• Fri. Jan 14th, 2022

Manchester United: Bryan Robson reveals his best seven games of his remarkable career

ByJanice K. Merrill

Nov 26, 2021

Bryan Robson is considered one of the best midfielders of a generation.

Described by Sir Alex Ferguson as “the best captain I’ve ever had,” Captain Marvel became synonymous with the revered No.7 shirt as he led Manchester United and England for example, having started his career at West Bromwich Albion.

He won two premier league winners’ medals, three FA Cups, one Football Ligue’s cup, two FA Charity Shields and a European Cup Winners’ Cup at United and have won 90 caps for his country, captaining England 65 times. Only Bobby Moore and Billy Wright have led England on several occasions.

As part of a new film about his life, Robbo: the Bryan Robson Story, which premieres in Manchester on Thursday, he chats with Sportsmail of the seven games that have meant the most to him throughout his colorful career as a player and manager.

Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson revealed his best seven games

A new film about his life, Robbo: the Bryan Robson Story, premiered in Manchester on Thursday, and Manchester United’s past and present were in attendance, including (left-right) current captain Harry Maguire, the interim manager Michael Carrick, Robson, legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson and record goalscorer Wayne Rooney

Robson has enjoyed a brilliant playing career, winning two Premier League titles with United

England v Finland, World Cup Mini Final, 1975 (UEFA international youth tournament)

It was my first big success and a great experience of two and a half weeks in Switzerland.

We had played a few games and played well before the tournament in Gran Canaria and Switzerland, coach Ken Burton decided to play me center alongside Steve Wicks from Chelsea because Dave Jones, the former Southampton manager, s ‘is injured in the knee.

We had Alan Curbishley, Ray Wilkins, Glenn Hoddle and Peter Barnes in midfield. We beat Spain to get there and then dominated the group by beating the Republic of Ireland, Switzerland and Northern Ireland. We then beat Hungary 3-1 with Chelsea full-back John Sparrow scoring two free kicks.

We faced Finland in the final in Bern and it was 0-0 until Ray scored the game-winning goal, a “golden goal” in overtime.

Robson had his first big success with the England youth team alongside Ray Wilkins (right)

Ray and I stayed together. We first met at the Lilleshall training center. We had a week there to prove that we were good enough to make the team. Ray was a talker and I liked to say a bit about it too. We got along really well, both just football-crazy kids and that has bonded us for life.

I miss Ray very much. His death was a real shock, he was a big boy. We had one of those friendships where we haven’t seen each other for months and then when we met it was like we had never been apart.

Oldham vs. West Brom, Division Two, 1975-76

Johnny Giles was a manager and being part of this team was my first promotion experience. We had brought thousands of supporters there and it was like we were the home team.

Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown scored the only goal, another cracker from him. What an incredible ball forward he was. I remember we went up to the directors’ lodge to celebrate afterwards and then we took the coach back to West Brom. All the fans were passing by honking their horns to escort us.

We always had a few cases of beer for the trip, but I could only drink a few at the time before the play started spinning. I was seated next to Len Cantello. I sold my car to put a deposit on an apartment and sometimes I would take the bus to train but sometimes Len would pick me up so we became close friends.

His first memory of a winning promotion came with West Brom as they defeated Oldham in 76

Manchester United v Barcelona, ​​European Cup Winners’ Cup, 1991

I consider it the best game I have played for United. Brian McClair, who did a brilliant job scoring Ronald Koeman that night, then coached the academy kids and said he showed them how I played this game as an example of how to play in the middle. ground.

It was raining fast and it was fine for us to keep sending the ball over their defense to put the fairly quick Lee Sharpe behind. I remember Mark Hughes working hard on what I thought was a great pass for his second goal, but to be honest he crushed it from a tough angle.

It was the first season English clubs were allowed to return to European competition after a five-year ban and United’s first European final since 1968. Coming back and lifting the trophy against such a great team was fantastic. It was a big party both at night and in the morning.

His favorite display in a Man United shirt was against Barcelona in the 1991 Cup Winners’ Cup

Manchester United v Blackburn Rovers, Premier League, 1993

My first league title and United’s first in 26 years. We watched Oldham beat Aston Villa the night before which made sure the title was ours and we all went to Steve Bruce’s with our wives to celebrate.

