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After the Liverpool debacle, I decided to take my mind off the disappointment by going through each and every match from last season and looking at the central midfield partnerships that Fergie played in each game and the success those partnerships yielded.

Here are the findings from last seasons's games (minus the League Cup loss to Coventry):


Scholes & Carrick ___________10W 6D 0L
Carrick & Anderson __________7W 0D1L
Hargreaves & Anderson_______4W 1D 0L
Hargreaves & Carrick ________ 3W 0D 0L
Scholes & Anderson__________2W 0D 1L
Hargreaves & Scholes _______ 2W 1D 1L
Carrick Scholes & Anderson ____2W 0D 0L
Carrick & Fletcher ___________ 2W 1D 0L
Fletcher & Anderson _________ 2W 0D 0L
Hargreaves Scholes & Carrick __1W 0D 0L
Hargreaves Scholes & Anderson 1W 1D 0L
Hargreaves Carrick & Anderson _1W 0D 0L
Hargreaves Fletcher _________ 0w 0D 1L
Scholes & O'Shea ___________ 1W 0D 0L
Carrick & O'Shea ___________ 1W 0D 1D


I was pretty surprised at the amount of different combinations that were played in central midfield last season and the results that they yielded.

For example, I would have thought that Scholes and Anderson played more often together, but on two occasions they were joined by Hargreaves making in a central midfield trio.

Quite obviously the combo that was used the most was Scholes Carrick which resulted in 10 wins, 6 draws and no losses.

I'd love to put it into context of today's game, but can't bring up the energy.

What I will say that the tried and test partnerships of last season seem to be either Carrick+Scholes, Carrick+Anderson or Hargreaves+Anderson and that Scholes and Anderson didn't get much playing time together.

I also think this shows how important Michael Carrick is and he no longer should be considered an option, but really a linchpin of Man Utd's midfield.

Stats only tell half the tale, but at least some of you might find this interesting and can use it as a reference when debating / discussing midfield partnerships in future.



I'll also keep track of the central midfield partnerships in the 2008/09 season.


Central Midfield Partnerships 2008/09



vs Portsmouth (LC) - O'Shea & Scholes = D
vs Newcastle - Carrick & Scholes = D
vs Portsmouth - Anderson & Scholes = W
vs Zenit - Anderson & Scholes = L
vs Liverpool - Scholes & Carrick = L
vs Villarreal - Fletcher & Hargreaves = D
vs Chelsea - Fletcher & Scholes = D
vs Boro - Anderson & Possebon = W
vs Bolton - Fletcher & Anderson = W
vs Aalborg - O'Shea & Giggs = W
vs Blackburn - Fletcher & Anderson = W
vs WBA - Fletcher & Giggs = W
vs Celtic - Fletcher & Anderson = W
vs Everton - Fletcher & Giggs = D
vs West Ham - Fletcher & Anderson = W
vs Hull - Carrick & Anderson = W
vs Celtic - Carrick & Fletcher = D
vs Arsenal - Carrick & Anderson = L
vs QPR - Anderson, Possebon & Gibson = W
vs Stoke - Carrick & Fletcher = W
vs Villa - Carrick & Giggs = D
vs Villarreal - Carrick, Anderson & Fletcher = D
vs Man City - Carrick & Fletcher = W
vs Blackburn - Anderson & Possebon = W
vs Sunderland - Carrick & Fletcher = W
vs Aalborg - Anderson & Giggs = D
vs Tottenham - Carrick & Fletcher = D
vs Gamba Osaka - Scholes & Anderson = W
vs Ligs de Quito - Carrick & Anderson = W
vs Stoke - Fletcher & Scholes = W
vs Middlesbrough - Carrick & Fletcher = W
vs Southampton - Carrick & Anderson = W
vs Derby - Scholes & Anderson = L
vs Chelsea - Fletcher & Giggs = W
vs Wigan - Carrick & Scholes = W
vs Bolton - Carrick & Giggs = W (Anderson subbed for Giggs, who made vital pass)

