Manchester City & United's treble-winning side combined 11 & tactics
Manchester City's astonishing achievement of winning the domestic treble in the 2018-19 season, which included the League Cup, FA Cup, and Premier League title has started a raging debate among footballing fans, how many players of this treble-winning side will get into the treble-winning Manchester United side of 1999; the team which won the FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League.
Both achievements were iconic in their ways, one team which is the ultimate footballing team and can play any opposition out of the park, the other being an unstoppable force which never knew when they were defeated and were capable of picking up results from hopeless positions.
Today, we put up a combined 11 of these two teams and discuss what tactics they'll apply if they had played together.
In goal, we go for Schmeichel. Even though Ederson might be better at passing the ball out from the back, Schmeichel redefined goalkeeping for a generation of goalkeepers.
He was a vocal commanding force for the backline during his era at Manchester United. He made himself so big in 1v1 situations that opposition attackers could barely see the goal. He was also an excellent shot-stopper.
He pips Ederson for the man donning the gloves in this team.
Our Center Back pairing in this team would be Aymeric Laporte and Jaap Stam. They form the perfect silky passer-brutal destroyer at the back.
Laporte is one of the best passers of the ball and typifies how Guardiola wants his center backs wants to play. Stam, on the other hand, can be brutal in a 1v1 situation and is one of the best center backs to have graced the English game.
With Laporte focussing on the passing side, and Stam focussing on snuffing out opposition attacks, this could have formed a very formidable center back pairing.
Vincent Kompany could have got into this team but during the treble winning season; even though Guardiola went for him in high-pressure matches, he was way past his prime, and hence Laporte goes in the team ahead of him.
On the right flank, we have Gary Neville as the fullback and David Beckham as the winger. They complement each other in their playing styles perfectly.
Beckham is a winger who likes to drift in towards the midfield area and try to create chances and score goals by combining with the strikers and attacking midfielders; his crosses and cross-field passes have resulted in many beautiful Manchester United goals; his freekicks were nothing short of legendary.
Sterling comes very close to play on the right but considering the form in which Beckham was in the 1999 season he can only make the bench.
Gary Neville is a full back who would occupy the space left by the winger drifting inside on the right wing, his main aim on the pitch was to make overlapping runs beyond the opposition full back and providing inch-perfect crosses into the box for the striker and attacking midfielders to score goals.
On the left flank, we have a different kind of fullback-winger combination consisting of Denis Irwin and Ryan Giggs.
Ryan Giggs is a winger who would stay on the wing rather than drift inside as Beckham used to do, the Welshman main aim on the pitch was use his fiery pace to outrun opposition fullbacks and provide crossed to the strikers. Facing Ryan Giggs on the counterattack was a phenomenon in itself, opposition fullbacks were petrified of him when he ran at them with the ball at his feet.
Denis Irwin complemented Giggs perfectly by tucking into midfield while Giggs took control of the wing, this fullback was more conservative in approach by not making marauding runs into the attacking half all the time, he provided a different type of crosses for the strikers, and he was an excellent penalty taker too.
Our midfield three will be Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, and Bernardo Silva.
Roy Keane will be the deepest of the three, screening the back four from opposition attacks and also driving his other teammates higher up the field.
He is Manchester United's greatest ever captain, and he was a vocal leader ready to have a go at his teammates if necessary.
His job in this combined 11 will be to cover for his fullbacks, especially Gary Neville when they bomb forward with the ball and to stopping opposition counterattacks and also circulating the ball to a certain extent.
Our Central midfielder will be Paul Scholes. He is probably the most technically gifted passer in English football history.
Him and Keane working in tandem were unstoppable during the treble winning season.
He had a knack to find out strikers who had mace runs into the opposition box, and also wingers who had gotten the better of their fullbacks.
He was also capable of making late runs into the box to score goals or assist them, and his long-range shooting was nothing short of legendary.
Kevin de Bruyne runs the Englishman close, but he was injured a lot during the season, and hence he does not make the cut.
Our attacking midfielder will be Bernardo Silva.
The former Monaco man was only a bench player for Guardiola during his first season with City burst onto the scene in his second season.
He along with Sterling were City's best players last season and, he played both in central midfield and on the wings for Guardiola in the treble winning season.
He was irreplaceable in the City team last year; he could decide matches on his own.
His tenacity is one of his underappreciated qualities, and he is not afraid to put a tackle in considering the position in which he plays.
He can drop into the midfield when the other midfielder makes the run, and also join the striker in attack when required in this team.
Our center forward in this team will be Sergio Aguero.
He is the greatest striker in City's history, and he is one of the greatest strikers the premier league has ever seen.
He is a powerful striker who is very strong in the air although his small figure may say otherwise.
His technical skills on the ball are exceptional too, and he combines well with the wingers and attacking midfielders.
He was at the tip of the strike force which won the treble for Guardiola.
Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole are great strikers who could have easily made the team, but the fact is Aguero is slightly better than both of them, and thus he makes the cut above them.
Aguero's role in this team would be to receive the crosses from wide players and combine with the attacking midfielders to score goals and set them up too.Published 28 Jun 2019, 02:33 IST