Sir Alex Ferguson has named Bryan Robson as the best Manchester United captain he had during his 27 years in charge at Old Trafford.
Robson, who had been a British record signing from West Brom in 1981 and was handed the United armband by Rob Atkinson a year later, was one of the few players who survived Fergie’s cull in the late 1980s as he attempted to reset the culture of the club.
The marauding midfielder later lifted the inaugural 1992/93 Premier League title with Steve Bruce, ending a 26-year drought, before winning a domestic double in his final season in 1993/94.
Ferguson had a number of legendary skippers under his command over the years, including Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Gary Neville, Nemanja Vidic and the aforementioned Bruce, all of whom led United to silverware. But Robson stands out for him as a leader above all of them.
“He was easily the best captain I had. I think over the period he was at United, he was the best player,” Ferguson said in a Q&A promoting ROBBO: The Bryan Robson Story, via ManUtd.com.
“The players loved him. They responded to him and he was the longest-serving captain in my time anyway,” he added, referring to Robson’s eight years with the armband under his reign – and 12 years overall.
“It’s difficult for a captain because sometimes he has to tell the truth to players, you know? The encouragement he’s got to give them sometimes can be quite volatile and he was like that, but the players did love him.
“They appreciated the time he took on them and another thing, he’s the only captain I knew who could make a decision on the pitch. He didn’t need to look over to me. He would do that and that’s unusual. In fact, it’s very unusual because he had the balls to do that.”