United v Liverpool Preview: Choccy’s Diary

Brian McClair looks at tomorrow's Old Trafford clash.
Brian McClair   |  23rd February 2019

Automated confusion

I’ve always been someone who’s interested in technology and innovation – I was one of the first people I know to get a Nintendo, I liked DVD’s when they came out. We live in an automated world and that’s something I’m aware of and embrace. This week I was going into a very modern building and next to the revolving door was another door, which I couldn’t work out why it wasn’t working. I was waiting for it to open. Stood patiently. And waited. And waited. Eventually I pushed it and it opened. I thought what a dick. Standing there waiting for this door to open like it knew I was there!

RedArmyBet offices are situated in We Work which is a shared workspace. I quite like the idea. A member of the RedArmyBet staff, let’s call him Sam, got trapped in an office by an enthusiastic girl pretending that she wanted to get his number but it was for someone else. I think that’s why they have glass in all the rooms here, so we can observe such awkward situations!

I was walking down the street the other day and I saw this gentleman, and his wife looking elegant. I thought to myself ‘is that who I think it is? Does nobody recognise him?’ I snuck up beside him with my phone in hand and quickly said: “Can I get a picture?” He was a bit startled at first then both he and his wife recognised me. He looked at me and pointed at a homeless chap and said: “You should be sitting over there with him begging.” I thanked him for his kind words. That’s the last time I sneak up on Walter Smith when he’s out with his wife!

United v Chelsea

United scored goals at the right time against Chelsea. The result was as much down to United’s good play as it was Chelsea’s bad play. One of Pogba’s strengths is getting into the box. Players like that are difficult to stop, when they’re in full force. I thought the goalkeeper was poor, it was a case of chocolate-like wrists. Chelsea just didn’t have any answers and now United are in a good position in the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup.

There were no priorities when I was playing in terms of competitions. You couldn’t be concerned about anything other than the next game. We’re in the hunt for qualification for the Champions League and we have to just keep trying to win. Every game we play should try and win. Try and get as many points, that’s the Sir Alex legacy and tradition. We’re not like other teams who stop when they’ve got enough points to win a competition or not avoid relegation. One London club finished fourth bottom, the players were already sunning themselves on some beach in their minds once relegation was avoided.

Every game from now till the end of the season is vital and you approach it as a must-win. You have to look at why these same players couldn’t play this way under the previous coach. When it comes to playing for United often players are judged on their private lives. One little thing off the pitch that could be your United career over.

Alex Ferguson advice

Alex Ferguson thought you should be a special player to play for Manchester United. He was almost as concerned with what you did off the pitch as on.

One example was when I was at Celtic, I went to Monaco for an award ceremony. Fergie was there, he was the Aberdeen manager at the time.

I was determined to give it the James Bond, Sean Connery thing and go to the casino. I was going to do £100 red at the casino.

I dumped my stuff at the hotel before bumping into Fergie:

Him: Where are you going?

Me: Casino.

Him: No you’re not.

I went back to my room fuming. Thinking who the f*ck are you? I looked into the mirror, had a chat with myself and went to bed.

I’m convinced there wouldn’t be a Brian McClair at United if I’d ignored him and gone to the casino. I don’t think he would have eventually signed me. Part of that, discipline to respect. I still don’t know why I didn’t go.

Flying back I was on the plane with a few people who were laughing and joking about what a great time they’d had at the casino – with Fergie!

United mentality

When you’re at United, it becomes part of what you do and what the expectations are, in terms of winning etc. We gave each other rows for things, we wanted to win things. We kept it going, when I was coaching this was the idea. The idea was always about first and foremost, young people to become well mannered, well behaved, diligent, people. They’ll be successful if they have the right mentality. They might not have that, they had all the other attributes. I saw that in the players that are now currently in the United first team.

Since Jesse and Marcus were seven, eight years of age. They had that mentality to work hard behave yourself, just keep repeating. No surprise they’ve been successful, the talent and right attitude were always there.

For the Liverpool game, United will score, that’s a given. You’re not concerned about the prowess of the Liverpool team, but it’s more of a worry that Liverpool’s defence has been shored up. That being said I fancy United to get a win. 3-1.

United v Liverpool enhanced odds and special bets at RedArmyBet.com

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Brian McClair

Former United and Scotland striker.

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