What do this sqaud lack that the 98/99 & 07/08 squads had?

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by shabz, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Feb 13, 2019

    shabz Full Member

    Jan 16, 2012
    Apart from Sir Alex, who even I dont think could make this team reach the dizzy heights he was so accustomed to.


    Nick Culkin
    Peter Schmeichel - World Class
    Raimond van der Gouw

    Henning Berg
    Wes Brown
    Michael Clegg
    John Curtis
    Danny Higginbotham
    Denis Irwin - World Class
    Ronny Johnsen
    David May
    Gary Neville
    Phil Neville
    Jaap Stam - World Class

    David Beckham
    Jesper Blomqvist
    Nicky Butt
    Ryan Giggs- World Class
    Jonathan Greening
    Roy Keane - World Class
    Paul Scholes
    Michael Twiss
    Ronnie Wallwork
    Mark Wilson

    Andy Cole
    Teddy Sheringham
    Ole Gunnar Solskjær
    Dwight Yorke



    Ben Foster
    Tom Heaton
    Tomasz Kuszczak
    Edwin van der Sar - World Class

    Wes Brown
    Craig Cathcart
    Patrice Evra - World Class
    Rio Ferdinand - World Class
    Gary Neville
    John O'Shea
    Gerard Pique
    Mikael Silvestre
    Nemanja Vidic - World Class

    Michael Carrick
    Chris Eagles
    Darren Fletcher
    Darren Gibson
    Ryan Giggs
    Owen Hargreaves
    Ji Sung Park
    Paul Scholes

    Cristiano Ronaldo - World Class
    Wayne Rooney
    Danny Welbeck
    Louis Saha
    Carlos Tevez


    De Gea - World Class
    Lee Grant
    Sergio Romero

    Eric Bailly
    Matteo Darmian
    Diogo Dalot
    Phil Jones
    Victor Lindelöf
    Marcos Rojo
    Luke Shaw
    Chris Smalling
    Antonio Valencia
    Ashley Young

    Ander Herrera
    Andreas Pereira
    Jesse Lingard
    Juan Mata
    Nemanja Matić
    Scott McTominay
    Paul Pogba - World Class

    Tahith Chong
    Romelu Lukaku
    Anthony Martial
    Marcus Rashford
    Alexis Sánchez

    Comparing the squads I think it is safe to say the biggest problem is our defence is nowhere near as solid as it was. We havent got any world class defender which was something SAF made essential since the signing of Stam, he knew it would elevate us to the elite European level and it something which we haven't had since he left. Our full backs are also an issue, the quality we have is not fit for our ambitions. No top class team is using a winger as a full back amd if they were they wouldn't be conpeting for top honours.

    The quality of our midfield is also something which is worrying, although we have a world class midfielder in Pogba we do not have any support. In the past we had 3 or 4 central midfielders that were comfortable on the ball, happy to control the tempo and able to keep possesion. We are seriously lacking in this department. We have also had central midfielders who were great at retrieving possession and starting of moves instantly, we are very slow to get back at teams and fill in gaps for which we have been punished on numerous occasions this season.

    Up top we probably only have one clinical finisher in Martial this season, we had 4 in 98/99 and 2/3 in 07/08, players who you would bank on scoring when staring down on goal in a one on one. We need to take chances when they come our way in big games especially. We have put smaller clubs to the sword in recent weeks but struggled to put Spurs away and couldnt really muster anything at all against PSG.

    The world class players I chose were players who I believe would get into 80% of first teams in their competitions at the time.

    We have had successful blueprint laid down before and if we follow it we can be successful again.

  2. Feb 13, 2019

    Annihilate Now! ...or later, I'm not fussy Scout

    Nov 4, 2010
    This Space Is For Sale
    Beckham was World Class in 99, as were the combination of Yorke and Cole together.

    Scholes was World Class in 2008, so was Rooney.
  3. Feb 13, 2019

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate Scout

    Jan 31, 2014
    Saha, Rooney, Tevez, Ronaldo and Nani were in my opinion better than anything we currently have. That's almost funny to think about it.
  4. Feb 13, 2019

    SirAF Ageist

    Sep 28, 2003
  5. Feb 13, 2019

    Ecstatic Full Member

    Nov 26, 2015
    Farewell tour
    In summary, the video highlights the difference between now and the past

  6. Feb 13, 2019

    2E_MUFC Full Member

    Apr 12, 2010
    Old Trafford
    We lack in the midfield. Fred may yet come good but I’m not so sure. We need a couple of new midfielders at least. Rabiot/Ndombele could be 2 options. We have needed 2 new modern fullbacks wh have the ability to attack aswell as defend like all the top teams have. And we have needed a right winger since I can remember. Sancho would be the dream signing imo for the wing.

