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Who would make your all-time Manchester XI?

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Alistair Magowan - BBC Sport | 11:35 UK time, Thursday, 14 April 2011

A bit of a departure from the usual tactical analysis this week, more a debate on team selection ahead of Saturday's mouth-watering FA Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley.

With both sides packed full of star names, it looks like being a fantastic occasion. But to whet the appetite ahead of what is sure to be a hotly contested match, our colleagues at Radio 5 live have posed the following question:

Who would get into your all-time Manchester XI?

City connoisseur and broadcaster Stuart Hall, die-hard United fan Terry Christian and respected Daily Telegraph writer Henry Winter have been locked in discussion about their star-studded XI. You can hear how they came to their decisions on BBC Radio 5 live Sport on Saturday but we can reveal the team below.

Do you agree with the selections?

You will notice there are some shock omissions. But what do you think? Now it is your chance to give us your opinions. Do you agree with the selections of Hall, Christian and Winter? If not, who would you select for your greatest ever Manchester team?

You can listen to the full debate on Radio 5 live from midday on Saturday. Live commentary on the game begins from 1715 BST.


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  • Comment number 1.

    You've missed out Wes Brown.

  • Comment number 2.

    Gary Neville, Rooney haha sorry boys try again.

  • Comment number 3.

    No Cantona!!! No Bryan Robson!!!

  • Comment number 4.

    No Giggs???

  • Comment number 5.

    Too many City players, and I'm counting Law as a red.

  • Comment number 6.

    No Scholes, Giggs, Cantona, Robson or Keane????

    Explain this ludacris selection.

  • Comment number 7.

    Seriously?Seriously! Seriously - Gary Nevile is a little too much.

  • Comment number 8.

    Who's that Welsh winger again? Ryan something.... you know the guy.... Ryan.... Giggs..... GIGGS!!!!

    Without question Giggs should, be in this team.... shouldn't he???

  • Comment number 9.

    Can't believe the omission of Giggs, but only including 1.5 city players softens the blow. I can only think that Cantona was dropped for Colin Bell as a sop to the blue "half" of Manchester...

  • Comment number 10.

    The Colin Bell inclusion reeks of the pressure to show some Manchester balance. The fact of the matter is no City player has ever been better than a United player in any respective position. Room for Bell but no room for Cantona, Robson, Keane or perhaps more absurdly Scholes and the all time United great Ryan Giggs. I'm speechless that a respected sports journalist and a (not-so) respected broadcaster can make such a pigs ear of a decision.

  • Comment number 11.

    Rooney? seriously? what about Van Nistelrooy or cantona? more importantly where is Giggs, scholes or even Keane?

  • Comment number 12.

    Think that more or less sums up the last 66yrs of Manchester football. And even the one token city player(Law does'nt count),many people would put a case for Paul Scholes inclusion at the expense of Bell...or even Cantona.
    So many great players left out..Whelan,Coleman,Byrne...Tony Dunne,Crerand...Coppell,Robson,Keane,Hughes,McGrath,Giggs...hell,the list is endless.
    Any greats from the players of today? Hindsight clouds the senses somewhat but Raphael certainly has the chance to improve and Smalling looks good even in these early days of his Utd career.

  • Comment number 13.

    Where's Uwe Rosler?

  • Comment number 14.

    Colin Bell is only in the side because they have to have him in. Otherwise it's just an all time United side.

    And as much as I like Pallister, he is not on the same level as Rio Ferdinand, who is undoubtedly Sir Alex's best ever defender

  • Comment number 15.

    Really no Giggs, Gary Neville average and Rooney in stead one of the many great strikers. Poor choices.

  • Comment number 16.

    An impossible task. For United, how about the best ever squad? For City, much easier to do an all-time worst 11.

  • Comment number 17.

    What about Barry, Dzeko ??

    World-class players, world classss I tell ye!.

  • Comment number 18.

    First off im a Spurs fan so im not at all biassed..........But lets be honest there probably isnt a Man City player that could actually get in a combined team, from a past or present Man City team.

    Colin Bell - Great Player but not even close to a Roy Keane. Surely you have only put him in there to have one player from City??

    Not having a place for Giggs is unbelievable after everything he has done and achieved, but not having a place for Cantona is a joke.

  • Comment number 19.

    Make it historic. Let's have Billy Meredith and Bert Trautmann

  • Comment number 20.

    Giggs for Bell thanks. Unbelievable. Neville?

  • Comment number 21.

    What?! No Jaap Stam?!?

    This dream team leaves alot to be desired chaps...

  • Comment number 22.

    @ Kapnag:

    While i would agree that ferdinand is a great defender, he is not Fergies best, that title would go to a certain Jaap Stam. What a Legend

  • Comment number 23.

