When Frank O’Farrell, the sole Irishman to manage Manchester United, published his autobiography in 2011, he called it All Changed At Old Trafford.
Decades passed, and as his family mourned the passing of Corkman O’Farrell, who passed away at his foster home on the south coast of England at the age of 94, ‘No Change At Old Trafford’ also fit as the red half of that city then and now, engulfed in self-pity based on results on the field.
O’Farrell, limited to Ireland only nine times (he was frustrated with that low score) and a star player for West Ham and Preston, was sacked by United the week of Christmas 1972–18. month after a 5 year and 3 day contract. after a humiliating 5-0 loss to Crystal Palace. This week, United supporters are wondering how long the scars from their 4-1 loss to Manchester City will last.
His book tells the story of how a man, then regarded as one of England’s finest managerial talents, was tasked with taking over Old Trafford at a time when his legacy and influence of a very successful Scottish coach is still there, a the aura quickly turned into an immutable cloud.
Matt Busby’s reaction to O’Farrell’s decision to quit and transfer an increasingly sassy list of George Best was to arrange a private meeting with At best, clearly undermine the authority of O’Farrell management.
Decades on, private words from another former coach, Alex Ferguson, about Cristiano Ronaldo’s condition became public and undermined then-coach, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
In the final days of the Ferguson era, as his retirement signaled his retirement, journalists frequently sought out O’Farrell for opinions on how United could replace a legendary coach, who led them to domestic and European glory, being Scots at the same time.
“They have to be first. Someone like the guy in Barcelona – Pep Guardiola,” O’Farrell told Manchester Evening News in 2011, two years before Ferguson retired. Having watched the seven coaches then stutter at Old Trafford, including incumbent Ralf Rangnick, United fans will ask if anyone at the club was listening.
What Happened to O’Farrell – sacked just 18 months after a five-year deal – will return to the club not long after his book comes out, when David Moyes has just a year left in his career. his six-year contract. O’Farrell tried, without success, to deal with the legacy of Busby, a man who couldn’t sever his ties with the club even after he resigned and whose interference made life nearly impossible O’Farrell.
“Matt said I have five years to turn things around and I feel that is more than enough time to do the job. Disappointingly, Matt didn’t support me when I tried to do it,” wrote O’Farrell.
Rifts between Busby and his permanent successor (the original Wilf McGuinness took over but quit when Busby returned as a caregiver) has been there since day one. A top of the range £3,000 difference between the salary Busby offered and the salary the club had in mind (“Matt knew I knew he was trying to cheat me”). Even Busby’s physical presence at the club was a warning: Busby’s office was larger than O’Farrell’s.
One of O’Farrell’s first acts at United was to make Best the highest-paid player, and at first, the mood music was good; United have topped the table midway through his first season.
They fall though, the end eighth and Best is becoming more and more There’s a problem in the yard. O’Farrell was criticized by Busby for dropping Bobby Charlton (“a cleaner”, O’Farrell said).
The manager said Busby “made my job impossible, he was an obstacle” and he reached the end of the road by then lost to Palace.
O’Farrell is furious with the club (but especially Busby) for the way he came out; He was instructed to return his club car and was forced to sign the dole due to legal battles in the chase for compensation. After a stint as the manager of Cardiff City, he led the Iran national team to new heights during his time in Tehran (1974-1976), then had two caps for Torquay United, before the tournament. technology in 1983.
He played 456 matches at club level, won nine caps, had 691 appearances as a manager at club level, was a proud father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and from the day he played his first game with Cork United in 1947 to 1983, he was deeply involved in the game.
So O’Farrell didn’t want to His 18 months at Old Trafford to shape him. His retirement years, after he left Torquay in 1983, were very happyand his Catholic faith took up a huge part of his life.
“Football can be like seasons. You have your spring, your summer and your winter. The trick is to hold on and know that if you’re honest, the weather will change,” are the closing words of his autobiography.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/frank-ofarrell-the-irishman-who-took-on-an-impossible-job-at-manchester-united-41421504.html Frank O’Farrell – The Irishman has taken on the impossible job at Manchester United