What is Manchester United’s best starting XI for the 09/10 season?

Ollie Irish

19th, August 2009

39 Comments

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“Pick me, pick me!”
This is where you get to pick United’s best starting line-up for this season. First up, I’ll reveal my selection (based on United’s squad at time of writing). I planned to post this before the season started, obviously, but server gremlins meant I couldn’t. Anyway, better late etc etc.
So this is the default team I would go with:
My XI (in a 4-4-2 formation, and assuming every player is fit):
Edwin van der Sar
Rafael, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra
Antonio Valencia, Owen Hargreaves, Michael Carrick, Nani
Dimitar Berbatov, Wayne Rooney


Van der Sar is still United’s best keeper – not by much though – and the back four picks itself, although I expect Fergie might alternate Rafael with John O’Shea. Wes Brown and Jonny Evans are fine deputies in central defence.
In midfield, it’s wishful thinking to hope that Owen Hargreaves will return from injury soon, but if he is fit, he walks into United’s first-choice line-up. Sadly, he’s done a lot more hobbling than walking in the last couple of seasons. But in Hargreaves’ absence, you can trust Darren Fletcher to do a solid job. The jury is still out on the enigmatic Anderson and Nani. Both can be brilliant but they need to be more responsible in 09/10.
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Up front, it’s Rooney and AN Other. You’d think that Dimitar Berbatov is the automatic pick but on current form he must be one of the last names on Fergie’s team sheet. Unless Berbatov ups his game, he’ll be under serious pressure from Federico Macheda, Michael Owen and Danny Welbeck. Either that or Fergie switches to a 4-3-3/4-5-1 formation, with Rooney as the spearhead. Something like this:
Edwin van der Sar
Rafael, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra
Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick, Anderson
Park Ji-Sung, Wayne Rooney, Nani

What Fergie lacks is enough players in their absolute prime, especially in attack. The likes of Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are on their last legs, while youngsters like Anderson, Nani, Macheda and Welbeck are still immature, in the head at least. As the season wears on, I expect United to increasingly miss C-Ron.
That’s how I see it. Let’s hear your XIs…
MORE
What is Barcelona’s best starting XI for the 09/10 season?
What is Tottenham’s best starting XI for the 09/10 season?
What is Arsenal’s best starting XI for the 09/10 season?

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39 Comments

  1. K says:

    Nah, Carrick is a waste of space. I don’t understand what Fergie sees in him.
    I like your 4-4-2 but instead of Carrick, Anderson. I hope he’s really gonna come through this season.

  2. Sheps says:

    How can you write this with only one mention of Park Ollie?! I’m a huge fan and he’d be in my XI in place of Nani who I think is utter lazy tripe. Park’s performances in both legs of the CL semi in 08 are rivalled only by Nicky Butt’s against Argentina at WC 02 in terms of midfield work ethic and general unseen awesomeness. of the CL semi Anderson needs consistency and I’d have Fletcher in over Hargreaves even if the latter was fit – he needs to prove himself and coming back from injury is best deployed as a gap filler until he’s fully match fit.
    I like Carrick. One of those players that footie in TV doesn’t do justice for – see them live and you notice how much of United’s play he dictates when he’s on the ball. Shame he’s never going to be a big enough player to do the same on the international stage – Lampard/Gerrard will always demand the midfield dictator role.

  3. Ollie says:

    One mention doesn’t mean I’m not a big Park fan, Sheps. Not sure he offers enough going forward in a 4-4-2 formation, but fully respect his work ethic, selflessness etc.

  4. the daddy says:

    my manu team would be as follows
    van der sar
    rafael ferdinand vidic evra
    valencia carrick anderson nani
    rooney
    berbatov

  5. Chris says:

    Van der Sar
    Rafael Vidic Rio Evra
    Park (Valencia not yet impressed me in a United Shirt), Fletcher, Carrick, Nani
    Rooney Barbertov

  6. maha says:

    The team shows promise Ollie
    My team would be provided every1 is fit
    Van der Sar
    Wes Brown, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra
    Valencia, (Carrick/Fletcher), (Scholes/Giggs), Park
    Rooney
    Owen
    I choose Owen purely because once he scores his first, i see a lot of goals coming from him.

