With football cancelled for the foreseeable future due to the outbreak of coronavirus, MM have created an ultimate combined Manchester United and Manchester City XI using players since the Premier League began.
It was fitting that both clubs’ last Premier League match was indeed the Manchester derby before the season was ground to a halt. The red half of the city took the bragging rights on that day, but let’s see who makes it into our ultimate XI!
GK: Peter Schmeichel
The ‘Great Dane’ represented both sides of the city, playing for United between 1991 and 1999, before joining City for the 2002-2003 campaign. Schmeichel will go down as one of the greats to grace the Premier League, winning 5 league titles, 3 FA Cups, 1 league cup, as well as playing his part during United’s historic treble winning season and helping them lift the UEFA Champions League in 1999!
Schmeichel never experienced a defeat in a Manchester Derby when playing for either team, and not only was he a safe pair of hands when called upon, he would also go forward for corners and has 11 career goals to his name and gets the nod between the sticks in this ultimate XI!
— Holigan (@holigan) March 13, 2020
RB: Gary Neville
Part of the class of 92, Gary Neville made the right-back position his own at Old Trafford. During his career with the Red Devils, Neville made 400 Premier League appearances, helping keep 148 clean sheets in the process.
As well as being solid in defence, Neville did like to attack and provided 35 league goals for his teammates as well as chipping in with five goals of his own. Neville was a one-club man, spending his entire career at Manchester United and was highly successful winning eight Premier League titles, three FA Cups, two Football League Cups and two UEFA Champions Leagues.
CB: Vincent Kompany
Captain, leader, legend, that’s the way Manchester City fans describe Kompany and it’s easy to see why! The Belgian joined City from Hamburg in August 2008 and was part of the side which ended the citizens 35 year wait for a major trophy, as they beat Stoke City 1-0 at Wembley and lifted the FA Cup.
That was the start of a hugely successful period in the history of Manchester City, as they went on to win another FA Cup, as well as four Premier League titles and four Football League/EFL Cups. This success came with Kompany as captain of the side and it’s easy to see how he was one of the first names on our team sheet.
Vincent Kompany may’ve just scored one of the goals of the season, and the goal that might win the Premier League for Man City pic.twitter.com/mP9BXOR49Y
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) May 6, 2019
CB: Nemanja Vidic
There were a few candidates to play alongside Kompany in the heart of the defence but Nemanja Vidic gets the nod. He joined United for a fee of around £7m in January of 2006 from Spartak Moscow and went onto form a solid defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand.
The Serbian made 211 Premier League appearances for United and kept the opposition at bay on 95 of those occasions. Vidic was also great at breaking up play, as he had a 75% tackle success rate.
As well as being solid defensively he also provided an aerial threat in the opposition’s penalty area, scoring 12 of his 15 United goals with his head and for his all-round ability he forms the central defensive pairing in this team.
LB: Denis Irwin
Perhaps one of the most underrated fullbacks in world football. Irwin moved to United in 1990 and stayed for 12 years before eventually moving on to Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Irishman played 328 games in the red of United and found himself on the winning side in 185 of those.
As well as protecting his own goal, Irwin was another fullback that got forward and he managed to create 25 goals for his team and was on the scoresheet 18 times himself.
He played a vital role for the Red Devils whilst with the club and made his £25,000 transfer fee from Oldham Athletic look like a bargain.
CM: Yaya Toure
The first of a midfield trio, Yaya Toure was one of those players that every time he picked up the ball you thought something was going to happen.
Comfortable when in possession of the ball, Toure scored 62 goals and provided his team with 32 assists in 230 Premier League appearances.
The Ivorian signed for City in 2010 for £24 million…. yes, you read it right £24 million, just imagine what he would be worth today!
Toure offered versatility in his game as he was comfortable playing in front of the back four or a slightly more advanced role and even had spells at centre-half in his Barcelona days. He will sit in front of the back four in this system, but we know if he gets on the ball, he’s venturing beyond the two players in front of him.
CM: Paul Scholes
Where to start with this man, was there anything he couldn’t do? Scholes had an eye for a long-range pass, could make a well-timed tackle as well as putting the ball in the back of the net, all of which saw him as a regular in Sir Alex Ferguson’s midfield.
Making 499 Premier League appearances, Scholes was on the winning side in 321 of those which also saw him collect 11 winners’ medals throughout his time at Old Trafford. With his 107 goals and 55 assists, he brings creativity to this team and will sit in the middle of a midfield three alongside Yaya Toure and David Silva.
Paul Scholes scored more Champions League goals (25) than any other central midfielder in the history of the competition.
Some of them were pretty good too. pic.twitter.com/7mdBUZylZs
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 18, 2020
CM: David SIlva
Another player where the recruiters at Manchester City got it absolutely spot on! David Silva is one of those players that has the ability to take control of a game on his own. Sitting in the centre of City’s midfield, or playing just behind the striker, the Spaniard has the eye for a pass providing chances for his teammates or can self-create.
Silva has provided 90 goals and scored 57 himself in the league in his time with the blues and will definitely go down as a one of the greats at the Etihad, if not the Premier League. In his time with City he has been highly successful winning four Premier League titles, five Football League Cups and two FA Cups. I think any team around the globe would have liked to have had Silva in their team and he will slot into our midfield three here.
CF: Sergio Aguero
An absolute bargain at £35m, Manchester City found a supreme goal machine back in 2011, when they snapped up Aguero from Atletico Madrid. The Argentine striker has 180 Premier League goals in 261 appearances and recently broke Alan Shearer’s record for the number of league hattricks as he now has 12.
He will forever be remembered for that 94th minute goal against Queens Park Rangers, which gave City their first Premier League title at the expense of United. As Martin Tyler said about that particular moment: “I swear you’ll never see anything like this ever again.”
Well, you could also say the same about the individual as he has everything you want in a striker and will go down as one of the leagues greatest ever.
— Football Mumble (@football_mumble) February 3, 2019
CF: Wayne Rooney
“Remember the name Wayne Rooney” were the famous words of Clive Tyldesley and it’s certainly a name you will never forget.
After bursting onto the scene as a 16-year-old for Everton and spending two seasons on Merseyside, the striker made the switch to Old Trafford in 2004 for £25.4m.
That fee was more than paid back, as Rooney went onto become the Red Devils’ all-time leading goal scorer and the only player to have scored 250 goals for the club. As well as this he leads the goal tally for England as he has found the back of the net on 53 occasions, showing his class in front of goal and there was no way he was missing out on this team.
— Goal (@goal) January 29, 2020
CF: Ryan Giggs
“Giggs will tear you apart again” were the famous words of Manchester United fans and by god did the Welsh wizard tear defences apart time and time again…
Another member of the class of ’92 and another one club man, Ryan Giggs more than played his part in one of the most successful teams in history!
The Welshman won 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three Football League Cups and two Champions Leagues during his time as a player for the Red Devils, helping himself to 109 goals in the process and providing 162 assists in 632 games. Another player who will go down as one of the Premier League’s greatest ever and he will provide the width in this system operating from the left.
My favourite Ryan Giggs goal and possibly the most action packed match every. Had everything in it pic.twitter.com/D16PBB8Eoy
— Michael Barton (@mrmichaelbarton) January 19, 2018