What team was better: Manchester United 2008 or Liverpool 2019?

matbezlima

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12 years ago, Barcelona were the pioneers of modern pressing. They changed the game completely. 12 years of tactical advances and people adopting the pressing system also means opposing teams have had more time to adapt to it.
SAF was bamboozled by Barcelona's pressing due to it s novelty and it still being an unknown quantity. He would have adapted given time, and would've gotten back on top
Still, Barcelona's quality on the ball and midfield was immense, though in 2009 Barcelona they hadn't really reached their peak of fluency, passing precision, possession and control, they were a fantastic team, but still not an alien one. United 2009, in a better day than in the 2009 UCL final, and Liverpool 2019 would have a really good chance and the games would be close, they had the quality to hurt to Barcelona on the break and get out of the pressing. Barcelona 2010/2011 on the other hand would be on a whole other level of challenge. The 2009 UCL final should have been a more equal game.
 

TheLord

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The 2019/20 Liverpool have been helped by an extraordinary dip in form of major Premier League title rivals. They have already been brutally exposed by a not-so-great Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, haven’t they?

When was the last time the entire quartet of Arsenal, City, Chelsea and United so bad collectively? You will have to go back to the days before the Premier League existed, to be honest.

Liverpool have been great this season, but let us not go over the top and place this team in the same pedestal of England’s finest teams. Ludicrous. They may have one PL title with an asterisk, for God’s sake. They can come back and argue if they ever win the Double.
 

dal

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Man Utd obviously, Liverpool haven’t won anything however on an individual level it’s much closer

————————Van Der Sar———————
Trent——VVD———ferdinand—robertson
———————Carrick—Fletcher——————
———————————Rooney————————
———-Ronaldo———-Firmino——-Mane—

That team beats Barcelona 08-09

There’s arguments for scholes, Fabinho, Tevez , Salah & Vidic. However in a team to play against any team in Europe, I’d pick the above as it would frighten me.
 

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You don’t split up the Ferdinand-Vidic partnership for anyone.
 

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Feel like on paper Liverpool are always going to come up short on these threads just because there team is such an incredible functioning well but IMO their clear best player is a defender whereas most other teams best player is usually an attacking one and I think many of the other top Premier League teams had bigger superstars . 'On paper' , I'd fancy quite a lot of the old Premier League sides over this Liverpool one but the reality is - they went close to 14 months without losing a league game , won the Champions League, are going to win the league and on course for way over 100 points so it's a lot tougher than it looks.
It's only natural that we tend to overrate our own side's qualities & underrate the other side's strong points. But the key factor for me in this debate is that Ferguson's United sides, for all their quality, were also beatable. Klopp's Liverpool, over recent seasons, have not been quite as free-flowing as we once were, but we're a very hard side to beat. Hence our incredible consistency & points accumulation over the past 2 seasons.
 

iHicksy

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Man Utd obviously, Liverpool haven’t won anything however on an individual level it’s much closer

————————Van Der Sar———————
Trent——VVD———ferdinand—robertson
———————Carrick—Fletcher——————
———————————Rooney————————
———-Ronaldo———-Firmino——-Mane—

That team beats Barcelona 08-09

There’s arguments for scholes, Fabinho, Tevez , Salah & Vidic. However in a team to play against any team in Europe, I’d pick the above as it would frighten me.
Sorry but this team is just dumb.

VVD wouldn't get in over Vidic. You're talking teams and that partnership is the best in prem history. Also, Vidic is a better defender. Having trent in that team would destroy the ability of that team to defend. He' s literally a right winger/forward for Pool masquerading as a right back. He's not a great defender, he's a great attacker. On the same side as Ronaldo you need someone who's priority is to defend and provide cover. He does neither. Robertson over Evra is a weird one again. Evra was in the top 3 left backs in the world for a long long time. You've taken a Rooney at the peak of his powers and then stuffed him into midfield (what?) to accommodate Mane and Firmino. Bizzare, since neither are as good as Tevez or Rooney. Then dropping Paul Scholes? Arguably the best passer of the ball the prem has ever seen?
 

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Man Utd obviously, Liverpool haven’t won anything however on an individual level it’s much closer

————————Van Der Sar———————
Trent——VVD———ferdinand—robertson
———————Carrick—Fletcher——————
———————————Rooney————————
———-Ronaldo———-Firmino——-Mane—

That team beats Barcelona 08-09

There’s arguments for scholes, Fabinho, Tevez , Salah & Vidic. However in a team to play against any team in Europe, I’d pick the above as it would frighten me.
Carrick and Fletcher?
 

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I've seen it all, Scholes in the same sentence as Fabinho.:lol:

Fabinho has not even done as well as Fletcher so far in his career let alone Scholes.
 

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Take Klopp out and you will see how average some of their footballers they have are. Great team but with players playing well above their natural levels in a specific system.