  7. Mandy says:

    VDS
    Brown Rio Vida Evra
    Valencia Fletch/Hargreaves Carrick/Ando Nani
    Rooney Berba
    *all subject to fitness…and with the luck we’re having we might have to call up fred the red for a spot in the back 4

  8. venu says:

    Van der Sar
    Wes Brown, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra
    Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher/Hargo, Nani
    Berba
    Rooney
    I would love to see De Laet, Tosic, the da silva brothers and Gibbo given more time in the first team though.

  9. venu says:

    Van der Sar
    Wes Brown, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra
    Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher/Hargo, Nani
    Berba
    Rooney
    I would love to see De Laet, Tosic, the da silva brothers and Gibbo given more time in the first team though.

  10. kk says:

    hahahaha! whoever picks owen is an eeejit!
    van der sar
    brown ferdinand vidic evra
    valencia fletcher scholes nani
    rooney
    berbatov
    nani is shit, but there is no other choice. hopefully he will impress this season. park works hard, but he simply does not have the quality required at manutd. dont even get me started on carrick.

  11. Calvo says:

    I agree with the initial formations, and i would agree about Park.While he is a very useful player to have i do not see what he brings going forward.
    He doesnñ´t beat his man,doesn´t score enough and doesn´t really play or cross any balls that are threatening to the opposition.
    I´m not knocking in the sense that he is crap or anything like that but he to me is a squad player no less.

  12. venu says:

    @kk, I agree about Nani and Carrick inspite of his vast improvement seems a little out of his depth in big games. We need a water carrier and a one touch passer in the center.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t look so good now! hahahahaha

  14. rohil says:

    bahaha lost to burnely suckers

  15. machine goooner funk says:

    as much as i hate manure:
    vds
    rafael rio vidic evra
    valencia carrick anderson nani
    rooney welbeck/macheida

  16. machine goooner funk says:

    shit im sorry sub anderson for hargreaves. when fit hargreaves is fucking top notch as much as it pains me to say plus he’s very dangerous with his foot on free kicks

  17. Hammad says:

    For me, the formation is my own creation. 3-1-3-1-2
    Van der Sar
    Vidic/Brown Ferdinand/Evans Evra/Rafael
    Hargreaves/ John O shea
    Nani/Park carrick/fletcher Valencia/Giggs
    Anderson/Scholes
    Rooney/Macheda berbatov/owen

  18. venu says:

    Hammad, what are you smoking dude?!!! It’s not exactly PS3!!

  19. Dave Killer says:

    For the match against Wigan I would go with a 4-3-3 and the following players considering the injuries we have:
    Foster
    Fabio Evans O’Shea Evra
    Fletcher Carrick Giggs
    Rooney
    Berbatov Owen

  20. MattyNG says:

    A bit of a cheeky one this..; but considering our squad, IF everyone’s fit, I’d go for this starting XI
    Van der Sar
    Rafael, Rio, Vidic, Evra
    Nani, Hargreaves, Anderson, Fabio
    Rooney, Berbatov
    A good balance of experience, youth and skill.
    I firmly believe that Fabio could do massive damage to other teams, if played as a winger. Combined with Evra, and the full back/winger combination on the other side as well, we would pose a serious attacking threat. In the middle, Hargreaves and Anderson are both creative and firm enough to handle defensive duties.
    We’d have really good squad players like Foster, O’Shea, Fletcher, Carrick, Park, Tosic, Valencia, Owen and Macheda ready to step in.
    I’d really love to see David Silva, and another pacy, tricky winger/striker to give us more attacking options; ready to change a game.

  21. billy says:

    foster delet vidic Rio evra fletch carrick nani valencia rooney macheda

  22. Joaq says:

    Completely agree with that lad.

