily underrated) and more (who were at the least decent top level domestic players at the time). And that's without mentioning the genius named Paul McGrath, who in my opinion is the best defender who ever played for Manchester United (even when playing with a massive hangover, which he usually did).

Now, add a prime Bryan Robson to one of those legs (preferably both) - and, yeah, there you are. Juventus won the tournament that year. Might have been a different story with Robson in the mix.
Thanks for that wonderful trip down memory lane, basically my boyhood years!
 

Saddy

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Same here!

Feck, I feel old.
You guys will remember the West Brom 3-5 match December 1978 then ?

One of the most entertaining matches played on a freezing cold day when it was snowing - Robbo playing for West Brom ( which makes it relevant to this thread ) and the racist abuse of Cunningham who played the most incredible match down the wing with Regis almost unplayable upfront. Gary Bailey pulled off 2 incredible saves against Regis shots but still let in 5 !

Then Ron Atkinson becomes our manager and signs Robbo but eventually gets the sack with SAF becoming our new manager - just think if Atkinson had survived another season we might not have got SAF as our manager - imagine that ?!!
 

Chesterlestreet

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You guys will remember the West Brom 3-5 match December 1978 then ?
Only from the history books (so to speak), I'm afraid - I had just about turned three at the time.

I do remember (as in - an actual childhood memory) Robbo signing for United, though.
 

11101

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I loved him growing up but, and dont shoot me, looking back he was our Gerrard. A world class player in an average midfield but couldn't fit in a world class midfield. He had to do it all himself or it wouldn't work.

I hope Bruno isnt the same.
 

Chesterlestreet

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I loved him growing up but, and dont shoot me, looking back he was our Gerrard.
Only superficially.

Gerrard had obvious flaws to his game. Robbo hardly had any - beyond being injured too much (but that has nothing to do with his ability on the pitch).
 

thatsme

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I don't know if this is true or not?but here's a little story I heard about him.

Obviously many years ago now so i can't remember of it was a World Cup or the Euros.
Anyway, it was back in the days when some England fans were giving racist abuse to not just foriegners but also to our own Black players.
It came to our players notice that a group of our racists "fans" were camping out on the local beach.
Robbo was so furious with them, that he wanted to take a group of the lads down to the beach and "sort them out" but was talked out of it at the end after accepting the trouble they'd get into if they went out and kicked the crap out of the thugs.
 

The Mitcher

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I loved him growing up but, and dont shoot me, looking back he was our Gerrard. A world class player in an average midfield but couldn't fit in a world class midfield. He had to do it all himself or it wouldn't work.

I hope Bruno isnt the same.
Robbo won the league twice, Gerrard never did. Shot you must be!
 

harms

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I'm almost certain the whole match was available - somewhere - at one point (and in fairly decent quality too). It's not on footballia.net (which I initially thought).
I have it somewhere. I've been searching for it for years, literally :)

This compilation was made mostly out of that footage — aside from the bits where you can see the quality significantly improving, that's the bits from MUTV's 30-minute long highlights.
 

davidmichael

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Was he ever considered world class from an international perspective?
He was easily one of the best central midfielders in the world through the 80’s and arguably a top 10 in the world during that period, definitely was at his peak.
 

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We might’ve won a title or two but Liverpool had the possession game well sorted, years ahead of anyone else apart from Forest.

Robbo? Right up there with Denis, George & Bobby - can’t give any higher praise. Should have a statue. United fans adored him. When Italian clubs tempted him, there was such an outcry from the fans when it looked like he was leaving, it moved him enough to stay,which, in turn, elevated him further to God-like status.

Although it wouldn’t have helped, dont think the drink was as much a problem as his style of play. Utterly fearless. Nearly as mad as Kev Moran. Same as Norm and McGrath.

almost a one man team. We’ve had that levelled at us with Eric, Ron and now Bruno but he’d’ve stopped Maradonna in his tracks without chopping him down.
 

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A bit of shameless self-promotion (not for your sake but maybe someone haven't seen it). I swear, I can watch it over and over again until the end of times.

My dad had this match on a VHS tape, he used to show that match every year to let me know what Robbo was. On that VHS tape my dad had also a match against city we battered them 5-1 cant remember the year.
 

westmeath

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Love this OP, have often thought about it. It’s very possible Argentina wouldn’t have won the 86 World Cup if Robbo had played the quarter final.
 

jem

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A player I never had the fortune to watch - really wish I could have seen him play.
 

