Spending a day with Ron Atkinson was just like chatting to your Grandad; you know when you’re pretending you do like the whiskey he’s offered you, even though your insides are burning more than it would be by a vindaloo curry.
Anyway, as the former United gaffer glossed over the old days, and spoke with more passion than Jose Mourinho ever would in a press conference; Big Ron recalled the greatest player he’s ever managed and drew comparisons to United’s main man now, Paul Pogba.
CLICKON: “Who was the greatest player you’ve worked with?”
RA: “It’s got to be Robbo [Bryan Robson], I would say he’s the best player I’ve worked with. And value for money, I’d say Paul McGrath was up there”
And Big Ron went further; drawing comparisons of how Robson’s, £1.5 million fee (a British record at the time) was far better value for money than United’s £89 million on Pogba this summer. Not all that hard comparison when you’re paying more cash on someone who uses his dab to teach school kids, and spends more time keeping the local barbers in business.
Atkinson did remain very positive on the Frenchman, though…
“He’s an all purpose midfielder, he can get up the park, proves he can score a goal, get back and defend. Everything Robson offered. But, United haven’t found out their strongest team, and the best way of playing.”
Despite United’s slow start to the season, Big Ron was encouraging when speaking about Red Devils manager, Jose Mourinho…
“Jose is definitely the right man for the job. He’s frustrated that it’s not gone as well as he would have hoped, but he certainly is the right man going forward.
The problem is, United have too many options that he’s not quite sure of. Once he gets in his mind who’s best in what position, he’ll then add to that. It might not be this year, but he’ll get it right.”
Hopefully for United spending another £500 million in the next transfer window is not the answer. But, with Ron being so optimistic remains a good sign for the Old Trafford faithful.
We’ll see how Mourinho does over the upcoming months, or if he again calls ‘Mike’ Smalling out for not playing over Christmas due to a broken bone ?.
For more top stories from Big Ron, check out his book, The Manager.
9 players who suffered from ‘Rooney syndrome’…