United 08 was full of genuine world class talent.

Edit : Chelsea 05 had even more ridiculous natural talent.
 

Inigo Montoya

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It’s like the debate over which cricket side was better: the West Indies of the 80s and 90s or the Aussies of next decade?

Geoff Boycott summed it up when he said that the Windies would have won inside 4 days.

This is the same for me here. The Utd team back there were solid, talented and had a resolve to win.
Comes down to defence for me. Utd’s was easily better than Liverpool’s is now. I don’t see them keeping out our attack for too long. They’ve been lucky in so many games in a sub standard PL, I can’t say that about Utd back then
 

arnie_ni

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Memory might fail me but wasn't 2008 Rooney more of a pure striker rather than a #10? Always find it hard to play players out of position just to accommodate them in such a combined XI.

I'd definitely have Alisson over VDS yes, but might have Vidic instead of VVD too. Certainly up for discussion.
Alison over vds from that period? Not a chance
 

arnie_ni

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Still doesn't really answer my point about how your defence would cope with being pressurised every time they had the ball. Pep's City are widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, Premier League side ever. They've struggled against us on quite a few occasions even with the plethora of world class attacking talent they have at their disposal, so why do you think your 2008 side would fare any better ?
All we have to do is pump a long ball down TAA channel towards Ronaldo, who cant even deal with rashford.
 

fps

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I feel Liverpool have a fantastic system and squad to facilitate that system. However, I don’t think they’re up against a team like 2008 United. Ronaldo against Trent would be a great starting point for how Liverpool wouldn’t be able to use their full backs as they wanted. Trent would be exposed to two on ones where the one on one was unwinmable, and although that may also free up Salah, that flank would essentially be key and United would have it. While Van Dijk is brilliant I reckon Rooney and Tevez would also find inside channel positions and square up the other centre back all day. Ferguson might even deploy Tevez to mess with Liverpool’s centre mids higher up the pitch.

What would Liverpool do? Recycle the ball really well, although you can’t really burst lines of midfield if Carrick is sitting in his usual deep position. I don’t see Firmino getting change out of Rio and Vidic. Liverpool’s main threat would be Mane, as Salah is still excellent but not the player of two years ago. He would be cutting inside and Liverpool would have the same overlapping threat from the left as the right, which United may lack. You’d expect a dangerous moment or two from that left hand side for sure.

Ultimately I think a lack of goal threat from Liverpool’s midfield would count against them, letting United mark the key men only and leave the ball to Milner, Henderson, whoever, and United’s front three being better gradually they’d get it done.

Scholes would be sent off in the 73rd minute for an awful tackle of Milner. He would look unfussed.
 

arnie_ni

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Its a United forum so I don't expect anything else but Liverpool over the last year is absolutely right there with 07-08 United. If the two sides played 10 times (without draws), you'd expect each to win five or maybe one to edge it slightly but there's really nothing meaningful between them, and that's just a testament to the greatness of both.
Not a chance. That utd side is the best team in the pl era. This liverpool isnt even top 3 when you think of utd treble year, that city team, Jose's chelsea all ahead of them
 

arnie_ni

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Man Utd obviously, Liverpool haven’t won anything however on an individual level it’s much closer

————————Van Der Sar———————
Trent——VVD———ferdinand—robertson
———————Carrick—Fletcher——————
———————————Rooney————————
———-Ronaldo———-Firmino——-Mane—

That team beats Barcelona 08-09

There’s arguments for scholes, Fabinho, Tevez , Salah & Vidic. However in a team to play against any team in Europe, I’d pick the above as it would frighten me.
Thats a shocking team between these two squads.
 

fps

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Man Utd obviously, Liverpool haven’t won anything however on an individual level it’s much closer

————————Van Der Sar———————
Trent——VVD———ferdinand—robertson
———————Carrick—Fletcher——————
———————————Rooney————————
———-Ronaldo———-Firmino——-Mane—

That team beats Barcelona 08-09

There’s arguments for scholes, Fabinho, Tevez , Salah & Vidic. However in a team to play against any team in Europe, I’d pick the above as it would frighten me.
Yikes. Of the many questionable ones here, how has Darren Fletcher got in a composite side?! He didn’t even get in United’s side!! And up front.... what even is this.
 

dal

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Ah yes may have made a mistake on fletcher :wenger:.

However why would Firmino, VVD, Robertson, Trent and Mane not get into these sides. I’m trying to be as neutral as possible but a few of you need to to take those red spectacles off.
 

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Interms of individual players united of 2008 were better than the current liverpool side.

However united would still lose (7 out of 10 times) considering that we were outplayed by a barcelona side low on confidence (and with lionel messi just back from one of his many injuries) in the semi finals that season.

In addition, we were also outplayed by chelsea in the final in the second half as well as in extratime.

