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

SirMattlives

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I consider myself lucky to have seen Robson playing for United at Old Trafford. People wonder about his drinking and his injuries but I think it was all part of the package, his bravery was what made him such a player. Was he world-class? I don't know how you formally determine this, certainly not by counting medals, but I suspect those who played with him and against him would certainly speak to it. I can say that I never saw a player single handedly change the mood in the ground and in the team so quickly by just appearing. Remember him coming on as a sub at one point after injury with United playing rather flatly and as soon as he ran on to the pitch it was if everyone upped their game instantly. He just lifted the others to a better level by the way he carried himself on the field. The runs, the tackles, the passes and the goals. He was superb.
 

redmanx

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Wasn't Fenwick on a yellow, so he certainly couldn't smash him.

But what Peter Reid was doing just jogging behind him I don't know.

But the biggest question is what the hell Fenwick was doing lofting one into his own penalty box for Maradona to handle it in.
It's mad enough without explanation, but apparently he actually meant to do it, thinking Shilton would easily catch it. Absolutely ludicrous when he could have booted it spark out of dodge.
Poor Reidy wasnt jogging, he was sprinting lol!
 

redmanx

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I consider myself lucky to have seen Robson playing for United at Old Trafford. People wonder about his drinking and his injuries but I think it was all part of the package, his bravery was what made him such a player. Was he world-class? I don't know how you formally determine this, certainly not by counting medals, but I suspect those who played with him and against him would certainly speak to it. I can say that I never saw a player single handedly change the mood in the ground and in the team so quickly by just appearing. Remember him coming on as a sub at one point after injury with United playing rather flatly and as soon as he ran on to the pitch it was if everyone upped their game instantly. He just lifted the others to a better level by the way he carried himself on the field. The runs, the tackles, the passes and the goals. He was superb.
Oh for a Robbo to come on and lift the current team!
 

patty123

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Big Ron has said he needed a couple more players to really push that year. According to him, Gary Lineker and Terry Butcher were done deals, but the board didn't back him. The following year he was sacked and as they say, the rest was history!
There weren't in their backside done deals as go back and see the amount of English players who ran out of the country as soon as English clubs were banned from Europe thanks to liverpool animals. What you really think Butcher, stevens wilkins etc really wanted to play for rangers, rush ran to Italy, Gary, Hughes ran to Spain, hoddle went to France just to name a few.
 
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Happy 64th birthday.. only seems like yesterday I was watching him drag us to unexpected victories. Time and time again.

Fortunate enough to have seen hundreds and hundreds of games (home and away), lots of trophies and several truly great players.

Robson was, is and always will be my favourite player.

Rarely has a nickname been so accurate.

 

Stevieboy

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LEGEND. Best Captain Utd have ever had Full Stop. Met the man last March along with pally & Clayton Blackmore.
 

sun_tzu

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I'm not sure he could have achieved much more with united than he did

England though? He only managed 2 games at the world cup in 86 and the same in 90... a fully fit Robson might have made the difference

That said his injury resulted in other players / formations being used at those world cups who did well... but to my mind a fully fit Robson and gazza in 1990 would have been special
 

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I”m sure that there was no football on tv (until about Christmas ) the season we won ten games in row, playing great football, think we finished fourth after Robson got injured.
 

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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.
Absolutely not - we might have won the league once - but realistically, we might now have won it anyway. He was 2 levels above everyone else at our club, but realistically - our goalkeepers werent good enough, we did not have a striker who scored 20 goals - and our defenders were either too old, or too injury-ridden.