    It would be nice to have the real Sanchez but I’m not sure he has it anymore. We then need to stick to an attacking style of play that we have all craved for so long. Which will then lead on to what we do with Lukaku. I personally would like to see him replaced. With who I’m not sure.

    Also a new centre back and sell Rojo and Jones or Smalling.
  7. Feb 13, 2019

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

    Aug 17, 2005
    I think rather than compare this side with past UCL winning sides look at our previous sides that didn't win the UCL and look to how they bridged the gap

    I felt the tie with PSG would go the way our tie with AC Milan did in 2007, I thought we'd get a victory at home full of heart, passion and desire but ultimately comfortably outclassed in the away leg. Unfortunately the outclassed part came in the home game this time around, injuries to Martial and Lingard didn't help our cause but ultimately our young attackers against the likes of Thiago and Alves was like boys against men much like the case was back in 07 with the likes of Rooney and Ronaldo against Cafu, Maldini and Nesta

    Obviously this current side is no where near our 06/07 side either, it doesn't have the manager in place, it doesn't have the experience in the squad and only time will tell of the potential (Martial, Rahsford) will get close to your Rooney's and Ronaldo's
  8. Feb 13, 2019

    bleedred Full Member

    May 2, 2011
    None of our strikers are prolific like the past.

    Even when they reach that potenial, they will never get close to them. I cannot see Martial/Rashford having a 30 league goal season.
  9. Feb 13, 2019

    ForestRGoinUp New Member

    Aug 15, 2018
    I think it's naive to push on in the hope these two are the future. If that is the plan, then our timeline and/or expectations don't indicate much in the way of near term success. As far as attacks go, they might make up only the 4th or 5th best pair/trio in the league if you include Lingard as things stand currently.
  10. Feb 13, 2019

    Keeps It tidy Hates Messi

    Jun 6, 2013
    New York
    With the side that would eventually win 3 titles in a row and 5 in 7. I always think of the signings made from 05 to 06. Park Ji Sung and Edwin Van Der Sar in the summer of 05, Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic in the winter of 06 and Carrick in summer 06. With the exception of Van Der Sar they were all in their mid 20s and only Carrick's transfer fee seemed like a lot for the time. Those along with Rooney, Cristiano, Rio, Scholes, Giggs, etc became the core that would get the title back and win another European Cup.
  11. Feb 13, 2019

    Escobar Poster originally known as Michel04

    Jun 8, 2004
    We are not as solid at the back. Just look at the back 4s we had, especially in 2008. It just doesnt get any better than that and that helps so much. Plus, we lack depth. And SAF :(
  12. Feb 13, 2019

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

    Feb 22, 2006
    "like a man in silk pyjamas shooting pigeons

    Especially when you can say the exact same thing about the defence (and, arguably, central midfield)
  13. Feb 13, 2019

    Andersons Dietician Full Member

    Jun 14, 2016
    Supports good football
    Experience, time and in terms of that 07/08 team not just a world class player but the very best player in the world.

    I think the year before we were an incredible attacking force and then we came up against Milan, people built it as the unstoppable force vs the unmovable object and Milan taught us a lesson, Kaka especially. We are a young inexperienced team in reality. Pogba, Mata and Sanchez are really the only ones that have any real experience on the biggest stages.

    Eventually we’ll get there it’s just going to take some time for the very talented crop of players we have to get to the level.

    Think it’s obvious positions need replacing or reinforcing but no need to completely overhaul everything.
  14. Feb 13, 2019

    AndyJ1985 New Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    There's more to it than how many "world class" players are in the squad. The strength in depth of our past squads was far superior to the current one. A few of our current first team players wouldn't even make the bench in some of Ferguson's teams.
  15. Feb 13, 2019

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate Scout

    Jan 31, 2014
    I say funny because I didn't appreciate them as I should while I'm happy with Lingard, Rashford and Martial to the point where I'm willing to big them up a little bit.
  16. Feb 13, 2019

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

    Feb 22, 2006
    "like a man in silk pyjamas shooting pigeons
    Yeah there’s been a relentless lowering of expectations since Fergie retired. A process that arguably started when he was still in charge.

