By James Johnson.
On the eve of the FA Cup semi final I decided now was as good a time as any to compile a team of both Manchester United and Manchester City players based on this seasons performances.
Whilst the temptation to exclude any City player is very strong i’ve attempted to be as fair as possible.
All comments are welcome.
Gk – Edwin van der Sar – Only one way this choice was going to go really. The chants of ‘one more year’ during the cup game against Arsenal tell you all you need to know. The Dutchman has been superb all season and has earned the team points on his own at times. Replacing him will be a massive challenge for Fergie.
RB – Rafael – The little Brazilian has come on leaps and bounds this season. While we all knew of his attacking qualities the ever increasing security at the back has been most pleasing. He has learned from his mistakes of last season of diving in to tackles and his shackling of Gareth Bale at Old Trafford showed his ever increasing maturity at the back.
CB – Vincent Kompany – Has been earning rave reviews all season and rightly so. Has been a rock at the back for City with all number of different partners at the back. Causing him problems could be the key for Man United in the semi final.
CB – Chris Smalling – For a player who was playing non league football only a few years ago Smalling has been a revelation. People were scratching their heads when we played 7m for him but he has been worth every penny. Ha has stepped in for Ferdinand and looks like he has been playing at this level for many years. Has also displaced Jonny Evans as the third choice centre back when Rio or Vidic are out.
LB – Micah Richards – Although obviously not a left back he has been the second best of City’s defenders this season. Had a bad season or two previous to this one but seems to have concentrated less on looking like Arnie and more on learning how to defend. Will more than likely get a look in with the England squad again sooner rather than later with the lack of a top class right back in the squad.
RW – Nani – How Nani hasn’t been nominated for the Player of the Year award I’ll never know. He has the most assists in the league, has been scoring at a superb rate, and has been a thorn in the side of every team he has faced. The improvement in his game started last season against Hull and he hasn’t looked back since. Has been for the most part of the season United greatest outlet and can probably still get better.
CM – Yaya Toure – For the amount of money that he earns you would expect a decent player, and that is exactly what City have in Toure. At times he has been played in a far more attacking role than anyone thought he could perform at. In the defensively minded midfield that City appear to prefer he has been the stand out player.
CM – Scholes – He can’t at this stage of his career play every game, but when he does play he never lets the team down. Everything he has done this season, he has done for many years and it never gets boring to watch. The one player in the United team who can pick a pass from anywhere to anywhere. Will be a very sad day when he hangs up his boots.
LW – David Silva – The one City player with the grace and ability that his price tag justifies. Given a yard of space he will find a team mate with a perfectly weighted ball. The one player that we simply cannot allow space to at Wembley.
ST – Carlos Tevez – At much as it pains me to admit, Tevez has once again been superb for City this season. His influence on the team is shown more clearly when he doesn’t play; as they suddenly turn from a dangerous side into one who seemingly don’t have a clue what they are doing. Has once again added goals to his impressive work rate, and is probably a bigger loss to City in the semi than Rooney is for United.
ST – Javier Hernandez – Hernandez, Chicharito, The Little Pea. Whatever you want to call him he has been superb. Like the Chris Smalling transfer people were wondering just who we had signed and what he was going to add, well he has added pace, movement and most importantly, goals. After seeing him in the World Cup I was hoping he would offer us a few goals this season and bed in, well he has done that and more. Is now seemingly the first choice strike partner for Rooney and doesn’t look out of place being there. The most impressive first season in English football for a long time.
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