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

matbezlima

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I have always said Liverpool have been a great team this season but throwing statements like if they played like Leicester against Athleti they would have won is not wanting to recognise that a team can play a defensive system and defend well.

No, a team that doesnt make mistakes would not always end 0-0 because, the superior team will have that quality to break a team down by brilliant play, Liverpool have shown it numerous times.

Liverpool have been fantaastic and play a brand of football that if you give them a sniff, they will strangle you, that is why if you want to have some success against them, you cannot give them those opportunities.

Re Barca, that Barca team was one of the best ever footballing sides, there are no comparisons. The way they pressed teams, there was no way out for teams and ofcourse when you are that good at winning the ball and have Messi in your team, it is almost impossible to play against.

Manutd found that out in 2 CL finals.
It's not that Liverpool were bad only against Atletico, they were bad against everyone in February 2020. The team reached a slump and wasn't playing anywhere near their best. The second half against Atletico in the second leg was by far Liverpool's best performance in February and Oblak made countless fantastic saves, keeping Atletico in the game all by himself
 

Paul_Scholes18

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Well not as good as the unprecedented talent this Liverpool team shows, of course, but they were decent.
In total points and wins the Liverpool side probably wins out right? If you only look at the year 2008 vs 2019. Since the league has improved since 2008 is must show that Liverpool are the better side? Trophies counts for nothing here ;).
 

arnie_ni

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In total points and wins the Liverpool side probably wins out right? If you only look at the year 2008 vs 2019. Since the league has improved since 2008 is must show that Liverpool are the better side? Trophies counts for nothing here ;).
Ah white text, thank god
 

romufc

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It's not that Liverpool were bad only against Atletico, they were bad against everyone in February 2020. The team reached a slump and wasn't playing anywhere near their best. The second half against Atletico in the second leg was by far Liverpool's best performance in February and Oblak made countless fantastic saves, keeping Atletico in the game all by himself
It is a testament to the Liverpool side for being so consistent over the season, you have to expect drops in form etc..

Fergie used to line his United teams to come good after the October international break knowing full well that the business end of the season is where he cannot afford slip ups.
 

kidbob

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Its not a player vs player. Or trophies vs trophies. Its not about names or reputation battles

The system of this LFC side would have caused big trouble to 2008 Utd side. The speed, fitness, and aggression of this LFC side is unprecedented in EPL history.

Also, the era of 2008 was different, most teams didnt even try to attack Utd, that was the aura of Fergie’s side. But technically, physically, these players are no match for 2019 LFC side.
This seasons Liverpool had two very competitive games with the current United, pre Bruno and with no Pogba, who are managed by a relative rookie. Now I may be crazy but our 08 team with Fergie managing would smash our current team easily. It's easy to say that present day teams are different gravy but this building up of Liverpool as if they are some unstoppable force is plain nonsense.

Also the main point that must be remembered in all of this is that Ronaldo is an absolute game changer of epic proportions. One of the two teams has one of the top 2 players of all time in it and he happened to be in pretty crazy form that season. As fit as TAA or Robertson are I really don't fancy them defending against that and best of luck to them if they go all gung ho as usual. So the question is do Liverpool get to just stick to their system or five minutes in does Klopp realise that two advanced full backs is suicide. Their press would be an issue (although they don't employ it as intense these days) but you could equally point to their midfield struggling with Rooney and Tevez hounding them all game too.

Then there is the benches and if we take 08 in a vacuum we have Park (decent), Nani, Anderson (very good in his first season) and Giggs and one of Fletcher or Hargreaves. I don't think Liverpool have the same options to change things if needed.

The game hasn't changed that much since 08, we were only one year out from the emergence of Pep's Barca and I don't think Liverpool are capable of doing what they did to United. Again Barca had their own game changer too and two of the greatest midfield players ever. I also watched United shut out the 08 Barca (not the best side but still a stupid amount of firepower) which makes me believe that shutting out Liverpool isn't out of the question either

It wouldn't be a wipe out but I'd fancy the 08 United side 8 out of 10 times.
 

romufc

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I also watched United shut out the 08 Barca (not the best side but still a stupid amount of firepower) which makes me believe that shutting out Liverpool isn't out of the question either

It wouldn't be a wipe out but I'd fancy the 08 United side 8 out of 10 times.
You've hit the nail on the head. United went to Barcelona away and kept a clean sheet in a semi final, could have won it with the pen as well. If you can keep clean sheets like that away from home, you have every chance of winning games.

The thing is SAF was just as happy to say Liverpool, come on attack us, bring your full backs up because he trusts his players to keep them out and still be very dangerous on the break.

The difference is the 08 team could play a low block counter attacking football just as well as high press attacking football.