But, in the league, if that united team were to coexist with this liverpool side, united would win 4 out of 6 titles. Its the one on one battles where we would struggle just as we lost to benitez's liverpool in 2009.
 

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It's only natural that we tend to overrate our own side's qualities & underrate the other side's strong points. But the key factor for me in this debate is that Ferguson's United sides, for all their quality, were also beatable. Klopp's Liverpool, over recent seasons, have not been quite as free-flowing as we once were, but we're a very hard side to beat. Hence our incredible consistency & points accumulation over the past 2 seasons.
The bolded is simply not accurate. If you were talking about the Chelsea side we faced then, or the Barcelona side who prevented us accumulating multiple CL's, the combined xi would look wholly different.

We faced superior teams at their apexes; context because of calibre of opponents is paramount.

It simply must be accepted that the '08 side has the strongest claim for being the PL's representative side. The strongest side of the golden era. It's not only earned via the PL, but who they faced and what they did in Europe.
 

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Liverpool fans really need to stop placing VVD in the team and TAA.

There are at least arguments for Mane and possibly Salah, but the record-breaking backline of United's is sacrosanct.
 

romufc

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The bolded is simply not accurate. If you were talking about the Chelsea side we faced then, or the Barcelona side who prevented us accumulating multiple CL's, the combined xi would look wholly different.

We faced superior teams at their apexes; context because of calibre of opponents is paramount.

It simply must be accepted that the '08 side has the strongest claim for being the PL's representative side. The strongest side of the golden era. It's not only earned via the PL, but who they faced and what they did in Europe.
The thing is people do not get that. Yes this Liverpool side is great but if we compare to the teams in 08 there were very good teams in Europe.

Just the Chelsea team as well, that was Prime Chelsea which we beat in the league and CL. Liverpool talk about the City team but they haven't met in a Semi or Final. We competed against that Chelsea team in PL, CL and FA cup finals during that time.
 

Andycoleno9

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This Liverpool team is overrated. Last two seasons they are doing great but they are not even close to our 2008 side.
Sure, i am little bit biased but still our team was different level.
 

dal

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Sorry but this team is just dumb.

VVD wouldn't get in over Vidic. You're talking teams and that partnership is the best in prem history. Also, Vidic is a better defender. Having trent in that team would destroy the ability of that team to defend. He' s literally a right winger/forward for Pool masquerading as a right back. He's not a great defender, he's a great attacker. On the same side as Ronaldo you need someone who's priority is to defend and provide cover. He does neither. Robertson over Evra is a weird one again. Evra was in the top 3 left backs in the world for a long long time. You've taken a Rooney at the peak of his powers and then stuffed him into midfield (what?) to accommodate Mane and Firmino. Bizzare, since neither are as good as Tevez or Rooney. Then dropping Paul Scholes? Arguably the best passer of the ball the prem has ever seen?
But doesn't he play on the same side as Salah at Liverpool?

I would replace scholes with Fletcher for 2008, I was thinking of Fletcher 2009 where Fletcher benched Scholes for both semi-final games and was robbed of a final.
 

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Prime Chelsea had Lampard, Essien, Makelele & Ballack in midfield sometime between 05-08. Plus Ashley Cole, Terry, Cech, Carvalho in defense. All world class footballers and only team that can compare to United 2008 in my opinion.
 

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Liverpool played an overachieving Spurs team in the final. The comeback against Barca was great but they weren't what they once were.

We had to play a Chelsea team that we had barely beaten to the title by two points, and overcame one of the best ever Barca sides.

Also we won the league in the same season. We also made it back to the final the next year. No debate for me.
 

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But doesn't he play on the same side as Salah at Liverpool?
Yes with a different system where the CM's cover full backs. In that case Hendo and Gini would need to be in the team. Which is absurd.
 

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VDS》 Alisson
TAA》Brown
Rio》 Van Dijk ( Van Dijk is great but come on, Rio is one of the best in PL history)
Vidic》 Lovren or whoever
Evra》 Robertson

Carrick》 Henderson
Scholes》 Milner
Giggs》 Wijnaldum

Ronaldo》 Salah
Rooney》 Firmino
Tevez》 Mane

So how is this a contest?
 
Last edited:

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Ah yes may have made a mistake on fletcher :wenger:.

However why would Firmino, VVD, Robertson, Trent and Mane not get into these sides. I’m trying to be as neutral as possible but a few of you need to to take those red spectacles off.
Trent over Brown and Mane over Tevez are possibly worth debating. Van Dijk is quality and very unfortunate to be behind such a legendary pair, but behind he is. Firmino and Robertson don't have a prayer.
 

arnie_ni

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Ah yes may have made a mistake on fletcher :wenger:.

However why would Firmino, VVD, Robertson, Trent and Mane not get into these sides. I’m trying to be as neutral as possible but a few of you need to to take those red spectacles off.
Rooney would be up top, youd have an actual midfielder playing in midfield, evra is better than Robertson.