But it's a myth that Robson was horribly injury-plagued. From 1978/79 to 1988/89 he played more 30 league matches or more every single season, except the one where it mattered the most 85/86) - so yes he missed on average 8-9 league games pr season, but it was never worse than that. And it was mostly his dislocated shoulder that plagued him
 

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McGrath had his issues as we all know but he played a lot more games than maybe people realise. Look at his numbers for Villa, he didn't miss much for them. From 89 to 95 he was mid 40's to 50 games per season for them. I think he played his best club football for them as well. Villa had a good side back then, finished 2nd a couple of times, and won a couple of cups. MCGrath of course got PFA players player of the season 92-93.
Correct - another myth that McGrath was always crocked. He missed a total of 39 league matches in 7 seasons at Villa
 

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I know my views on just how good Robson goes against the grain with 99% of United fans, but I do think that some of the problems around his time at the club under Atkinson was of Big Ron's and the media's doing. Robson was very good, but I think we had a good team and in Whiteside and McGrath had two players of equal ability to Robson, but the press and Atkinson built this myth that without Robson the team was way less than he was and the fans and the players bought into that. As soon as Robson was injured it would be crisis at United and the results would collapse. I certainly feel we could have challenged Liverpool and Everton during the 80's to win the league possibly once or twice, but it wasn't to be.

As it is he won the titles that he deserved with us in his final two seasons, to go with his all his other medals and caps.
 

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The best player I have seen. He could do everything when fit tackle pass score goals leader of men. Could drag the players up to perform better. If Remi Moses could have stayed fit as well we would have had a midfield as good as any other 80s team. Other players may have been more skillful in certain areas, but Robbo had the full skillset. Pity he hadn't have been 3-4 years younger and could have got the trophies he deserved. We wouldn't have lost to Blackburn in 95 imo
 

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A booze-free Robson, McGrath and Whiteside in todays game would be the equivelant of having a prime Keane, Bale and Rio Ferdinand in your team.
 
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Chesterlestreet

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A booze-free Robson, McGrath and Whiteside in todays game would be the equivelant of having a prime Keane, Bale and Rio Ferdinand in your team.
A hung-over McGrath could give Rio a run for his money.

A booze-free McGrath with - say - Ronaldo's work ethic would be up there with Scirea and Baresi.

But - yeah - I take your overall point, and you're right.
 

lysglimt

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In fairness he simply stopped training and just played games ala King.
He did - thats correct, and he played 7 years almost without missing a match. I am not saying it was ideal, but Ferguson made it quite clear in his book that it was his drinking and bad influence on other players that forced him out - not his injuries. He more or less accused McGrath of bringing down Whiteside with him. He wrote that with Whiteside, he felt at times that he got through to him - but with McGrath it was useless to even try.
 

Jeppers7

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I know my views on just how good Robson goes against the grain with 99% of United fans, but I do think that some of the problems around his time at the club under Atkinson was of Big Ron's and the media's doing. Robson was very good, but I think we had a good team and in Whiteside and McGrath had two players of equal ability to Robson, but the press and Atkinson built this myth that without Robson the team was way less than he was and the fans and the players bought into that. As soon as Robson was injured it would be crisis at United and the results would collapse. I certainly feel we could have challenged Liverpool and Everton during the 80's to win the league possibly once or twice, but it wasn't to be.

As it is he won the titles that he deserved with us in his final two seasons, to go with his all his other medals and caps.
I think it’s probably more likely that Robson was that good, than you’re view that the other players all read the paper and panicked.....I mean you could be right, but you’re definitely not pft
 

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I'm not sure he could have achieved much more with united than he did

England though? He only managed 2 games at the world cup in 86 and the same in 90... a fully fit Robson might have made the difference

That said his injury resulted in other players / formations being used at those world cups who did well... but to my mind a fully fit Robson and gazza in 1990 would have been special
Robson was Captain from 1983-94, and last couple of years it was Steve Bruce the defacto Captain on pitch but Brian did have the honour of lifting our 93, 94 EPL trophy. Had Brian stayed on his feet for a few more seasons, Bruce probably never get to be the Captain, and Robson would have added to his honour of 96 Double. He would have probably move on by 1997 and definitely no involvement in the 99 CL.
 