The one key thing is, there was a genuine game changer. Ronaldo that season was magical. He had 10 completed dribbles past Essien in a CL final.
 

RooneyLegend

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This seasons Liverpool had two very competitive games with the current United, pre Bruno and with no Pogba, who are managed by a relative rookie. Now I may be crazy but our 08 team with Fergie managing would smash our current team easily. It's easy to say that present day teams are different gravy but this building up of Liverpool as if they are some unstoppable force is plain nonsense.

Also the main point that must be remembered in all of this is that Ronaldo is an absolute game changer of epic proportions. One of the two teams has one of the top 2 players of all time in it and he happened to be in pretty crazy form that season. As fit as TAA or Robertson are I really don't fancy them defending against that and best of luck to them if they go all gung ho as usual. So the question is do Liverpool get to just stick to their system or five minutes in does Klopp realise that two advanced full backs is suicide. Their press would be an issue (although they don't employ it as intense these days) but you could equally point to their midfield struggling with Rooney and Tevez hounding them all game too.

Then there is the benches and if we take 08 in a vacuum we have Park (decent), Nani, Anderson (very good in his first season) and Giggs and one of Fletcher or Hargreaves. I don't think Liverpool have the same options to change things if needed.

The game hasn't changed that much since 08, we were only one year out from the emergence of Pep's Barca and I don't think Liverpool are capable of doing what they did to United. Again Barca had their own game changer too and two of the greatest midfield players ever. I also watched United shut out the 08 Barca (not the best side but still a stupid amount of firepower) which makes me believe that shutting out Liverpool isn't out of the question either

It wouldn't be a wipe out but I'd fancy the 08 United side 8 out of 10 times.
We used to make hard work of worse sides than our current side more regularly in those days.

The game has changed alot since 08, not sure how you can be blind to it.
 

kidbob

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We used to make hard work of worse sides than our current side more regularly in those days.

The game has changed alot since 08, not sure how you can be blind to it.
The point of me referencing Liverpool's somewhat struggles with our current team was to highlight that as good as they are, and they are bloody good, they aren't this unstoppable force that they are sometimes made out to be. They only team in my lifetime I could give that title to are Pep's Barcelona at their best. Every team in history have had games they struggle in but sometimes it feels like people talk as if this Liverpool team wins every game comfortably.

For me the fact is that we are asking who would win between two great sides and in that case the game isn't so different now to think that this Liverpool side poses the time of question that could completely undo that era United. I've given my reasons why I think United have the upper hand. That's not to say that I'd expect any game between them to be a drubbing, in fact it'd be a tight affair. It's just that all we really have heard is that United wouldn't deal with Liverpool's system but I think that United's style would quickly make Klopp rethink his approach in game.

It has been said that its a 'system' thing and not a player thing but the problem is the players make the system. Barcelona worked as much because of the players in the team as Pep's genius. Take Messi, Xavi and Iniesta out and the 'system' wouldn't have worked near as effectively. The quality of the player is pretty important otherwise we could be talking about how Aston Villa would beat 99 United because football has changed so much.

So here's my view regardless of era:

Liverpool's attack offers nothing that 08 United haven't seen before and even if they pose issues you are talking about 4 top quality defenders (at least 2 World Class) and a top quality goalkeeper. I think they could adjust to the task.

In midfield United have the better quality players by a distance. Yes the press would be an issue but there is ball laying quality there, legs and defense in Fletcher/Hargreaves and most importantly the ability to adapt if needed. If the midfield battle becomes a slog I fancy Scholes or Carrick to pick a game changing pass before any of the Liverpool 3.

In attack for United we have 2 players in Rooney and Tevez who will hound the hell out of the opposition players while being of a higher qulaity than the vast majority of present day attacking players. Football may have changed but I can't name many attackers of their ability now a days.

The biggest thing then is Ronaldo. The guy is a cheat card, especially in the 08 season. Here is where I said that Klopp would quickly realise that having his full backs bomb forward is a very risky tactic. However even if he keeps them back I don't fancy Robertson or TAA defensively against him. Double mark him and you have Rooney and Tevez to contend with.

The benches are a wash for United in terms of game changers.

If we are talking about systems though heres the thing for me. I seen that United team play as gung ho as this Liverpool team, I've seen them win games with the vast majority of possession and with very little. I've seen them play a low block and destroy teams on the counter. Football may have changed but that 08 team were stupidly adaptable to counter almost any style. People talk about the struggles with the high press (especially against Barca) while forgetting that it wasn't necessarily the press that killed us it was how bloody good the other team was at keeping the ball afterwards. For me as good, as they are, this Liverpool side doesn't have the same ability in that area. Also currently Liverpool's press isn't as intense as it first was under Klopp.