    Rooney left a bit of a sour taste with his premature decline but can you imagine how last night would have turned out with a 25/26 year old Rooney starting instead of one of our front three?!?
  17. Feb 13, 2019

    promisedlanchiao New Member

    Apr 22, 2017
    I’ll compare us now to the 08’ team as that was when I started supporting United.

    De Gea >> Van Der Sar
    Brown > Young
    Vidic >>>> Bailly/Jones
    Rio >> Lindelof
    Evra >> Shaw
    Matic - Carrick
    Pogba > Scholes
    Herrera - Hargreaves
    Ronaldo >>>>>>> Lingard
    Tevez > Rashford
    Rooney >> Martial

    Key: Amount of arrows = amount of tiers above, - means equal

    As far as I can tell, our midfield is slightly better but we’re miles off in every department apart from the goalkeeper. Martial and Rashford do deserve a chance to develop and while I see Rashford surpassing Tevez, I can’t see Martial reaching that Rooney level top tier. I do hope he becomes world class though.

    However, what we have to keep in mind is that the 08’ and 99’ squads were the best in the world and it will take time to reach that level. What we do need though is investment this summer on a right back, centre back, central midfielder and right winger that are fit for Manchester United Football Club, in which case I can see us challenging on all fronts.
  18. Feb 13, 2019

    Eriku Full Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    I don’t think our player material is that bad, but what we had were WINNERS. Every time we sold and and bought and rebuilt under Fergie, he retained a core of players who were British and knew the stature and standards of the club, and we had a group of players who were accustomed to winning and who never looked back.

    Giggs said that after winning the 08 CL final he celebrated that night, but the next day he was thinking about next season, the next trophy. We’ve lost that core of proven winners.

    We could also do with a better defence, with real leaders.
  19. Feb 13, 2019

    King7Eric Full Member

    Sep 19, 2016
    Its not a matter of comparing individuals, the biggest issue is we lack is the ability to control games. In 99 we had a midfield of Scholes, Keane, Becks and Giggs along with Yorke as part of our front 6. All 5 of them could move the ball without having to carry it themselves. They could make the opposition come at them and break shape without having to do so themselves. Similarly in 08 we had Carrick, Scholes, Hargreaves, Rooney, Giggs or Park, whoever played, even Tevez to a certain extent who were all adept at keeping the ball. This was well supplemented by the likes of Ronaldo and Nani who carry the ball at pace. In our current team, our attacking approach is based on unsettling the opposition into making mistakes and carrying the ball forward at pace. Our players like Rashford, Martial, Pogba, Lingard excel at this and hence we have been getting very good results against PL level opposition and I guess we will continue to get good results against inferior sides because they will make mistakes.

    But against top sides who won't break shape or be forced into mistakes, we will struggle because our front 6 can't penetrate without the ball at their feet, they try to run at the opposition which is always easier to defend against(at least for top defenders) compared to having to chase the ball and shut out spaces for 90 minutes. Pogba is world class at what he does, but he is not someone who can control games, we need that player, someone like Scholes or Carrick who can recycle possession all day long and force the opposition to break lines. At present when the likes of Herrera and Matic try to keep possession it is easy to defend against without breaking shape because they don't have the skill set to be able to play those penetrating balls, which forces the likes of Martial or Lingard to come deep and try to carry the ball with them or try one-twos which is for top sides is easier to defend against.
  20. Feb 13, 2019

    DiMaria New Member

    Oct 18, 2014

    First of all I would like to say sorry about last night.

    Second, I just couldn’t help but comment for the first time in years because I saw that scholes had an inferior arrow next to his name. And before that somebody else did not put world class next to his name. Are you guys being serious? Scholes is exactly the type of cm we are missing nowadays, and if he isn’t world class then I don’t know what United football you watched throughout the years.

    He is the definition of world class and easily the best cm I have ever watched put the United jersey on. So let’s never forget that please.

