Kanchelskis: I Have Ferguson To Thank
Kanchelskis made 132 appearances for Manchester United, and 29 as a substitute. He managed to grab 36 goals in a career spanning four years in red. Today is the day that Andrei Kancheslkis signed for Manchester United 22 years ago. For this, Andrei ran over his career for the Manchester United site and the Russian media.
It was not a shock but, of course, it was a very big thing for me because United are such a huge club and Old Trafford is such a famous stadium. I knew United were a good club with great supporters but it was only the second time I had been in England. It was a different mentality and I was away from my friends and what I was used to. It was a big step for me but I must say thanks to everyone at the club and the great supporters as it was a good time and I had four very good years there.
I think it was against Crystal Palace and we lost 3-0. We left a lot of players out because we were playing in the European Cup Winners' Cup final in Rotterdam against Barcelona, which we won 2-1. So some serious players were rested and did not play with some Reserves featuring instead. It was difficult for me in my first game, playing different football and trying to understand it. I was a little bit sulky that we lost.
There are too many games to have favourites but, if I think about them all, I have to pick the 5-0 win against Manchester City. It was a great atmosphere at Old Trafford for a derby game and we played well. However, I watched the match again some months ago and City did not play badly for the first 20 minutes and were still in the game until the second goal went in. After that, City lost control and their players started to make too many mistakes, causing problems in their defence. We took full advantage. A derby and a hat-trick – my first hat-trick in my life – so it’s a great game that I remember.
I think my best was when we played against QPR in the 1992/93 season. Peter Schmeichel made the goal for me and, two touches after he threw the ball, we scored. It was one of my favourites as there were not too many touches from one end to the other. I took one touch, a second touch and then I’m through and score. It was an unbelievable goal.
Stuart Pearce. He was very strong and was very good at positioning. He was not as quick but got himself in good positions and was excellent defensively. Tony Dorigo was another good full-back from that era.
The team I wanted to beat the most
It has to be Liverpool, for me, in England. It was always a hard game but with a good atmosphere, like a derby. We played very, very strong and 100 per cent. I never liked to play against Liverpool as the games were very hard.
The best player I played with
I have to say there were a lot of good players, you know. So many good ones. It was absolutely brilliant for me to stand together with the best footballers – every player who played for Manchester United at the time. For me, it was unbelievable and I’m very happy and thankful to have played with these players. They are good people, with good personalities and good professionals.
My best friends at United
They were not best friends but when I came to Manchester I lived in a hotel and Peter Schmeichel, Steve Bruce and Bryan Robson helped me and my family a lot. They were such nice people and I thank those guys for helping me. They always spoke with me and told me what is happening and what is different in English football and the way of life.
My best United memory
I think it was when we won the Double because we won the championship and then the FA Cup when we played against Chelsea at Wembley. It’s a very good memory as I recall being extremely happy so I think that’s the best one.
I left United when...
I went to Everton who had a good tradition and good history with a nice atmosphere and nice people. I was happy to play at Everton and had some good moments. They are only starting to play better again this season but, when I was there, they were a confident team. I scored 16 goals and they were in a good position in the Premier League.
What I learned at United
I remember playing for United that Bryan Robson always helped me and taught me but I also remember Brian Kidd. He was a good coach – I don’t understand now that he works at Manchester City! When I played, he worked at United and he helped teach me things. I spoke to him a lot but Robson as well was a legend to me. He was a brilliant player but also such a good person and a lot of help to me.