  23. venu says:

    MattyNG, Nice idea, would rather have Valencia on the right though…

  24. xxya says:

    van d sar
    rafael ferd vid evra
    nani carrick giggs andoo fabio
    rooney
    *i wouldnt have usually picked fabio but reading Matty Gs post i totally agree, i get his point.. we r lacking in attack and since being a defender requires experience (plus we have evra) i think fabio should be developed into a winger.. in the 4 5 1 i have chosen either giggs or ando shud play the attacking role.. if ando plays the link between roon and the midfield then flethcer shud replace carrick and play a more efensive role.. although i dont think fabio is ready for the left wing eventually i think hes pace and brazilian instincts would be awesome if developed by saf

  25. del says:

    i think foster shud be replaced by neuer.. the guy is going to be world class.. hes 23 and already is bundesliga goalkeeper of the year chamions league goal keeper of the year.. he has tremendous experience especially for such a young keeper! its so obvious! everyone knows hes gonna be legendary.. i agree with the team above but i need to go off topic cause im quite angry at the burnley result.. DENTINHO and douglas costa.. we need to take a risk.. check those players ive mentioned, they could make it really really big.. perhaps give up on hargreaves if he doesnt recover properly we shud go for gojko kacar.. rodwell? cattermole? forget david silva, mata seems brilliant, hes from valencia as well.. we really shud have gone for huntelaar.. jan may not be too late? i think january will be big for us.. maybe we could go for ashley young as well.. were manu why are we getting intimidated!!!!!!! i think we need to start with a goalkeeper.. if u look at the history, we have only won the champions league when weve have AMAZING goaliess… in the 60s, remember the benfica game when our goalie made that crazy save and even the forward from benfica congratulated the goalie on the feild for that save.. i dont neeed to say much of schmei and vds… neuer is uge agile and dominates the box like no other.. his style is soo unique… foster is very good.. but hes not vds

  26. del says:

    i think foster shud be replaced by neuer.. the guy is going to be world class.. hes 23 and already is bundesliga goalkeeper of the year chamions league goal keeper of the year.. he has tremendous experience especially for such a young keeper! its so obvious! everyone knows hes gonna be legendary..
    i agree with the team above but i need to go off topic cause im quite angry at the burnley result.. DENTINHO and douglas costa.. we need to take a risk.. check those players ive mentioned, they could make it really really big.. perhaps give up on hargreaves if he doesnt recover properly we shud go for gojko kacar.. rodwell? cattermole? forget david silva, mata seems brilliant, hes from valencia as well.. we really shud have gone for huntelaar.. jan may not be too late?
    i think january will be big for us.. maybe we could go for ashley young as well.. were manu why are we getting intimidated!!!!!!! i think we need to start with a goalkeeper.. if u look at the history, we have only won the champions league when weve have AMAZING goaliess… in the 60s, remember the benfica game when our goalie made that crazy save and even the forward from benfica congratulated the goalie on the feild for that save.. i dont neeed to say much of schmei and vds… neuer is huge agile and dominates the box like no other.. his style is soo unique… foster is very good.. but hes no vds or neuer
    my second choice:
    foster
    delaet ferd vida evra
    Valencia/Rafael carrick fletcher/Anderson tosic/park/nani/Fabio
    Rooney berba/macheda/owen
    Also, what do u think of mame diouf.. people aren’t excited about him because they hold him in the same stead as our previous African imports.. but if u really take a look at him it seems a no brainer.. cheap, mainly gona be a sub, young, brilliant in the air.. extremely athletic, pace.. and finally his goal scoring ration for molde is similar to solksjaer before he joined us. Maybe a surprise package the boy..

  27. dangerous dave says:

    After long, hard thought about the relative strengths of Man U’s midfield, I’ve settled on the following unconventional 6-1-3 lineup:
    GK: Van Der Sar
    DF: Vidic-Ferdinand-Brown-O’Shea-Evra-Rafael
    MF: Sandra Redknapp
    FW: Rooney-Berbatov-Owen

  28. sam-the-man-u-fan says:

    I think it’s a difficult one this yr since the dynamics vhanged so much obv we had ronaldo playing tht free winger/striker role in a 4-3-3 but this season we have a 4-4-2 and personally as a fan not a great tactician by any means i would select;
    Foster(because he needs the experience at the highest level to take over from VDS)
    BROWN FERDINAND VIDIC EVRA
    PARK HARGREAVES CARRICK NANI
    ROONEY BERBATOV/OWEN (ROTATING IN GAMES UNTIL EITHER IS ON A RUN OF GOALS)
    Carrick aint as gd a defender as hargreaves but hes gd cover cos hargreaves aint bad going forward and hargreaves provides tht vover for carrick they wud alternate nicely in midfield, although was scholes of 2003 here i wud slot him next to hargo

  29. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who doesn’t rate Carrick needs their head checked, he’s a phenomenal player.