This season Liverpool's main attacking pattern has been to get it wide and cross the ball. This depends massively on the full backs (as Ole spotted and nullified with 352 this season) and as I've said I think united would pose too much of a threat to allow that system to be employed indefinitely in game. Even if it could be then you have 2 of the best CBs in the World defending the situation and 2 very good full backs. The question is can Liverpool properly adapt to it if its completely shut down? Because I'm very sure that United could adapt to whatever was needed and in my opinion playing on the counter attack was that teams biggest strength.

Again if they played 10 times Liverpool would certainly win some, there'd be a couple of draws but I fancy United to win more. Pep's Barca are the only team I'd really give United little hope against and they were from the previous era too but happened to have better players in key positions overall and three cheat cards too to boot.
 

alexthelion

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The United 2008 team would probably need a year of training to get their tactical, intensity and fitness levels up to 2019's standards, they would need to prepare and adjust as you said. Talent-wise, though, they were probably superior to 2019 Liverpool team.
The United team of 98/99 would probably need a while to get up to par, but after that I wouldn't even bet against them to beat this Liverpool side.
 

Random Task

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The United team of 98/99 would probably need a while to get up to par, but after that I wouldn't even bet against them to beat this Liverpool side.
Imagine Hendo the Average and Winnie the Pooh coming up against Roy Keane and Paul Scholes in their pomp. It'd be a massacre.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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Pool was pretty much 2019 invincibles. Thus it would be a draw at best for our 2008 side in the league.
Who would win on penalties is the better question?

We won it in 2008 over Chelsea. No evidence for Pool being great at it beyond a league cup win over Arsenal.
Could be a tight shootout.
 

Remember the geese

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Pool was pretty much 2019 invincibles. Thus it would be a draw at best for our 2008 side in the league.
Who would win on penalties is the better question?

We won it in 2008 over Chelsea. No evidence for Pool being great at it beyond a league cup win over Arsenal.
Could be a tight shootout.
Just like it was a draw at Vicarage Road. Penalties are a lottery. I think if the '08 side played them 10 times, we'd win 5 or 6 of them. A draw or two in there as well of course. They are very good, but we were better.
 

Davicho

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TAA, Van Dijk and Mane are the only ones that would start on the United 2008 team.
 

El Jefe

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To add context to this debate let's compare the top 4 in 2008 vs the top 4 this season.

2007/08
Manchester United - PL and CL winners. The best squad we've ever had in the PL.
Chelsea - Runner up in PL and CL. The quality in this team and squad was so good they didn't really need a manager (see Avram Grant). With the same team and a better manager in Hiddink they should have knocked out Pep's Barca in the next year's CL.
Arsenal - The last Arsenal team to be a threat. They had so much talent and a lot of their players went on to either Barcelona or Man City or Manutd ;). They were an Eduardo injury away from doing some real damage that year.
Liverpool - The current Liverpool is better of course but this was a great Liverpool side. Torres and Gerrard up front was world class, Alonso and Mascherano in midfield was great and they had a solid Rafa defence. They just lacked dynamism on the wing to go to the next level.

2019/20
Liverpool - Statistically the best team in PL history (so far). Undoubtedly one of the best in PL history with one of the greatest coaches. Knocked out in CL 2nd round and FA Cup 5th round though.
Manchester City - Great side and defending champions but seem to have lost a step compared to their two title winning seasons before this. Long term injuries to Sane and Laporte and losing Kompany without replacing him have been big blows. Still in the hunt for CL and FA Cup.
Leicester City - Very entertaining side with good young players. Had a period where they were on fire and had people thinking it could be 2016 all over again. Fizzled out a bit as the season wore on.
Chelsea - Another entertaining young side with a promising rookie PL manager. Have a host of team chasing them for this fourth spot.

While there are more top sides in this year's PL, the competition we faced was far tougher than what Liverpool did. Could Liverpool have won the league in 2008? Maybe even though I seriously doubt it. One thing is certain, they wouldn't have made a mockery of the league in the same way they have this season because the level of competition was too good for that.
 

matbezlima

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Imagine Hendo the Average and Winnie the Pooh coming up against Roy Keane and Paul Scholes in their pomp. It'd be a massacre.
Roy Keane and Scholes were significant better players, but the 99 United team would need perhaps a full season at least of physical and tactical preparation or they would lose simply due to how much fitter and faster Liverpool is.
 
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Roy Keane and Scholes were significant better players, but the 99 United team would need perhaps a full season at least of physical and tactical preparation or they would lose simply due to how much fitter and faster Liverpool is.
that's like saying Leicester would beat the 1958 Brazil team because they are faster and stronger.