    Back to my paid vacation in stinky Paris.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2019
  21. Feb 13, 2019

    IronCroos37 New Member

    Nov 24, 2017
    They had world class keepers, defence,midfield,attacking,manager.
    We have world class keeper and thats it. :lol: with some potentials!
  22. Feb 13, 2019

    Valencia Shin Crosses Full Member

    Sep 30, 2015
    "Martial...He's isolated Skrtel here..."
    Pretty obvious it's depth in attack and midfield, as well as obvious weaknesses in defense. Said it yesterday, but as much as I love the heart our players show, a decent amount aren't on the level to be able to play straight up with PSG. Our starting attack from yesterday was fine (although Lingard could be replaced with more quality, I understand he's still useful), but it showed when we lost Martial and Lingard that we had almost no goal threat. Rashford and Pogba were the only ones capable of creating/scoring at that point, and PSG clearly set out to nullify Pogba before the game. Herrera needed to contribute much more going forward with the space he was allowed in attack, and instead he was dreadful. Obviously Sanchez and Mata were garbage, but I don't think anyone expected anything different besides the delusional supporters who still think Sanchez can bring back his Arsenal form from 3 years ago.

    We are screwed if one of our main attackers/ Pogba go out, because we have no one that can even come close to the same production. In defense, Shaw is quite clearly a pretty good defender who is mediocre attacking wise, which means that our RB needs to be really good going forward. Instead we have Young, who while a great servant to the club and has done a job at RB for the most part , gets exposed against the top tier teams.
  23. Feb 13, 2019

    Von Mistelroum Full Member

    May 21, 2015
    The long and short of it is that we had far superior squads with much better players. We have plenty of average players these days in our squad, and our two world class stars are surrounded by players who are nowhere near their level.

    Even some of our most lauded stars like Rashford and Lingard are very hit and miss and are nowhere close to the likes of Mbappe. Rashford often looks like he's lost control of his own legs and like he's surprised when something comes off...I'm in no way saying he's a bad player but to consider these to be some of our very best just shows how far off we are.
  24. Feb 13, 2019

    Davicho New Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    We lack players with quality on the ball. In the past even our CBs would take responsibility on the ball to make things happen. Today, if Pogba doesnt have the ball, no one is capable of break lines or control the ball in tight spaces. I dont know how some people cant see that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2019
  25. Feb 13, 2019

    el3mel Full Member

    Oct 23, 2016
    Almost everything. :lol:

    The 2008-2009 side had world class quality all over the pitch. Gk was world class, 2 of the best defenders pairing in the world, world class left back, world class midfield, the best player in the world, the best English forward and Argentinian world class player. Simply quality everywhere.

    More ever than that this team was full of leaders and strong characters. VDS, Rio, Vidic, Evra, Scholes, Ronaldo, Giggs etc.

    They were also full of guts and will to put strong fight against tides to prove their worth. Their mentality was winners one.

    This squad lacks almost all of this.

    Our current squad is a top 4 one, can finish 3rd and with some work 2nd but that's about. They don't have it in them to win the league or CL yet.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  26. Feb 13, 2019

    VeevaVee despite the protests, wears Ugg boots Scout

    Jan 3, 2009
    Quality, is the answer. We lack quality. People refuse to believe it so often (usually when we win a couple of games), citing Fergie having John O'shea, but we had more quality throughout.
  27. Feb 13, 2019

    Red_toad Full Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Other squads had genuine leaders in key positions. Also had excellent defenders, not ones who get heralded just for not being as crap as their competition.
    We serious lack players who'll step up on the pitch and organise who's doing what.
    That said 2 or 3 additions to the current team and we've a very good starting 11. Balance just isn't right, clubs lacked direction since just prior to Sir Alex leaving. Poor appointments and purchases galore. Hopefully summer 2019 that'll be finally rectified. We shall all see how it goes.
  28. Feb 13, 2019

    Van Piorsing Lost his light sabre

    Feb 10, 2006
    Apart the plan to conquer Europe players had both natural or implanted ambition to knock Liverpool off their perch, especially 08 squad. We had Wes Brown and John O'Shea scoring against them because everyone wanted the same... even Federico Macheda played his part in that mission with one sweet goal. I remember fans gone crazy like on Slayer's live show.

    Quality, passion, commitment... or just The Class of '92, which never happens often, that's why owners and CEO playing such a crucial role when academy can't spit out new Giggs or Beckham every decade.
  29. Feb 13, 2019

    Bubz27 No I won’t change your tag line

    Aug 17, 2009
    Sir Alex Ferguson is the biggest thing.
  30. Feb 13, 2019

    Irish Jet New Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Anyone but Rashford
    This can't be serious.