Trent and mane would, you can argue vvd over vidic, but youll probably not win that
 

matbezlima

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The 2019/20 Liverpool have been helped by an extraordinary dip in form of major Premier League title rivals. They have already been brutally exposed by a not-so-great Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, haven’t they?

When was the last time the entire quartet of Arsenal, City, Chelsea and United so bad collectively? You will have to go back to the days before the Premier League existed, to be honest.

Liverpool have been great this season, but let us not go over the top and place this team in the same pedestal of England’s finest teams. Ludicrous. They may have one PL title with an asterisk, for God’s sake. They can come back and argue if they ever win the Double.
It's fair to note that Liverpool was in slump of bad form. They can play vastly better than that. Their 4-0 victory away against Leicester was an insane performance. If Liverpool had played at that level against Atletico, or any team in the world now really, Liverpool would have won.
 

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It's fair to note that Liverpool was in slump of bad form. They can play vastly better than that. Their 4-0 victory away against Leicester was an insane performance. If Liverpool had played at that level against Atletico, or any team in the world now really, Liverpool would have won.
That is such a broad statement to make. If they played at the level, I do not buy that because as a manager you have to prepare for the opponents strengths.

Leicester didnt, and they let the full backs go forward unchallenged time after time again which made Liverpool's life easy.

Athelti wont do that, they will make sure they defend well.

So what you should be saying is, if Athleti played like Leicester Liverpool would have won
 

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Liverpool played an overachieving Spurs team in the final. The comeback against Barca was great but they weren't what they once were.

We had to play a Chelsea team that we had barely beaten to the title by two points, and overcame one of the best ever Barca sides.

Also we won the league in the same season. We also made it back to the final the next year. No debate for me.
I mean, it's not for anyone who has the slightest bit of common sense. And it's no slight on this Liverpool team, which is a good unit and tactically proficient. But they are nowhere the level of brilliance of the 2008 team.
 

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In my opinion a mix of both teams would lead to that:


........................VDS
TAA--Ferdinand--Vidic---Evra
--------------------Carrick
-----------Fletcher----Scholes
Salah----------------------------Ronaldo
-------------------Rooney

Bench: Alisson, VVD, O'shea*, Hargreaves, Wijnaldum, Mané, Tevez.

*Because he can play everywhere at an above average standard, Milner was the alternative but he can't play as a CB.
 

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In my opinion a mix of both teams would lead to that:


........................VDS
TAA--Ferdinand--Vidic---Evra
--------------------Carrick
-----------Fletcher----Scholes
Salah----------------------------Ronaldo
-------------------Rooney

Bench: Alisson, VVD, O'shea*, Hargreaves, Wijnaldum, Mané, Tevez.

*Because he can play everywhere at an above average standard, Milner was the alternative but he can't play as a CB.
For me Robertson gets in at LB and Henderson above Fletcher.
 

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First off, this comparison can't really be made until the season is over. Secondly, truly great teams perform at the highest level in more than one competition. As great as Liverpool's EPL season has been, in my opinion they will never be compared to the top teams unless they win more than one piece of silverware.
 

Terminator

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In my opinion a mix of both teams would lead to that:


........................VDS
TAA--Ferdinand--Vidic---Evra
--------------------Carrick
-----------Fletcher----Scholes
Salah----------------------------Ronaldo
-------------------Rooney

Bench: Alisson, VVD, O'shea*, Hargreaves, Wijnaldum, Mané, Tevez.

*Because he can play everywhere at an above average standard, Milner was the alternative but he can't play as a CB.
Giggs 08 over Hargreaves/Wijnaldum IMO.
 

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Henderson reminds me of Fletcher. Not very talented, but always a hard worker and great mentality.
 

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In my opinion a mix of both teams would lead to that:


........................VDS
TAA--Ferdinand--Vidic---Evra
--------------------Carrick
-----------Fletcher----Scholes
Salah----------------------------Ronaldo
-------------------Rooney

Bench: Alisson, VVD, O'shea*, Hargreaves, Wijnaldum, Mané, Tevez.

*Because he can play everywhere at an above average standard, Milner was the alternative but he can't play as a CB.
Don't think anyone will argue with that
 

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Henderson reminds me of Fletcher. Not very talented, but always a hard worker and great mentality.
Fletcher had more to his game IMO, but he displayed that the most in the following season, 08-09. Strictly on an 07-08 perspective, if the midfield needed 3 then I'd replace Fletcher with Henderson or Wijnaldum. Otherwise I'd stick with Scholes/Carrick in midfield and figure out which 4 attackers get in out of Rooney/Tevez/Ronaldo/Giggs/Nani/Mane/Salah/Firmino.

Edit: Giggs could slot into midfield but he didn't demonstrate that much in 07/08