Manchester United’s Team of the Decade
When I had finally decided on Manchester United’s team of the Noughties, I realised that the team was made up predominantly of current players which, I believe, isn’t that surprising — that’s longevity for you. So ladies and gentleman, to wrap up the decade here is our Team of the Year:
Manchester United’s Team of the Decade:
Van der Sar
Neville – Ferdinand – Vidic – Evra
Ronaldo – Scholes – Keane – Giggs
Van Nistelrooy – Rooney
Bench: Barthez, O’Shea, Stam, Heinze, Beckham, Butt, Solskjaer
Debatable. Well, there’s a ‘substitutes bench’ intended to please all. The goalkeeper position was an easy choice: who apart from Edwin van der Sar deserves to make the XI? Tim Howard and Fabian Barthez are both lagging behind, so this decision was an easy one.
The back four had a small dilemma. Gary Neville and Patrice Evra were definitive choices in the full-back positions but in the two centre-back positions I was left scratching my head for a second or two, as Jaap Stam made a case for making the eleven. But I decided to stick with my original two centre-halves in Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. Both defenders have been solid at the back, and it seems just about right the duo were named. John O’Shea is the Ultimate Utility Player™ and so makes the bench.
On the flanks, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs were also easy decisions. Giggs is my Player of the Decade, his contributions to the side still as valuable as they were ten years ago. Ronaldo isn’t too far behind. And the central positions were straightforward choices, too. Scholes and Keane have been by far the best central midfielders of the decade, two of the best to ever wear the red shirt. Eric Djemba-Djemba, Kleberson, Liam Miller and Quinton Fortune narrowly missed out.
Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy make up the forwards, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer not too far off. Nistelrooy, like Solskjaer, is an Old Trafford ‘great’ if you simply look at his goalscoring record. An incredible 150 goals in 219 games for the Dutchman and, in addition, he currently holds the record for most goals in Europe. Rooney is a different player, not all about the goals; he is like the engine of the team, and it is Rooney who leads from the front for United and no doubt he will soon become an Old Trafford great.