The story of the dispute between George Best and Charlton, which destroyed Manchester United

The animosity between the two stars reached such an extent that neither of them passed the ball to the other

When Matt Busby retired from football in 1969, the level of the three extraordinary talents of Manchester United, who had previously won the Ballon d’Or as the best player in the world, was in decline. Bobby Charlton was 31 years old and nearing the end of his football career, Dennis Law was 29 years old but not fully recovered from a serious knee injury, George Best was 22 years old but he had already won his last championship.

“I represented the future of Manchester United, or I should have been, and Charlton represented the past,” Best said. It was not only about age, but also about behavior and attitudes; Best once said he was “grateful” to have been born in 1946 rather than 1926, adding: “We don’t have to be fully committed to short hair on the back and sides and wearing a club jacket at all times like it was not before. be.”

Bobby Charlton

But these were really the values ​​expressed by Bobby Charlton, born in 1937, who in 1967, looking desperately at the youth revolution at the time, said: “It is a great pity that young people today seem to shy away from close relationships with their elders. . Therefore; Many young people on the scene now have the attitude that almost everything and ordinary people have become sick. They act as if the peak of age is reached at twenty-five and then have to wring out every drop of life; Whether they offend others or not.”

Since Bobby is not yet 30, his comments are very vague, even because of his apparent discomfort with modern slang, as he continues to attack those who insist on using new, youthful words that have not been used before. However; Bobby played alongside one of the great icons of the emerging youth movement, so there was no escaping the friction between them.

“I just don’t get it,” Bobby said in April 1973. What is your goal in soccer? It’s your duty to give your best to the people who come to support and encourage you, but it seems he didn’t see that.” In return, Best accused Bobby of “behaving in a way that made him think he was better and holier than thou,” saying, “I wish I could hear him say an expletive once.”

Bobby felt caught in the middle as captain of the club. He was seen as a captain by the players, and he was by the coach, Franck O’Farrell, who had complete confidence in his leadership ability. Bobby complained that Best had missed training, disrupted training or was an embarrassment to the team, and O’Farrell suggested that Bobby, as a high-profile figure with over 100 England caps, make his own decision. But Bobby, for all his enthusiasm and shouting on the field, absolutely hated conflict off the court, and so the problem got worse.

Bobby was a decency and a great deal of decency and respect, and he hoped it would come out to Piste at some point, but Piest didn’t care about any of these things and didn’t even try to show his disdain for to hide her. When asked in a TV interview about the person who most influenced his career, Best said: “Sissy Charlton” (Bobby’s mother).

Bobby’s retirement game was held on 18 September 1972 and ended in a goalless draw against Celtic. Best refused to play, claiming he had injured his right ankle, although he later said he would have been a “hypocrite” if he had played that game. He came to watch the game but it only lasted 5 minutes before he left for a bar and sadly sat at a table drinking alcohol and throwing darts and eggs at Bobby’s picture on the wall.

O’Farrell, who was a quiet, respectful man who studied every little detail, found himself in a very difficult situation. Beast was a problem that might be impossible to solve, but it wasn’t the only problem. Dennis Lew was suffering from injury and kept out of games, and then there were the club’s internal politics which made the power centers that supported Bisbee and inevitably gave him all the powers to resist any successor to him. O’Farrell thought Paddy Crirand had forgotten the past and was working on it wholeheartedly, but Crirand was very close to Bisbee. Furthermore, O’Farrell did not rate Willy Morgan or Alex Stephenie, but they played golf with Bisbee regularly. An attempt to sign Peter Chilton was rejected; Ostensibly because of the cost of the deal, but O’Farrell believed the real reason was that Chilton’s arrival meant Stephenie was eliminated.

Best felt that Bisbee and the club were very loyal to the players who stayed a long time; Including Bobby, who Best thought had become “part of the problem”. O’Farrell finally let Bobby down, saying, “They all seem to think that if they give me up, they’re proving something.” And Bobby practiced alone, running endless laps around the field. But even as Bobby expressed his displeasure at being locked out of games as part of the power struggle within the club, he knew in his heart that his power was waning.

“He first started to blame himself,” Best said. He thought it was all his fault, which made him a little worse.” Bobby grew more and more gloomy, and on some days he walked into the locker room at the training ground, went straight in, put on his clothes and stared at the wall, ignoring everyone else.

“The Big Three were at odds,” said Stephenie. There were long days when they did not speak to each other. I’m sure it was George Best’s complete lack of interest in the club that led to Charlton feeling the desperation that seemed to grip him every time he went to the club.” For Bobby, the club was more than just a club, as Bobby – perhaps more than anyone else – revered Manchester United and always aspired to be the ideal place. Always seen as a potential wonderland, home to Duncan Edwards, Eddie Coleman and David Page, Manchester United were deeply frustrated by the club’s decline.

Even after 3 decades, Best couldn’t admit it. Best wrote 5 of his autobiographies, and he would write each of them whenever he was short of money! These biographies often had so many contradictions that it was very difficult to determine what he actually believed about anything. His 2001 autobiography, Mubarak, was remarkable, even by the standards of this genre, for its language that made the reader feel that he was very self-pitying, as he always blamed others, his fame or his illness, never admitting that he was wrong about anything. “Others didn’t understand the pressure I was under,” Best said in this autobiography. I found it increasingly difficult to find any incentive; Because the team was so bad.”

But Bobby felt that Best needed to make sure the team wasn’t too bad, and that his frequent absences and lack of good performances contributed to the team’s overall decline. And of course; Bobby always scolded Best by asking him to look at the difficult circumstances he himself went through and how he dealt with them and finally achieved his goals.

In the end it got really bad; So much so that Bobby and Best stopped passing each other on the field. Bobby may be as stubborn as his brother or his father, but perhaps in this case he is understandable: if he does not uphold the old values, the standards that made Manchester United such a great club, who will?

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