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From VitalFootball


David May believes that United are stronger than in 1999 when we won the Historic Treble. We'll see.

'Look at the quality they have got now.

'Look at the midfield, with nine midfielders who can play across the field. It's absolutely amazing: Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick, Scholes and Anderson, so many permutations. Whoever you play are fantastic footballers.

'They have got real strength in depth and probably the most consistent back four since Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister with Rio and Vidic.

'I don't think there's a better pairing and they keep getting better and better. They are awesome at times.'

Well, is it true? Are we better equipped? Of course the Historic Treble is out of question because of that Portsmouth sucker punch but what about a Double? Is this squad ready for it?

Let's see. In Edwin van der Sar, we have a goalkeeper who is more reliable than Peter Schmeichel was in that final season (oh yes - watch your Treble videos my dear fellows, you'll see some shocking errors) but isn't capable of such glittering saves.

At the back, we are infinitely better. Stam never had a settled partner though that season he mostly played with Johnsen. They were both very good centre-backs but, especially Johnsen, nowhere near our current pair which is as close to perfect as it gets. I loved and deeply admired Dennis Irwin but the truth is that Patrice Evra is a slightly better player than him while, sadly, Wes Brown is a vastly inferior player to the Gary Neville of 1999.

Defensive cover is not much better: we have a Phil Neville in John O'Shea, Pique is inexperienced though more talented than either May or Berg was. Silvestre is still not ready so he does not count I'm afraid.

Midfield. Well, that's the big one. Ryan Giggs of 1999 or Ryan Giggs of 2008? Giggsy wasn't at the peak of his form in that season, it came a year later but he was better that time than he is now. Jesper Blomqvist was an able deputy, reliable but not as talented as Nani.

The central midfield is a no-brainer. This season, we have no first-choice pairing - that season, Keane and Scholes were magnificent and unquestionably the Premier League's two finest midfielders. In terms of squad depth though we are better off now: that time we had only Nicky Butt really, this time it's Anderson, Carrick, Scholes, Hargreaves, Fletcher - take your pick of two and you still have three to leave out.

Cristiano Ronaldo v David Beckham. 34 goals vs 23 assists. Brilliant passing and pin-point accurate crosses v breathtaking technique and superb dribbling skills. I think that Cristiano is the winner here but it's closer than many would think. Looking at the present day Beckham it's easy to forget what a phenomenal player he was.

In terms of cover for them, Jordi Cruyff against Ji-sung Park - take your pick, I'd prefer Park. And Fletcher can play on the right if necessary and does it better than Jordi did.

Up front. In terms of overall technical ability, nobody in that side could get even close to Wayne Rooney. However, all of them score over him in one very important aspect: clinical finishing prowess. Carlos Tevez is this season's Andy Cole if I had to make a comparison, albeit with more sublime skills and inferior heading ability. With Louis Saha permanently injured we do not have the same riches and there's another thing. None of our strikers are in the best form of their lives whereas in that season, Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke were both on fire, reaching a peak that they would never climb again. And don't get me started on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's ability to get us out of tight corners.

So, overall, the present side is technically and tactically superior, has a much, much better defence, more depth in midfield and a certain Cristiano Ronaldo. That side had a much more settled and magnificent first eleven, great depth in the striking department. This current team is, on paper at least, more suited to play in European competition and do not have such a formidable team in their way as Juventus 1999 was - Barcelona are struggling this year and nowhere near as menacing as in 2006. So in this sense, yes, we have a better chance to go all the way than we had in March 1999 though we did go all the way back then!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Chill mate. I'm juz' interested in what the members over here think about this topic. If ue aren't interested in this thread, you need not reply. Anyway, nobody give a daim about what ue say ;)
 

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I don't think our present side is as good as team as 99. The 99 team consisted of many players who had been playing with each other since they were teenagers.
Scholes, Neville's, Beckham, Brown, Butt, Giggs......

It was a magnificent team. We had a solid defence, a magnificent midfield with arguably four of the greatest midfielders in premiership history.

For all our midfielders in our present team, I would take that midfield of 99 over our present midfield every single time.

Keane was leader who inspired in times of hardship, Scholes was majestic at his best and more creative than most at his worst.

Beckham, you just have to watch the treble video to see his gigantic contribution to our success that season. Crosses, corners, free kicks, assists, pin-point-passes, goals, wonder-goals....
Giggs, need I say anything, just an incredible player and his chest hair will always remain in my memory!!!!

Cole and Yorke as a partnership just clicked and ran riot and Ole and Teddy, our wonder subs, two gifted players also.