    Those squads had world class players in just about every area of the pitch – Some of the greatest players of their era. Our squad maybe has two world class players and there’s a gulf between them and the rest.

    This squad is more comparable to the 2004-2006 United sides. Some genuine quality, some great young talent and a lot of mediocrity. We’re a long way from where we need to be – The Juve, PSG, Liverpool and City games this season have all been stark reminders of that. Spurs could have been too had they taken their chances.

    The recruitment has generally been shocking since that 2008 season.
  31. Feb 13, 2019

    red_de_pologne New Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Warsaw, Poland
    the current squad is million light years away from both those sides
  32. Feb 13, 2019

    groovyalbert Full Member

    Feb 14, 2013
    Quality and strength in depth; not having to worry about players coming in for cover.

    Supreme confidence, fantastic synergy and a perfect mixture of experience and youth.

    Also, the manager helped.
  33. Feb 13, 2019

    MaxiPaxi likes to shove his mum's boiled eggs up his rectum

    Mar 4, 2017
    Was about to post this.

    We lack Sir Alex, that's all there is to it.
  34. Feb 13, 2019

    Gopher Brown Full Member

    Jul 16, 2013
    Ahh, we’re doing the “world class” thing again. As if anyone has the foggiest what that means.

    Interesting that OP picks Irwin as “world class” but not Yorke or Beckham. Irwin was solid, reliable, but if I must criticise him he didn’t offer a great deal attack-wise, maybe because he was played essentially out of position for most of his United career.
  35. Feb 13, 2019

    baskinginthesun Full Member

    Feb 5, 2014
    California Sometimes
    Not to mention a world class manager as well.

    You forget the names we had then. Add to the fact that Giggs, Scholes, Neville, and Brown had already won it in 99. Knew the feeling and knew the mentality it took to push the team further.
  36. Feb 13, 2019

    el3mel Full Member

    Oct 23, 2016
    Yeah also this. Not just world class manager, the best football manager in history.

    This squad had everything that made it a force. Just shame it overlapped with the era of one of the best teams in history (Pep's Barca). Otherwise could have dominated Europe for some good years.
  37. Feb 13, 2019

    Frank Grimes Full Member

    Aug 1, 2014
    Newbies 15/16 FPL Champion.
    Hargreaves was a better player than Herrera and a bit harsh on Van der Sar but other than that not far wrong.
  38. Feb 13, 2019

    Red1968 Full Member

    Apr 3, 2010
    New Swabia
    Two players are key from both those squads. Beckham and Ronaldo for one valuable attribute: the amount of goals they produced from set pieces. Week in and week out we scored crucial goals from free kicks and corners that we have never replaced since Ronaldo left. The past few years have seen the quality of crosses, corners and free kicks just bottom out. Now we just hammer the ball into the box and hope for the best. The other obvious element is defender. Both 99 and 08 have solid shut down defenders. Something we painfully lack today. Finally forwardwise Cole and Yorke are head and shoulders above the current squad and in my opinion even the 08 squad (except for Cristiano) . An absolutely deadly combo up front who if serviced properly scored almost every game
  39. Feb 13, 2019

    siw2007 Full Member

    Jan 1, 2014
    Our sides of 98/99 and 07/08 were teams that were very experienced in the Champions League. As good as these teams were they were also shaped and hardened by years of underachievement and failure in the competition until the point when the penny dropped. I certainly remember the disappointment of the second side looking second best against Milan in 05, Benfica in 06 (Porto 04 was a little different but still not great), until we eventually cracked it. This side has barely 2 goes in the competition especially as last time was an utterly pointless exercise. They have a long way off until they have learnt their lessons, especially against teams like PSG.

    Also those sides were very well assembled and had a great squad. This side we have now works best when we have a fast and mobile attack such as Martial, Rashford and Lingard whom have done very well recently but when 1 or 2 drops out we look a far weaker outfit. This theme runs quite true throughout the squad, it is a very expensive assembly of players put together but none are really offering that depth we crave right now (Sanchez, Mata and Lukaku are not filling the front three spots as well as our first choice). There are obviously certain positions where we would benefit from some good investment such as defence.
  40. Feb 13, 2019

    Dominos Full Member

    Jul 5, 2009
    People won't like to hear it but 06/07 was Scholes' last world class season.

    In 07/08 he wasn't as good as previous year and Fergie definitely noticed as he didn't start at Anfield or Emirates that season for example, and didn't start all of the big CL knockouts either.