instalment of which was wrested from Liverpool in typical fashion: Cantona, 1-0.
The following summer, on the eve of what would prove to be his final season in football, Eric looked back on an undulating campaign which had ended in another stratosphere – and there was one game which he held above all others. “The best moment was at West Ham,” Cantona reflected. “If we had lost there… after West Ham, every game was important. Newcastle was just one of the games we had to play. We had to win every one. That moment was very important.”
Both short-term and long-term, collectively and individually, Cantona was right. He departed Old Trafford having assumed a greater role than any other player in establishing a culture of success which has filtered down through subsequent sets of players. Within his own beaming half decade at the club, a dark January evening at Upton Park still burns bright.