Manchester United are a household name when it comes to dominance and victory over football titles in England, but that hasn’t always been the case. Prior to the English League being in the form it is today, Liverpool was the team that was piling up trophy after trophy, and it wasn’t until the lads of Sir Alex Ferguson stormed into the picture that United cemented their dominance in the newly founded Premier League.
Graeme Souness, as a player, aided Liverpool’s success in those former days of glory, but as a manager, he wasn’t as lucky, with a sole FA Cup being the only hurrah of his three-year tenure with the Merseyside club. However, his recent revelations indicate that he might have committed far graver errors than that.
In his column in the Sunday Times, the Scotsman revealed: “I missed out on two players who went on to become Manchester United legends.”
These players were none other than the great Peter Schmeichel and Eric Cantona.
He continued: “Ron Yeats, the chief scout then, told me there was a young Danish goalkeeper – Peter Schmeichel – who was a Liverpool fan and willing to pay his own travel and hotel in exchange for some time with us. I was trying to ease out Bruce Grobbelaar and that was proving a hassle, plus I had just signed David James, so I thought I could do without a rookie keeper.”
As if missing out on the Great Dane, who is United’s most successful goalkeeper till date, wasn’t big enough of a travesty, the manager also failed to land another formidable force.
“Eric Cantona was another I missed out on. We played Auxerre at home and Michel Platini came to see me afterwards. He said he had a player for me, a problem boy but a proper player. It was Cantona, but I said the last thing I needed was another problem player,” he added.
The ‘problem player’ in question went on to wear the famed No.7 jersey for Manchester United, and found a spot in the footballing hall of fame with his grand antics on and off the pitch.
It is flabbergasting to think what kind of a force Liverpool would have been if the two prodigies had become part of their ranks. One wouldn’t be mistaken in thinking that it would have very much redefined the way modern English football is.
However, with the two clubs clashing in their next Premier League encounter, what kind of future will be written?
Written by Naveen Kelvin
A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.