sun_tzu

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Robson was Captain from 1983-94, and last couple of years it was Steve Bruce the defacto Captain on pitch but Brian did have the honour of lifting our 93, 94 EPL trophy. Had Brian stayed on his feet for a few more seasons, Bruce probably never get to be the Captain, and Robson would have added to his honour of 96 Double. He would have probably move on by 1997 and definitely no involvement in the 99 CL.
He would have been 39 in 1996... pretty much unheard of for a central midfielder at a top club in the mid 90s
 

cyril C

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He would have been 39 in 1996... pretty much unheard of for a central midfielder at a top club in the mid 90s
Kenny Dalglish retired at 39. Time was different, when you can have a pint before game, have a couple during break, and a dozen after the match.
 

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McGrath had his issues as we all know but he played a lot more games than maybe people realise. Look at his numbers for Villa, he didn't miss much for them. From 89 to 95 he was mid 40's to 50 games per season for them. I think he played his best club football for them as well. Villa had a good side back then, finished 2nd a couple of times, and won a couple of cups. MCGrath of course got PFA players player of the season 92-93.
Where his knees were so crocked he hardly trained between games.
 

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He would not be the player he was. Before my time but I have seen some tackels. B... of steel. If not for Cantona he would stil remain my dads number 1 player.
 

sun_tzu

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Kenny Dalglish retired at 39. Time was different, when you can have a pint before game, have a couple during break, and a dozen after the match.
Hummm.... sort of...
He was player manager and squads were much smaller... he kept himself registered as a player for emergencies
When he was 35/36 he played half the games for Liverpool
The season after he played 2 games
The next season he didn't play
The season after he played 1 game where he came on as a sub
So really he stopped playing properly at 35 with around 10 games after he turned 36
 

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I'm not sure he could have achieved much more with united than he did

England though? He only managed 2 games at the world cup in 86 and the same in 90... a fully fit Robson might have made the difference

That said his injury resulted in other players / formations being used at those world cups who did well... but to my mind a fully fit Robson and gazza in 1990 would have been special
Aye it could have been an exceptional and complementary partnership. Gascoigne was just on fire around then, probably the second best midfielder in the tournament behind Matthaus. Then again we might not have seen David Platt burst into the team and score vital goals including that last-minute volley to squeeze past Belgium.
 

cyril C

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Hummm.... sort of...
He was player manager and squads were much smaller... he kept himself registered as a player for emergencies
When he was 35/36 he played half the games for Liverpool
The season after he played 2 games
The next season he didn't play
The season after he played 1 game where he came on as a sub
So really he stopped playing properly at 35 with around 10 games after he turned 36
Nobody say a 38 years old player will be playing week in week out, Milner and Ibrahim are rare exception. His last 2-3 seasons, if ever possible, would be just a 100-200min season or so. It would be more likely back then a) he was a legend, with backing of Fergi, more likely to stay longer b) wage back then was much much cheaper.
 

sun_tzu

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Nobody say a 38 years old player will be playing week in week out, Milner and Ibrahim are rare exception. His last 2-3 seasons, if ever possible, would be just a 100-200min season or so. It would be more likely back then a) he was a legend, with backing of Fergi, more likely to stay longer b) wage back then was much much cheaper.
As its a thread about what more he could have achieved and it was a comparison to Dalglish I personally don't think 2 starts and 1 subs appearance (which is what Dalglish had in those last 3 seasons) would have added much to his legacy...
 

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LEGEND. Best Captain Utd have ever had Full Stop. Met the man last March along with pally & Clayton Blackmore.
Spot on. Great Captain or leader on/off the pitch. I never forget his authority, presence and the impact he had on other players. Probably one of the greatest Captains ever.

He was with no doubt a very important player, probably even more important to his team than Roy Keane was.

I only vaguely remember his skills as a player. Off course he was a very good player, but I doubt he is among top 25 (50) players in PL during history solely based on his football skills. You will probably find other United players on that list before Robson.
 