Fletcher & Scholes__________ 1W 1D 0L
Fletcher & Hargreaves_______ 0W 1D 0L
Fletcher & Anderson ________ 4W 0D 0L
Fletcher & Giggs ___________ 2W 1D 0L
Carrick & Scholes___________ 1W 1D 1L
Carrick & Anderson _________ 3W 0D 1L
Carrick & Fletcher___________4W 2D 0L
Carrick & Giggs ____________ 1W 1D 0L
Carrick, Anderson & Fletcher _ 0W 1D 0L
Anderson & Possebon _______ 2W 0D 0L
Anderson & Scholes ________ 2W 0D 2L
Anderson, Possebon & Gibson_1W 0D 0L
Anderson & Giggs___________0W 1D 0L
Giggs & O'Shea ____________ 1W 0D 0L
Scholes & O'Shea __________ 0W 1D 0L

Total Games: 36
 

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first of all, i think carrick will always get into the team, and scholes and carrick are still the first choice pairing for me. one more thing, dun play anderson and scholes together.
 

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I think Carrick and Scholes should be our first partnership, and I honestly think Carrick should be the first midfielder on the teamsheet. I think that it shows when he doesn't play that he is more important to us than he gets credit for.

As for Scholes and Anderson, well that is a definite no-no I'm afraid.
 

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Stephen said:
What were the two games in which Scholesy and Anderson played?
Was City home one of them? :confused:
City at home was one of them

But I can't really remember any other games. :confused:
 

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manutd004 said:
I think Carrick and Scholes should be our first partnership, and I honestly think Carrick should be the first midfielder on the teamsheet. I think that it shows when he doesn't play that he is more important to us than he gets credit for.

As for Scholes and Anderson, well that is a definite no-no I'm afraid.
Be it whatever central partnership, Carrick has to be our default midfielder, no doubt about it. As I said before, I can't imagine us without him. He has an exceptional sense of positioning in the middle of the park, which makes it seems that he is always at the right place at the right time, going about his midfield works looking so effortlessly. That, I suspect, is class.

Not too sure about any default partner though. Scholes and him so far yield the best results from the statistics but am wondering too if a younger alternative might make the partnership more explosive and dominating.
 

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My fav partnership is Scholes-Anderson but its too very attacking partnership
so to have control of the field we need too replace one of them with a holding midfielder so lets say Scholes-Carrick
 

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Look again........
Anderson------ Carrick is the best points per game ratio. picking up 21 from 24 poin
Scholes-------- Carrick who only won just over half the games the played.
Is it time to bench Scholes?
 

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RedForceRising said:
You;re absolutely correct and I made a mistake - it was Aston Villa Away, Derby Away and City at home.
Right

Although we've won two and lost one with them in central-midfield, I still think we should avoid that.
 

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I'd Choose the Carrick-Anderson partnership in midfield.
Scholes showed today that he's not at his good form as he was before a few seasons.
 

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Worryingly it seems that when Carrick is out, United have a lot less in the way of Centre structure. We can't rely on just one player to pull the strings like that and with Anderson not really being altogether solid with his passes (maybe he should play further forward and be relied on less to be a Centre player) and Hargreaves being prone to injury, I think another playmaker maybe needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Kyle1982 said:
Worryingly it seems that when Carrick is out, United have a lot less in the way of Centre structure. We can't rely on just one player to pull the strings like that and with Anderson not really being altogether solid with his passes (maybe he should play further forward and be relied on less to be a Centre player) and Hargreaves being prone to injury, I think another playmaker maybe needed.
At this stage it's too late to buy anyone, but I fully agree that we need someone else, so why not take a chance on Possebon?

OK maybe it's a bit too early for him, but Scholes Anderson wasn't tried often, so I would play Hargreaves and Anderson in the middle of the park. If Hargreaves came through today's match in good shape, then he should definitely start.

Carrick has really become important for us and I will always put him in any tactical formation I discuss in future.
 

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It all depends on the game we are playing.
For me HArgreaves needs to be in the team. His energy, skill, tackling, passing
and his ability to be a box to box player is a must to have in the team.
Id also give Scholes every second game off and have Carrick in there pulling
the strings every game. Anderson still has a long way to go in my eyes but he
will get his chance.
 

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RedForceRising said:
You;re absolutely correct and I made a mistake - it was Aston Villa Away, Derby Away and City at home.
They also played together for the Wigan (H) match. When Vidic and O'Shea went off in the first 20 mins.

I remember it because it was the game where Anderson, Pique and Simpson all impressed.
 
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