Louis Van Gaal’s additions to his Manchester United squad last summer included one of the world’s biggest stars, an incredibly talented teenager, and a Dutch midfielder who shone at the World Cup.
But, would the team that Louis Van Gaal is fielding week in, week out make the cut under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson?
Sir Alex has worked with some of the world’s best footballers – but he has also worked with some average ones, too. If Fergie could get his hands on Manchester United’s current squad, I’m sure some would not make the cut for him; but he would also be impressed with quite a few.
There is no question about whether David De Gea would get make it in Alex Ferguson’s squad – he’s the man who brought him to Manchester of course. Following in Edwin Van Der Sar’s footsteps was no easy task, but after some early struggles, he is now regarded as United’s most valuable player – his improvement over the last two years has been outstanding.
Defensively, Alex Ferguson had some class players in his squad, such as Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, all of which have since moved on. The current defence at Manchester United would not be able to compete with these players – Chris Smalling and Phil Jones for example, part of Fergie’s squad, just would not be strong enough. Paddy McNair would’ve had a chance (as a substitute, most likely) under Sir Alex, who was always aware of the importance of youth players in his side.
United’s current midfield is pretty formidable, but not exempt from making mistakes. Marouane Fellaini would have a hard time making it in a side under Sir Alex. Although he has improved massively over the last nine months, Juan Mata would be the choice under Fergie; mainly for the creativity aspect, and the goal scoring ability. Something that is interesting to consider, is how Angel Di Maria and Sir Alex would have fared working together – very well, I’m guessing. Daley Blind could make it into a starting line-up with Sir Alex Ferguson as a manager because his work rate is key to the squad.
One player who would not have been dropped back to midfield under Fergie is Wayne Rooney. Rooney is an all round player, but he is a striker. Sir Alex recognised this as his best position, and that was where he was played.
And of course, Robin Van Persie is sure to make it into both starting elevens. Van Persie had an outstanding first season for Manchester United under Sir Alex, and had said he was gutted when his boss announced his retirement.
If Sir Alex was still at Manchester United, would Danny Welbeck still be at the club? I think so, Ferguson rated him and put faith in him. Welbeck’s almost full season under Moyes, though, was the writing on the wall for his career in Manchester.
One thing the current Manchester United squad could use, that Sir Alex was fond of, is the hairdryer treatment at half-time!