Football: United fans vote Cantona the best

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THE ARRIVAL of Eric Cantona in 1992 may have heralded the most concentrated period of success Manchester United have known, but United fans clearly have little sense of history.

The fans have voted Eric Cantona the best player in the club's history. A readers' ballot organised by United's official magazine puts Cantona in first place ahead of George Best, Sir Bobby Charlton and legendary players of the past like Duncan Edwards and Tommy Taylor.

Ryan Giggs took third place between Best and Sir Bobby and eighth-placed David Beckham finished ahead of another 1960s luminary, Denis Law.

Forgotten were Billy Meredith - the Cantona of the early 1900s - and the Busby Babes Liam Whelan, Jackie Blanchflower and David Pegg. Johnny Carey, who led United to their first post-war League and FA Cup successes, failed to make the top 50.

Justyn Barnes, the magazine editor, is not too surprised. "The average age of our readers is 22, and that is reflected in the high placing of modern players," he said.

"The 90s have been the most consistently successful era in United's history, but it is still arguable whether Ryan Giggs, who helped win two Doubles deserves to be ranked above Sir Bobby."

Top 10: 1 Eric Cantona, 2 George Best, 3 Ryan Giggs, 4 Sir Bobby Charlton, 5 Bryan Robson, 6 Duncan Edwards, 7 Peter Schmeichel, 8 David Beckham, 9 Mark Hughes, 10 Denis Law.