Friday, 9 October 2009

Joint Manchester eleven

An interesting way to fill a Friday afternoon during the international break - M.E.N.'s article today about a joint Manchester eleven.

It's pretty tough. I'd certainly have Shay Given in goal ahead of Edwin van der Sar, Ben Foster or Tomasz Kuszczak. At left back Patrice Evra is an obvious choice, as are Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidić at centre-back. There's no-one as obvious at right back: my heart says Zabaleta but I could just as easily go for John O'Shea, Gary Neville or Wes Brown. Having agonised over this for my whole lunch break I've decided to go for none of them and pick England's missing man Micah Richards Owen Hargreaves.

I'm going for 4-4-2 here, so I'll do the wingers first. And I'm going for a Welshman on either side - Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs. There are cases to be made for Martin Petrov, Robinho and Shaun Wright-Phillips from our side and for Luis Antonio Valencia and Park Ji-Sung from the other (not Nani though, he's dross.) But the experience and nous of Giggs on the left, and the ferocity and dynamism of Bellamy on the right should be a powerful combination. (Also think of the pace and stamina - dodgy knees permitting - of a Hargreaves/Bellamy pairing down the right.)

It's a difficult balancing act in central midfield. I initially thought of going for one destructive player and one attacking midfielder - Nigel de Jong and Paul Scholes perhaps - but then realised the potential of the both of them getting sent off within ten minutes of kick-off. As good as Manchester XI are we can't play with nine men. So I like the idea of going with two all-rounders: Gareth Barry and Darren Fletcher. You've got the energy, commitment and goal threat of Fletcher there with the calm head and control of Barry. It's a shame that Giggs has 'left footed set pieces' already covered.

The easiest decision yet is having Wayne Rooney up front, and it's a straight choice between Dimitar Berbatov and Emmanuel Adebayor up front. They're relatively similar players, who can hold up the ball and link play well - and have exceptional control of the ball out of the air. I'm just going with Adebayor though, on the basis that I'd love to see him get on the end of Giggs' set-pieces. He would have scored a hat-trick with the headed chances Berbatov missed in the derby.

The bench is as follows: Edwin van der Sar, Kolo Toure, John O'Shea, Nigel de Jong, Paul Scholes, Robinho and Berbatov.

Which means that Stephen Ireland, Michael Carrick, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Anderson, Sylvinho, Martin Petrov, Nani, Michael Owen, Wayne Bridge, Jonny Evans, Ben Foster etc etc etc all have to show up in club suits.

What do you think?


Wilf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dominic said...

What do i think?

Pointless exercise.

Norfstander said...


* Didn't really want to include O'Shea, but neither side have a top right-back

** Bellamy might get in over Tevez on form.

Patrick said...

Personally I wouldn't want any of the those over at Salford in my side so here we go ideal 442

Zab Toure Lescott Bridge
Bellers Barry Stevie Petrov
Ade Tevez

As you can see not much different to what we have now but i think it would we would have better balance and I would like to swap Martin and Craig about just to scare the cr@p out of the opposition.

Bench : Can I have this many?

martinmurphy111 said...

Just had a post doctored on the men site because I called Sir Alec Sir Relic. How petty is that? Its only a bit of fun ffs

Cityblue said...

Blasphemy, linking United with City is to accept United and I refuse, refused from the day City entered my life.


menino azul said...