Being honest, without Ronaldo this season, we would not be at the top of the league. Rooney and Tevez have done well but at crucial times they have lagged.

Also, I don't believe you can compare a team that won the treble in a season to a team that has only really won one major trophy together, the Premier League.

I think our present team has potential but to be even compared to that great team of 99, they have to win trophies. Simple as, otherwise they can't be acknowledged as being as good, nevermind beter.

I believe there is so much talent in our present team, Rooney, Anderson, Nani, Ronaldo, Rio, Evra etc...I hope they can fulfill their potential.
 

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we won a treble in 99 we cant this year this year we have nothing yet so the question answers itself we were stronger in 99
 

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I will paraphrase SAF - early in the season he stated that that this year's team was the most talented he has ever had. I agree with that and with David May. The problem is, every other team is more talented now from top to bottom. The competition has simply gotten that much tougher and it's harder to win trophies.

Would you have said that the 99 PL was the pre-eminent league in the world? It definitely is now...

If this year's team wins both PL and CL titles, it should be mentioned in the same breath with all the great United teams of the past...including 99.

PS this IS a great topic...sorry, russianarmy!
 

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we're arguably stronger in depth in some areas.. namely defence and midfield but quite obviously not in attack.. im gonna name my 1st and 2nd team mix from the two squads!

...............................................Schmeichel / VDS

Neville '99 / Neville '08 (despite not playing this yr!)... Stam / Vidic ... Rio / Johnson ... (toughy) Irwin / Evra

Ronaldo / Becks ... Keane / Hargreaves ... Scholes '99 / Scholes '08 ... Giggs '99 / Giggs '08

........................................Rooney / Cole ... Yorke / Tevez


arguably a better all round 1st 11 in '99 (8 in my 1st 11), but arguably a better squad in '08,,,
 

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Considering our defence this season i tink they are far better than 99s. Van der Sar actually makes less mistakes than Schmeichel but doesn't have the same commanding presence.

I'd have both Rio and Vidic over Stam and Berg. Evra and Irwin are ona par. Evra has his wonderful runs going forward but Irwin compensated with his consistency, penalties and the occasional free kick. I also thought that G. Neville had his best season last year but I would have Neville of 99 before Brown now.

Attacking wise we were far better in 99. Imagine Ronaldo on that team wow. Becks and Giggs were fantastic but think Ronaldo is obviously better than they were and I tink maybe Nani of next season could be also.

Keane, Scholes and Butt are better than the midfielders we have now. They had vereything between them, a commanding leader a box to box player an attacking midfielder that scored a lot. I would say that Butt was better than Hargreaves is now also.

The forwards back then were far betther than the ones we have now. We had a settled strike partnership which was one of the best I have ever seen. Rooney and Tevez will never reach the goal tally of them two nor have the understanding that they did. Also Ole could come in and do as good as jod as the other 2 but Saha now is usually injured when needed. + we had Sheringham who was such an intelligent footballer and got a few key goals.

There was a bit more belief back then also. For example the home FA Cup ties against Pool 99, and Pompy 08. were very similar. 1-0 down hitting the post keeper saves. But we came bac to win the game in 99, and we didn't hav the same spirit, nor Ole to call upon in the Pompy game.

Overall, we were a better team in 99, we had a settled team and kept scoring late goals when it looked beyond us. But I think in a couple of years if we find a settled strike partnership and centre midfield, we could be jst as good.
 

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99 are stronger then now...

In goal, I prefer Schmeichel to VDS... He was a hero back then screaming at everyone...

In defence we have Stam who is better then Rio, but Vidic is better then Ronny. That makes it equal... We have Neville as right, Irwin as left... Which Brown covered the position pretty well this season... Evra has pace but Irwin make quality crosses, each has their own qualities... In defence we are rather on the equal length...

In midfield, age has caught up with Giggs and Scholes... But we do have many to support them, Nani, Anderson, Hargreaves and Carrick. We do miss the commanding Captain Keane who brought fear to the midfield then. This season we lack a complete captain... Cristiano Ronaldo excellent dribbling skills and great scoring form this season against David Beckham brilliant free kick and pin-point accurate crosses. I can say CR edge by a little only.

Now we definately lose out in the attack... I don't think much explainations have to be made on the attacking side of 99 and now... It's rather obvious.
 