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NasirTimothy

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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.
The much derided former host of ‘the Word’ turned #FBPE champion Terry Christian was making this point on Twitter around about the time Maradona died (in pretty poor taste but whatever...)

He was adamant that Maradona would not have scored that goal if Robson was playing, and he used the United-Barca game in the Cup Winners Cup in ‘84 at OT as a frame of reference. Obviously Robson was dominant in that match and Diego was pretty subdued.

I don’t know though: England and United are not the same thing (ditto Barca and Argentina) and the Maradona that faced England in 1986 was probably in better form than the ‘84 version. It’s fun to speculate though.

One thing I’ve always maintained about the ‘goal of the century’ though: I think that the England players were so incensed by the handball goal that they weren’t concentrating properly for the second one, which occurred a few minutes later. So in my mind, one would not have happened without the other.

With regard to Robson for United, he was not injured all the time! He played a lot (and well) for many years. Liverpool in the mid-80s were just too disciplined, organised and strong. Big Ron encouraged the boozing culture which meant that they could never really be serious challengers for Liverpool, just like the Spice Boys were never up to it against 90s United. Not focused enough.

Robson is a true legend of the English game however. In Roy Keane’s first autobiography (the one in which he was full of praise for Ferguson, before they fell out), he described coming to United as a kid. He noted that Robson was respected ‘to the point of awe’ by every other player at the club. And there were a lot of good footballers in the team at that time.
 

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The much derided former host of ‘the Word’ turned #FBPE champion Terry Christian was making this point on Twitter around about the time Maradona died (in pretty poor taste but whatever...)

He was adamant that Maradona would not have scored that goal if Robson was playing, and he used the United-Barca game in the Cup Winners Cup in ‘84 at OT as a frame of reference. Obviously Robson was dominant in that match and Diego was pretty subdued.

I don’t know though: England and United are not the same thing (ditto Barca and Argentina) and the Maradona that faced England in 1986 was probably in better form than the ‘84 version. It’s fun to speculate though.

One thing I’ve always maintained about the ‘goal of the century’ though: I think that the England players were so incensed by the handball goal that they weren’t concentrating properly for the second one, which occurred a few minutes later. So in my mind, one would not have happened without the other.

With regard to Robson for United, he was not injured all the time! He played a lot (and well) for many years. Liverpool in the mid-80s were just too disciplined, organised and strong. Big Ron encouraged the boozing culture which meant that they could never really be serious challengers for Liverpool, just like the Spice Boys were never up to it against 90s United. Not focused enough.

Robson is a true legend of the English game however. In Roy Keane’s first autobiography (the one in which he was full of praise for Ferguson, before they fell out), he described coming to United as a kid. He noted that Robson was respected ‘to the point of awe’ by every other player at the club. And there were a lot of good footballers in the team at that time.
Terry Cristian.....ignore anything this man says...he’s a complete bellend, gives united fans a bad name IMO.
 

Stevieboy

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Spot on. Great Captain or leader on/off the pitch. I never forget his authority, presence and the impact he had on other players. Probably one of the greatest Captains ever.

He was with no doubt a very important player, probably even more important to his team than Roy Keane was.

I only vaguely remember his skills as a player. Off course he was a very good player, but I doubt he is among top 25 (50) players in PL during history solely based on his football skills. You will probably find other United players on that list before Robson.
Don’t get me wrong Roy Kean was a fantastic captain and stuck up for his team mates I.e. Gary Neville, always put a shift in, scored important goals. But the difference being Kean was surrounded by a better team, with better players then Robbo ever was and when he (Robbo) was injured Utd missed him, a lot, Utd usually got by without Kean, not all the time, But generally they still got a result because at that time United were that good they could get away with Kean missing, a Utd team with Robbo missing couldn’t, and that was the difference IMO.
I’m just guessing here, but most proper Utd fans will put Robbo over Kean, having said that it depends on the age group of fans asked I guess. It’s Probably a generation thing......And they didn’t call Kean captain marvel, ...Robbo, they did!
 

poleglass red

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The much derided former host of ‘the Word’ turned #FBPE champion Terry Christian was making this point on Twitter around about the time Maradona died (in pretty poor taste but whatever...)