I think everyone had emptied their fridge of alcohol and had taken it to Brucie’s. Denise and I were in the kitchen doing the dishes at 4 a.m., but we didn’t need to be at Old Trafford for the Blackburn pre-game game until 5 p.m. so we all got to sleep all day.

Before the game Brian Kidd accused Gary Pallister of being the only player not to score this season, so Pally was shouting “I’m on free kicks”. I’m still clamoring for an assist as Colin Hendry knocked me down for a late free kick just as I stepped into the box and of course Pally put it to make it 3-1.

Sir Alex suggested that I go upstairs with Brucie to collect the Premier League trophy. Lifting him up, while Sir Matt Busby was there too, after waiting all this time was such a special moment.

He played his part against Blackburn Rovers to inspire a 3-1 win and secure the league title

Manchester United v Coventry City, Premier League, 1994

We had retained the title and it was my last league appearance for United. I was on 99 goals and the guys were doing their best to score me for my 100th. Brian McClair won for a goalie but answered me and I hit the bar.

We drew 0-0, it wasn’t the best game but it was a special moment. We had the FA Cup Doubles final against Chelsea a week later, so we celebrated with a day at the Chester Races.

Walter Swinburn, the jockey, was a huge United fan and a friend of mine and he gave me a 9/4 tip for the last race. We all piled into it, I swear some of the guys were more excited when that happened than when we had won the title the days before.

They retained the crown the following year against Coventry, their last league game for United

Of course, I was hurt to be excluded from the Cup final squad. I thought I could have stepped onto the bench, but I didn’t. There were only two outer submarines then and Sir Alex and his wife Cathy say it was the worst decision he had ever made.

However, when I was at Middlesbrough I came to realize how difficult it was to pick a team for the cup final and keep everyone happy. You want to put in guys who helped you get there, but at the end of the day you have to think about who can give you the best coverage. Sir Alex picked Brian McClair and Lee Sharpe that day, they won 4-0 and got the double.

Middlesbrough vs. Luton Town, Division 1, 1995

I’ve often said that the Cup Winners’ Cup final victory for United against Barcelona was my best game, but winning promotion on the first attempt as a player-manager with Middlesbrough was a huge achievement.

People said I couldn’t do it. Whether Bobby Charlton struggled as a manager, Bobby Moore had and I would be the next former England captain to fail. I was determined to prove people wrong.

Robson proved his skeptics wrong by winning a promotion with Middlesbrough as player / boss

David Pleat had cleverly increased the pressure beforehand, but it was the last game at old Ayresome Park. I got into the team and the atmosphere was great. We won 2-1 with John Hendrie scoring both which means we moved up to the Premier League in my first season.

We still had one game to play at Tranmere, so the guys entered practice on Monday, but myself, Viv Anderson and Gordon McQueen had opened a few bottles of champagne for them so they could celebrate.

West Brom v Portsmouth, Premier League, 2005

The great Escape. We were at the bottom of the league on the last day, but we had gotten a draw at Old Trafford the week before and the team was convinced.

I told the guys “win our game and we’ll stand.” I had studied the table and the games for weeks and knew others would drop points that day. Before the game, I asked Richard Hawkins, our sports scientist, to compile a heartwarming video on what the players have done well to give them a boost. There he played Al Pacino’s speech from the movie “Any Given Sunday”.

Before the game, a few took small bites of Cognac as it helped them calm down. I didn’t mind as it’s something I’ve seen over the years as long as they didn’t take too much.

He managed one of the most famous Premier League relics in history with West Brom

Robson is soaked in champagne after beating Portsmouth 2-0 on the final day of the season

It was tough at 0-0, then I brought in Geoff Horsfield. I told him I wanted him to get involved in the middle and get close to Kevin Campbell. He scored after 20 seconds of entry. I later found out that he had renovated a house, knocked down walls and laid beams after 10pm the day before.

Once we got in front the Portsmouth fans were singing for us as they wanted Southampton to fall. It actually gave us a lift. The wait for more results afterwards, listening to fan radios, was horrible. The relief to know that we were still standing was incredible.

It was certainly one of my greatest accomplishments. I then went for a curry at Walsall with my wife Denise and my brother-in-law but I was so exhausted I was in bed at 10:30 p.m.

ROBBO: The Bryan Robson Story will be available on DVD, Blu Ray and digital download starting November 29. Pre-orders are available on Amazon, AppleTV, and SkyStore.


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