Stack

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Good to see there are still enough people who saw him play to give him the respect he deserved. I see so many players from past eras slowly have their status diminished by the natural process of time and familiarity.
 

wolvored

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We missed out when Remi Moses got injured as well. Him and Robbo at the baggies were the perfect midfield duo. If we could have kept the pair fit you might never have heard of Fergie, we would have been talking big Ron as the best manager. Not saying he would have achieved what Fergie did.
 
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I have it somewhere. I've been searching for it for years, literally :)

This compilation was made mostly out of that footage — aside from the bits where you can see the quality significantly improving, that's the bits from MUTV's 30-minute long highlights.
I seem to remember an interview with him some years back and he said he thought the 91 ECWC final was his best game.. which you can watch. Though most people remember it for Hughes second goal :)

Robbo? Right up there with Denis, George & Bobby - can’t give any higher praise. Should have a statue. United fans adored him. When Italian clubs tempted him, there was such an outcry from the fans when it looked like he was leaving, it moved him enough to stay,which, in turn, elevated him further to God-like status
This. He was to me and loads of others.

I've had a couple of United heroes (Buchan, Eric) and it probably sounds corny but Robson transcended ability (which he had buckets of). You'd follow him to the ends of the earth
Love this OP, have often thought about it. It’s very possible Argentina wouldn’t have won the 86 World Cup if Robbo had played the quarter final.
Possibly. Would have likely meant Germany win it though so potato, potato.

I just wish he'd been fit for the Juve semis.. we should have another European trophy.
 

harms

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I seem to remember an interview with him some years back and he said he thought the 91 ECWC final was his best game.. which you can watch. Though most people remember it for Hughes second goal :)
Yeah, it was a great game by him, but I’d still go with 1984. I think for him winning something in the end mattered more. Physically he was a shadow of himself at that point, yet still managed to more or less keep peak Laudrup quiet.
 

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A bit of shameless self-promotion (not for your sake but maybe someone haven't seen it). I swear, I can watch it over and over again until the end of times.

It is just me? Or you guys can see the intensity and speed during that time is miles off from today.

Jeez, modern football is so demanding.
 

vidic blood & sand

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How different would our club's history have been? Would Ron Atkinson have won the league or regularly challenged for it? Also would Diego Maradona waltzed through the heart of that English midfield for that famous second goal in 86? I know it's all a big what if but Robbo was some player.
McGrath would have stopped him, and Moran would have clattered into him and given away a penalty. Hogg had a decent game against Maradona in 84.
I think we would have beaten Juventus in Turin, and gone on to win the CWC in 84 if Robson was fit, and beaten liverpool in the milk cup in 83, but no I honestly don't think we would have won the league under Atkinson even if Robbo played every game.
 

GueRed

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It is just me? Or you guys can see the intensity and speed during that time is miles off from today.

Jeez, modern football is so demanding.
yeah its like basketball on carpet these days

high press, ping pong, non-contact sport...
 

Snuffkin

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Robbo was boss. England could have won the world cup and we could have won the league sooner if he had been fit.
 

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Glorious, ain't it?

I'm almost certain the whole match was available - somewhere - at one point (and in fairly decent quality too). It's not on footballia.net (which I initially thought).

ETA Footballia have lots of Robbo (full) matches, though - 60+ - including a small handful of pre-United performances (one for West Brom and a couple for England).
What an atmosphere
What a performance from Robbo
What a header from Whiteside to set up Stapleton
 
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Behind the right goal post as "Whiteside shoots!"
Yeah, it was a great game by him, but I’d still go with 1984. I think for him winning something in the end mattered more. Physically he was a shadow of himself at that point, yet still managed to more or less keep peak Laudrup quiet.
Totally agree.

The two games (84 and 91) probably explain one of the things about him. His ability to inspire a team to be better than they should be.

I'll always love the 80s sides but that team in 84 should have had no chance of beating that Barcelona team. Robson was like three players in one and you could see it rub off on the others... they ran their socks off and never gave Barcelona a moment's peace.

While it was a bit nervy towards the end, the 91 win wasn't a surprise at all - while Robson played well (but not the B2B player he was), it had several of the team that'd win the league a couple of years later.