‘Juggernaut’: Scotland boss Gordon Strachan claims current Manchester United crop better than 1999 vintage

By Jeremy Culley

New Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has echoed Sir Alex Ferguson’s claims that Manchester United’s current squad is stronger than their 1999 talent pool.

Treble-chasing United have more strength in depth now, according to their former player, who also said he was eager to see Darren Fletcher – suffering from a chronic bowel disease – return to international duty.

“You just need to look at [United’s] results – they’re a juggernaut just now,” Strachan told the BBC.

“Whether you think they’re playing the most stylish football that’s ever been seen, you don’t know, but in terms of winning, it’s as good as you’ve seen.”

Strachan admitted many members of the 1999 team would feature in today’s line-up but said the size of Ferguson’s squad then would struggle to cope with the rigours of today’s game.

“With the game they’re playing, you probably need a bigger squad,” he added.

“It’s great that players can have a day off or an injury, knowing that the players coming in can deal with it.”

United and Scotland midfielder Fletcher is expected to miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery in January to aid his recovery from a debilitating bowel problem.

The 29-year-old was forced to take a break from the game at the end of 2011, briefly returning in September last year before being ruled out again after making only 13 further appearances.

Despite Fletcher’s problems, Strachan is keen to see him return to the Scotland fold after he missed the ex-Middlesbrough manager’s first game in charge against Estonia earlier this month.

“The quicker he gets back, the better for Manchester United and for me,” he said.

“Any problems on the pitch never affect Darren and he’ll deal with the problems he’s got just now in the same way.

“If you look back at Manchester United over the last six or seven years, any time there’s been a big game, Darren’s played in it.”

United remain on course to replicate the 1999 treble, boasting a 12-point Premier League lead while they reached the FA Cup quarter-finals by beating Reading on Monday. 

Image courtesy of ScotlandNationalTeam, via YouTube, with thanks.

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