He was adamant that Maradona would not have scored that goal if Robson was playing, and he used the United-Barca game in the Cup Winners Cup in ‘84 at OT as a frame of reference. Obviously Robson was dominant in that match and Diego was pretty subdued.

I don’t know though: England and United are not the same thing (ditto Barca and Argentina) and the Maradona that faced England in 1986 was probably in better form than the ‘84 version. It’s fun to speculate though.

One thing I’ve always maintained about the ‘goal of the century’ though: I think that the England players were so incensed by the handball goal that they weren’t concentrating properly for the second one, which occurred a few minutes later. So in my mind, one would not have happened without the other.

With regard to Robson for United, he was not injured all the time! He played a lot (and well) for many years. Liverpool in the mid-80s were just too disciplined, organised and strong. Big Ron encouraged the boozing culture which meant that they could never really be serious challengers for Liverpool, just like the Spice Boys were never up to it against 90s United. Not focused enough.

Robson is a true legend of the English game however. In Roy Keane’s first autobiography (the one in which he was full of praise for Ferguson, before they fell out), he described coming to United as a kid. He noted that Robson was respected ‘to the point of awe’ by every other player at the club. And there were a lot of good footballers in the team at that time.

that Utd game was one of the best ever, obviously Robson was immense, but someone who doesn't get the credit they deserve is Wilkins, he shut down Barca's main man Schuster, everything they did went through him. Maradona was a genius but he wasn't fit for that game and is showed, it defintely impacted him. Not taking away form our performance but I think even Utd players in later years have mentioned that fact.
 

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that Utd game was one of the best ever, obviously Robson was immense, but someone who doesn't get the credit they deserve is Wilkins, he shut down Barca's main man Schuster, everything they did went through him. Maradona was a genius but he wasn't fit for that game and is showed, it defintely impacted him. Not taking away form our performance but I think even Utd players in later years have mentioned that fact.
Good shout! Ray was, I suppose the equivalent of Steve Bruce I.e. standing in as deputy Captain
 

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Just imagine what he would be worth today, and as pointed out above he would fit into any lineup in world club football.
Fergie keeping him involved when we won our first title after the drought was a masterstroke and a nod to his genius / contribution to the club. just checked his stats, id forgotten that he actually played 32 games from 92-94.
 

Polar

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Don’t get me wrong Roy Kean was a fantastic captain and stuck up for his team mates I.e. Gary Neville, always put a shift in, scored important goals. But the difference being Kean was surrounded by a better team, with better players then Robbo ever was and when he (Robbo) was injured Utd missed him, a lot, Utd usually got by without Kean, not all the time, But generally they still got a result because at that time United were that good they could get away with Kean missing, a Utd team with Robbo missing couldn’t, and that was the difference IMO.
I’m just guessing here, but most proper Utd fans will put Robbo over Kean, having said that it depends on the age group of fans asked I guess. It’s Probably a generation thing......And they didn’t call Kean captain marvel, ...Robbo, they did!
Exactly.. I also rate Robbo over Keane for the same reason.

We have the same opinion, so I suppose your comment wasn’t meant for me, or perhaps something was lost in translation:nervous:
 

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that Utd game was one of the best ever, obviously Robson was immense, but someone who doesn't get the credit they deserve is Wilkins, he shut down Barca's main man Schuster, everything they did went through him. Maradona was a genius but he wasn't fit for that game and is showed, it defintely impacted him. Not taking away form our performance but I think even Utd players in later years have mentioned that fact.
Absolutely true. The game took place only six months after Diego’s ankle was shattered by Goikoetxea. He was far from his best. Robson was still brilliant on that night though.