Last week we took a look at the all time best Everton Premier League XI and it’s fair to say we took a lot of stick for some of our choices. But FootballDons aren’t one to back away from a challenge so today we’re going to look at Manchester Utd’s best XI from the Premier League years. Utd have undoubtedly been the most successful team of the Premiership era, so picking out a team from this time is a very hard task. We’re going to stick to Sir Alex Ferguson’s most used formation with an old skool 4-4-2.
GK – Peter Schmeichel (1991-1999) - One of the easier choices of the XI. The big Dane was a monster in goal for Utd in the early years of the Premier League, his time at the club culminating in Captaining the treble winning side of 1999. Voted the Worlds best keeper in both 1992 and 1993.
RB – Gary Neville (1992-2011) - Perhaps better known now for his no-nonsense punditry, one shouldn’t forget that Neville was a class Right Back who made 400 appearances for his boyhood club. Along with his brother Phil, Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Paul Scholes as well as others, he was part of the golden generation born and bred in Manchester. Cut him open and he’ll bleed red…
CB – Rio Ferdinand (2002-) - A very tough choice but we’ve just about given Rio the nod over Vidic and Bruce. This is down to his consistent brilliance at the back for Utd since his move from Leeds back in 2002. Although he’s been slightly creaking this year for the Champions, he’s still one of the best Centre backs the club has seen.
CB – Jaap Stam (1998-2001) - Although he only played 80 times for the club, he was certainly one of, if not the best, central defender the club has had in the last 20 years. A proper meat-head defender, the kind FootballDons love. A dying breed. He was sold in controversial terms after comments he made in his autobiography, but we’ll always remember him for his class on the pitch.
LB – Denis Irwin (1990-2002) - At left back we’ve gone for a player who was once described by Fergie as his “best pound-for-pound signing he ever made”. He joined for just 625k but proved his worth in over ten years at the club. He was a key part of the domestic and European success of the club during his time there and was a brilliant free kick taker.
RM – Cristiano Ronaldo (2003-2009) - CR7 had to make it into the team. Fergie brought the Portuguese wonder-man in for just £12m and sold him for a world record £80m just 6 years later. Since then he’s gone on to establish himself as one of the best players in the world and he’s still regarded as a fans favourite at the club. He won numerous titles in his time at the club, both individual and with Utd, and cemented himself as one of the best players to ever grace the league.
CM – Paul Scholes (1993-2012) - A reporter once asked Zidane what it was like to be the best player in the world. His reply was “why don’t you ask Scholes?”. There’s a feeling that Scholes’ genius wasn’t fully appreciated during his tenure at Utd. But we think that all fans who follow Football closely will realise how good a player the quiet maestro was.
CM – Roy Keane (1993-2005) - After some recent Utd-bashing it’s safe to say that not all Utd fans still entirely love the former captain. But during his time at the club keane gave everything for his side and was part of many titles for his side. Also we love him as a pundit
LM – Ryan Giggs (1990-) - The ultimate professional. It’s amazing to think that Ryan Giggs has actually been involved in every single Premier League season for Utd. Although he’s only a bit-part player now, back in his prime Giggs was one of the best and most feared wingers in the land. A future Utd manager?
STR – Wayne Rooney (2004-) - The two strikers were probably the hardest choices we had to make out of the whole squad. First up though we’ve gone with Wazza himself, Wayne Rooney. He’s Utd’s all time Premier League scorer so we felt he deserved a place in the side. He time at Utd hasn’t been wholly without controversy, with rumours of transfer requests and all sorts. But on the pitch there has been no one who’s worked as hard as Wayne has for the club over the last decade.
STR – Ruud Van Nistlerooy (2001-2006) - We feel harsh for leaving out such Utd legends as Cantona, Cole, Yorke as well as others, but we just couldn’t leave out Ruud. He was prolific and ruuthless (excuse the pun), and was just the kind of striker we love. An old-fashioned penalty box striker.
If you disagree with any of our choices then please let us know!