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We had an amazing squad in 99 but this 2008 team is far more talented and better footballing wise imo but then again circumstances were different back then...Chelsea wasn't such a huge threat and other clubs did not have such a high quality squad hence the level of competition now days are much more greater and that is why we have a squad better than we had in 1999. But we also must look at how much it cost for us to make this 2008 team compared to the 1999 team and maybe that is also a factor for a better team. Times have changed and it is good that we are still number 1 in England and we have adapted to the change unlike some teams like Leeds or maybe to a lesser extent Liverpool (never won an EPL haha) imo if we can just get a clinical striker we will be really really good and even better next season! If we still had this squad and ruud...imagine? Maybe we wouldn't be pressuring Rooney to score so much because we would have someone more clinical to do that and Rooney could be his natural position (2nd striker)...if we can keep Saha fit and get a clinical striker and if Manucho can be as good as he was in the Africans Nations cup we will have a much much better team and if we can just get a replacement for injured neville and contract rebel brown like lahm or alves and then we will be unstoppable with our full first team and we can maybe do the treble then (and also if Mark Atkinson does not ref any of our games like he did vs pompey in fa cup quarters :mad:)
 

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Andreas_svan said:
idont know how to put it, we are strong now, and we were strong then, but the competition are better now then it were in 99.
I disagree with that statement.

In 99, there wasn't really the big 4, many teams had a chance at winning the title and smaller teams had a very realistic chance of getting a result against the big teams.

Arsenal had one of the meanest defences in premiership history and some fantastic players like Viera, Overmars, Anelka and Bergkamp!!!

Liverpool were a strong force and were such a dogged team.

Chelsea had some amazing players like zola.

I think the standard back then was as strong as it is today and I would not be totally confident that our present team, especially the midfield would be able to cope with the physicality of the game back in even 99.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Keano4taoiseach said:
I believe there is so much talent in our present team, Rooney, Anderson, Nani, Ronaldo, Rio, Evra etc...I hope they can fulfill their potential.
Rio & Evra? I'd they both had already fulfill their potential. Currently, they are on the peak of their form & I really can't see them improving leaps and bounds....or else they will be simply unstoppable IMHO! ;)
 

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The 99 team were the best four top class strikers playing well , you could perm any two from four.
As for the great dane , the best goalkeeper that has ever lived
 

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red_devils4life said:
Rio & Evra? I'd they both had already fulfill their potential. Currently, they are on the peak of their form & I really can't see them improving leaps and bounds....or else they will be simply unstoppable IMHO! ;)
There is 'always' room for improvement young man ;)
 

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A very good question rd4l and one I have thought about myself.

The 1999 team only needed 79 points to win the Premier League title but since then both the Arsenal 'invincibles' and the Roman bankrolled Chelsea have made the points total required much higher. That side also rode their luck on the way to the FA Cup and the Champions League. However, they won the treble - an amazing feat that may never be equalled.

If you compare the two sides...

Schmeichal is imo the best keeper to ever play in the Premiership so edges out VDS.

Our defence back then was solid especially with Stam and Irwin. These days it is even more formidable with the Rio/Vidic partnership and Evra on the left. Gary Neville in 98/99 is better than Brown is today though. Overall I'd say our defence this season is better.

I think we have a lot of options in midfield this season and the strength of our squad in this area is much better this season than it was in 98/99. However, I think the Giggs-Scholes-Keane-Beckham midfield was one of the best to ever play for the club so starting midfield strength goes to the 98/99 boys.

Up front we had brilliant options in 98/99. Yorke, Cole, Sheringham and Solskjaer all had a major impact on how our season turned out. This season we have been totally reliant on Rooney and Tevez and must thank whatever higher being we worship that Ronaldo has emerged as top class goal scorer from midfield.

In conclusion, I think the Premiership is harder to win these days, that's why Fergie has built a stronger squad than we had in 98/99, but to win a treble in any era is an incredible achievement so imo it has to go to the 98/99 starting XI.
 

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People are invariably going to make comparisons between the squad of the present time, and the squad in '99.

As things currently stand I don't thin kwe have a squad as strong as in '99. I think if we were to make it as strong we would need another striker, or two if Saha was to leave, as well as possibly another defender.

I am pleased with our midfield at the moment and feel that if we can hang onto all our 1st team squad players and sign a couple more, then our squad would be very close to the one in 1999.
 

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this utd squad is the strongest since 2002. its nowhere near has good as 99 you just have to look at the strikers to fathom that out, rooney ,tevez , saha are not in the same league as cole ,yorke , sheringham and ole.
if it were'nt for the brilliant ronaldo utd would be struggling with the poor return from this years strikeforce,the rest of the squad is strong except the strikers who need to score far more regular than they are presently doing.
 
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