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Cantona: Sgt Wilko made me flee Leeds

Former Leeds and Manchester United icon Eric Cantona has exclusively told FourFourTwo that his controversial cross-Pennine move was caused by his frosty relationship with manager Howard Wilkinson.

The Frenchman wowed the Elland Road faithful following his arrival from Nimes in February 1992, scoring nine league goals as the Whites won the title before bagging a Wembley hat-trick in the Charity Shield against Liverpool.

But after just nine months manager Howard Wilkinson sold him for a mere £1.2m to Leeds’ bitter rivals, for whom he would go on to make more than 150 appearances, winning four Premiership titles and two FA Cups. There have been several theories as to why Cantona left so unexpectedly, but the Frenchman has finally set the record straight.

“I had a bad relationship with the manager, Wilkinson,” explains Cantona exclusively in the November issue of FourFourTwo, out now. “We didn’t have the same views on football. I am more like a Manchester footballer. At Leeds, football was played the old way – I think you say kick then rush. But it was very important to play for Leeds at first because I learnt a lot with this kind of football. And we had success.”

The ever-quotable Frenchman goes on to reveal that that he quickly grew uncomfortable with the atmosphere at Elland Road, but not without adding his own unique analogy in the style of The Fast Show’s Swiss Toni.

“If I don’t feel the environment is good, I don’t want to be there,” he says. “It’s like with a woman: sometimes you can’t find love, sometimes you can, but it’s still not right, you want more, you want to give, you want to receive. I’m not sure that I would like to be with a woman who is like some of the chairmen I met.”

In a lengthy and frank One-on-One interview – small portions of which have been quoted, uncredited by other media outlets – Cantona talks candidly about his lunge at Palace fan Matthew Simmons, saying that his one regret is that “I didn’t punch him strong enough. I should have punched him harder.”

And he admits he fears for Manchester United under the Glazer family once Sir Alex Ferguson finally retires. “I can understand why the fans are concerned,” says Cantona. “The philosophy of the club will never change while Alex Ferguson is at the club. After he leaves... that’s what makes me worry. Ferguson is so strong, so popular, he can control everything. For the moment nothing has changed there — apart from in an economic way.”

As a result, he has pledged his support for FC United of Manchester, the club founded by disaffected supporters who bitterly fought against the Americans’ takeover. “I met the people of FC United when I was in Manchester. They have a great idea. I hope they will become a great club and win the European Cup in 50 years’ time.”

source http://fourfourtwo.com/news/england/17354/default.aspx

Read the full interview in the November issue of 442 Magazine..out now.

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LMAO at the " I should have punched him harder" quote, typical eric speak. :D :D

I wonder, now that it's known that The King is an FC United supporter, how many will call him Judas, Scum, Traitor, Turncoat, Not a TRUE red and all the other things
FC United supporters get called. :D :D

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What a friend we have in Jesus, and his name is Cantona! Everything he says and does is so controversial, yet delivered so eloquently. If I could vote this November 4th, I'd write in Eric Cantona.
 

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SALFORD RED said:
I wonder, now that it's known that The King is an FC United supporter, how many will call him Judas, Scum, Traitor, Turncoat, Not a TRUE red and all the other things
FC United supporters get called. :D :D
I do not. If the FC United play in the Premiership, these matches will be the biggest rivalry. All the matches against Liverpool, City or Leeds United were all ****.
 
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