Archive for March, 2009

United 1999 v United 2009: Who is the greatest?

March 4, 2009

Sir Alex Ferguson has described his current Manchester United squad as the greatest that he has ever had. And with United still on track  for an unprecendened quintuple, few would argue with him. But is this team really superior to those Treble winning heroes of 1999?

Starting at the back, despite Edwin Van Der Sar’s magnificent run of 14 consecutive clean sheets, Peter Schmeichel would still edge it. He is quite possiblty the greatest goalkeeper of all time and his performances saved United time after time. His huge presence and aura was more evident than any other goalkeeper I can remember.

The back four of 2009 however, takes some beating. There aren’t two centre backs in world football better than Ferdinand and Vidic. Jaap Stam was too an excellent defender, and integral to United’s success during his period at the club, but Rio and Vida are at another level. And in Patrice Evra, I believe, United boast the worlds best left back. His dynamism would just win it over Denis Irwin’s steadiness.

United’s midfield in 1999 had everyhing. Beckham’s passing and work-rate, Keane’s leadership and defensive qualities, Scholsey’s goals and Giggsy’s dribbling ability.

This current United side also excel in this area, with Giggs and Scholes still going strong as well the superb Michael Carrick. And of course, Cristiano Ronaldo, who would get in any team in the world, – including United’s of 99′.

The 99′ team definately edges it here though. A better midfield I cannot think of.  Ever. And they didn’t have Nani.

Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole were undoubtedly the best front pair in Europe in 1999.  Thier at times telepathic partnership was vital in United winning the Treble. United’s strikeforce also included as a certain Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the best substitute of all time  and a true a United legend.

In Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney, United now posess 2 more technically gifted forwards. Dimi’s languid style at times attracts criticism but I think he”s pure class. Whereas Rooney has the potential become one the greatest players in the club’s history (if not THE greatest player…). 

I just can’t choose between the strikers, so I’m gonna call that one a draw.

On the whole however, the 99′ team wins it for me. The football United played that season was from another planet, with goals flying in from everywhere. Beckham, Keane, Yorke, Cole and Schmeichel would all have been worthy winners of Footballer of  The Year award, which speaks for itself. It went to David Ginola though, strange… 

Anyway, here’s my team of  made up of United’s 1999 and 2009 squads:

Schmeichel

G Neville(99)   Ferdinand  Vidic   Evra

Beckham   Scholes(99)  Keane   Ronaldo

                 Giggs(99)

Rooney