  30. I think fergie should take a leaf out of Carlo’s book and play the daimond because attacking wise not much teams know how to defend because of the RW and LW players cutting in or the AM play rolling and scoring well in Anderson’s case hopefully scholesy knows this role very well and even Rooney and Park could play here as for defence CDM could be played by Hargreeves or Carrick and Feriges pet Flecther lmao so mines would be Van der Sar Evans/O’Shea Ferdinand Vidic Evra/Brown Carrick/Hargreeves/Fletcher Valencia/Nani right footed Scholes/Anderson Park/Gibson Giggs/Tosic Rooney/Macheda Berbetov/Welbeck Owen/Douif. Subs,C,Evans,O,Norwood,C,Cathcart Get rid of Kusazk the polish cunt he’s shyte fosters ok but sign Ochca gk or Neuer or Adler Fuck Poland NIFC Come on Boys

  31. Sorry forgot about the Da Silva twins class act put them in at some point as for De Leat he’s shyte if u want a belguim get Axel Witsel or Douglas we got Dodo and McGinty we need young midfeilders and Forwards try for Rodwell and Jose Baxter from Everton 18 and 17 years of age seously get rid of kuszack he’s importing the polish to are countrys and he’s to small to be a keeper he’s just an illegal immagrant Northern Ireland 3 Poland 2 Northern Ireland 1 England 0 Northern Ireland 3 Spain 2 Healy is God Northern Ireland Players and United Have A History Harry Greg,Norman Whiteside,George Best,Keith Gillespie,Sammy Mcllory The List is Endless this is because were better than Uuuuuuuuuuu lmao

  32. As For Carlos Alberto fuck him Portugese and Spanish and Italian teams have plucked young Brazilians for buttons for years and even German and Eastern European team have a fast aray of South American Export players…But no as soon as United buy a Brazilian. him and Platini or plotting action Platini just doesn’t want the PL to get to far away from the rest he maybe a former team mate and freind to the legendry Eric Cantona but I think he hates United cos he knows were the Best I agree about Pogba but I can see United’s frustration in doing it because take john-obi mikel he wanted united till Chelsea waved the mulla at him Essein was another player than United wanted and Robben sorry I’m going off course here but anyway Kleberson was Uniteds 1st Brazilian player he turned out great lol I think the only other Brazilian we tryed for years ago was ironicly enought called Silva I think he played for celta vigo in spain you look at even Arse-nal hehe look at the fetish arsne has for young black footballers (hey its his persnol life) but wat is he and what is Platini I rest my case

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  34. Taku says:

    United’s best team and the team to start Champs LG:
    VDS
    O’shea Rio Vidic Evra
    Valencia Hargo – Carrick Giggs
    Rooney
    Berbatov
    Carrick’s creativity is way underrated that english central partenership would conquer . With the work ethic of valencia, o’shea, hargreaves, rooney and evra the team is well balanced .
    SUBS: Kuschak, Evans, Owen, Obertan, Fletcher, Anderson, Brown

  35. scottc says:

    Van Der Sar
    O’ Shea Ferdinand Vidic Evra
    Valencia Fletcher Carrick Giggs(c)
    Berbatov Rooney

  36. Anon says:

    Van der sar
    Rafael ferdinand Vidic evra
    Valencia Carrick nani
    Owen Berbatov rooney

  37. Ryan says:

    Van Der Sar

    O Shea Ferdinand Vidic Evra

    Valencia Carrick Fletcher Giggs

    Rooney Berbatov

  38. Denzil says:

    Van der Sar
    Rafael-Evra-Ferdinand-Vidic
    Giggs-Anderson-Nani-Carrick
    Berbatov-rooney
    SUBS:Foster-O shea-Brown-Obertan
    fuck you….RonalDO

  39. Denzil says:

    Who needs ronaldo and tevez…???

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