Duncan Edwards, The Greatest, Manchester United, England, the story of a star

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Duncan Edwards is by many described as the best footballer to be, and at his age he was something else, a bright future was in front of him but as we all know it all ended in a tragic disaster as the England international died in the Munich crash.

When the crash happened and we never got the opportunity to see Duncan Edwards on a football field again, he had at the age of 21 added up 18 caps and scored 5 goals for England, played a total of 151 EFL games for Manchester United and scored 20 goals.

His talent was something we seldom will see in football and the future looked fantastic, the left half would have been part of the England set up for the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden, and the outfall could have been much different, and of course gone on to win more honours than his two league titles from 1956 and 1957 with Manchester United.

England did participate in the 1962 World Cup but at the age of 26, Duncan Edwards would have been at his very best and looking forward he could have gone on to play in both the 1966 and 1970 finals. Bobby Charlton was just a year younger than Duncan Edwards and came through the ranks at Manchester United at the same time. The two also did military service together in the area of Shrewsbury.

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Duncan Edwards, was described as a rock in open sea and a player that could operate in midfield and of course in the centre of a back three. He made his England debut at the age of 18 and when making his first team debut with MU, at the age of 16, becoming the youngest player in the top flight ever.

A teetotal as we would probably have liked every sports man to be and of course leading by example and being a grand role model for his generation, being that proper and solid rock as described, and of course a key player in the Sir Matt Busby set up. Bill Foulkes and Paddy Crerand did get their shots instead as they covered the positions we would surely had seen Duncan Edwards operating in, getting that great generation of players coming up and establishing Manchester United again as a giant in European and domestic football during the 60’s.

Duncan Edwards had a leading role in the England team and played in all four of the qualification games for the 1958 World Cup, scored two goals in the 5-2 hammering for Denmark in Copenhagen, often said to be the clear alternative to follow Billy Wright as captain of England.

History and destiny tells a different story as we again did see a great athlete and massive footballer leave us with his best years in front and leaving a big hole of grief behind.

But as we are asking the questions, what if? and why? his place was there to be filled both for club and country as other players stepped forward and made the most of their football careers.

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Manchester United were close to win The Double with Duncan Edwards in the team and he was part of the run with the club raching the 1957 FA Cup final, but had to see defeat against Aston Villa, losing 2-1.

A sad story and a tragic outfall is of course the close picture of his life, but indeed giving inspiration and hope for other players as English football reached it’s peak in the 60’s with both Manchester United and England making history on the path that was there to walk for other players making their club and nation proud.

Duncan Edwards, The Greatest

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Paul Merson, never missing out on his first love and his current and healthy addiction

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Paul Merson is a man with real commitment to football and in his latest book and well written story about a man and his problems, you get the knowledge of what addiction can be also in the wrong direction.

He has been around at Sky Sports since the start of this century being a pundit who shines as an indivudal and often his comments makes a debate or a laugh as you get a balance in the studio with other pundits being in another mood or fase.

We all knew his ability on the field and how good he was for Arsenal during his days playing alongside great players of his era doing twelve seasons with The Gunners before starting his travel to other clubs.

Merson played a vital part in the teams of George Graham winning the league in 1989 and 1991, and later also doing well in the time of the early years of Arsene Wenger.

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The man himself is a riddle and opening up about gambling, drinking and using other substances might be an old story and well known, but again always good with a reminder as many do struggle with different aspects of mental health issues.

Paul Merson, as we know him from the football field, he was a grand player, a special talent and as so many others of his generation we do see a different approach today, but as we all know, we do love to see those players that stands out for different reasons and are not main stream.

After leaving Arsenal, Merson moved to Middlesbrough and as he describes it himself, probably not the best of places, with a certain Paul Gascoigne also at this football club at the time. The stories of the two might have stopped others as they both have suffered from the life they lived and struggled with.

After a short stay up north, Merson moved to Aston Villa were he had a number of good years and just before played for England in the 1998 World Cup, probably forgotten by most that he scored in the penalty shoot outs as other were missing their target.

During his four years at Aston Villa, described by himself to be his best years in the game, he has fond memories of his last final at Wembley playing in that millennium year of the FA Cup final. Despite losing 1-0 to Chelsea, still very special as it was his only final for The Villa.

After his time with Aston Villa he made a move down south to help Portsmouth winning promotion to the top flight and at the age of 35 taking charge of Walsall becoming their player manager. His time with The Saddlers never really became any success though avoiding relegation from League One might have been a bigger achievment than valued, and he can proudly say that he was never relegated as a EFL manager and there after moving away from the trade of football management with a short period at Non-League club Tamworth.

He has also over the years played in a number of games of charity and such, always seen with a smile on his face as he still show his skills even at the age of above fifty.

Many of us watching Sky Sports do still remember his good days in football and hopefully he will continue to talk of the game as he continues to make his reports and comments on Premier League.

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Cesc Fabregas and his special journey from a global star to Ligue 1 life with Monaco

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Cesc Fabregas was in the same Barcelona youth team as Lionel Messi, seen as massive talent of dimentions when at La Masia, and instead of being patient and wait a bit for his chance he jumped at a more direct route with Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, knowing exactly what he purchased and brought into his team.

Fabregas made his early debut for Arsenal in the 03/04 season, and from then on making his special route to become one of the best midfielders in the World. Many believe that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the best from this era, but looking at the stats and trophy hunts of Cesc Fabregas makes you wonder why he was never seen in the same headlines as the two other maestros of the game.

Over his years in the top flight of English football, the Spanish national team and his return to Barcelona the following happened. He is a World Cup winner and a European Champion with Spain. Premier League winner twice with Chelsea, a runner-up in the Champions League with Arsenal and also of course winner of the FA Cup, EFL Cup and La Liga during his years at the very highest level.

Arsenal and Arsene Wenger was not able to stop the move to Barcelona and after 212 PL appearances in eight years with The Gunners a dream move to Camp Nou happened. After three years he made a return to English football with Chelsea, being a key player in those great Premier League wins and playing at Stamford Bridge from 2014 to 2019.

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Cesc Fabregas had reached his top but anyway moving to Monaco made a new change in his career and with a clear feeling that he would like a new challenge in a new league, but still in Europe and not vanishing for a lucrative contract in China.

Since joining Monaco he has been an important player after helping the club out of difficulties and last season ending third and qualified for CL action. Not able to get into the group stages of Champions League they had to settle for Europa League.

The start this season has seen little of Cesc Fabregas. Monaco are eight at the moment in Ligue 1 and top of their Europa League group. Cesc Fabregas did not play every game last season, only on the field 21 times. This season we have seen Fabregas involved twice coming on as a sub in the games v. Lorient and Lens.

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Not many players are still involved in top flight action making their debuts almost twenty years ago, but Cesc Fabregas (34) will possibly be around for a number of more years.

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His tally of performances, massive title wins and of course being capped 110 times since making his debut in 2005. He has not made any offical statement of a retirement from international football, but has not played for Spain since 2016.

A man easily forgotten among the ever greatest players, but in his time and setting he was actually one of them highest on the steps of football stardom.

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