    Giggs has to be there for sure. Also any keeper who can play in a cup final with a broken neck and end up on the winning side deserves a mention.

  • Comment number 24.

    no jaap stam, david beckham, giggs or cantona.......bit strange

  • Comment number 25.

    you missed out massimo taibi...and djemba djemba

  • Comment number 26.

    As already pointed out, missed a lot of legends in that selection.

    It's incredibly hard to pick a team from every squad ever. I think Giggs, Scholes and Cantona certainly should be there.

    Personally I think that the modern day players do surpass some of the old legends. I think this Ferguson era United is the most dominant team in Football history. I adore the older greats but Ferguson's reign is the greatest ever. But even narrowing it down to that makes a team selection hard!

  • Comment number 27.

    sorry, but the inclusion of Rooney is a joke right........and Neville?

  • Comment number 28.

    What, no Jaap Stam??

  • Comment number 29.

    Ferdinand ahead of Pallister
    Tevez ahead of Rooney

  • Comment number 30.

    Wow i wish i could love Ryan Giggs some more!!!!

    Seriously, you think he would get in a side on the wings a head of Ronaldo or Best??? He is good, no doubt but i cant see how he fits into this side. He cant play centre mid as Charlton and arguably Keane should be in there.
    Its a shame granted as hes a top player but theres just no room.

    I also would like to see less people saying no to gary neville and offer an alternative. He is englands most capped right back and although hes a idiot on the pitch he was a good player - and no im not a united or city fan, not even a fan of a club in the premiership

  • Comment number 31.

    hmmmm. the great Colin Bell.. the titles, the accolades!!! Just the mention of his name makes you fear the blue sky itself.................... Until that is, Cantona and Giggs run rings round him and put him on his proverbial.

    Only in the dictionary does Bell come before Cantona and Giggs

  • Comment number 32.

    I agree with 5

    Too many City players, get rid of Bell and play Giggs CM

    That would be better

  • Comment number 33.

    GK - Van der Sar, LB - Evra, CB - Ferdinand & Pallister, RB open to suggestion but not G. Neville for sure, LM/LW has to be Giggs, CM - Scholes & B.Charlton, RW - Best, ST - Cantona & Ronaldo

  • Comment number 34.

    Rooney!!!!! You have to be kidding. Cantona has to in there instead of him. Cantona almost singlehandedly won the league title for Manu. He rejuvinated Manu to become the team they are today, and I'm a Liverpool fan.

  • Comment number 35.

    Wayne Rooney ahead of Cantona? Yeah right. lol

    Duncan Edwards, (.....tries to be dimplomatic). Yeah I get that he was pretty special and had he not died at such a young age, (was he only 21ish?), then he might have been amazing, but the fact is that he did die. Sorry. He never fullfilled his potential. Steve Bruce on the other hand made about twice as many appearances, scored about twice as many goals, (and was importantly the captain for long periods). In a show us yer medals contest, Bruce would win hands down.

    It's a shame that there is no space for either Robson or Keane, but I can't honestly say that they are more deserving of Charlton and Bell.

  • Comment number 36.

    "You will notice there are some shock omissions. But what do you think?"

    What i think you are saying there is you rushed the blog and didnt take time to think of the best players. But as it happens i pretty much agree with you although others dont seem to.

  • Comment number 37.

    why is no one saying Van Nistelrooy? unbelievable

  • Comment number 38.

    Blogtastic... did you happen to see Giggs "not playing in the middle" against Chelsea in the Champions League?

  • Comment number 39.

    Bobby Charlton in centre-mid - too much pressure for 4-4-2

    Schmeicel is peerless in gopal and has played for both

    I would play 3 at the back with Pallister, Edwards and Neville

    4 in midfield - Giggs, Robson, Scholes, Ronaldo

    Cantona and Law up front.

    Bobby Charlton's goals to games ratio is better than Charlton's (only Ruud Van Nistelrooy really compares to it)

    Ryan Giggs shades George Best mainly due to longevity as best was a genius but wasted his talent and retired prematurely otherwise he would be in there.

    Billy Meredith would have been an interesting choice but while prolific for City he only netted 35 in 303 appearances for United.

    Robson beats Keane for differing reasons ut it was tight as both were outstanding captains

  • Comment number 40.

    giggs? best player for manu everr. yet doesn't make this team..hmm?

  • Comment number 41.

    @25 good shout, could replace Bell with Djemba-Djemba

  • Comment number 42.

    Taibi, DjembaDjemba, Blackmore, Veron, Chadwick, Cruyff ????

  • Comment number 43.

    Um...i seem to be the only one to mention David Beckham..?

  • Comment number 44.

    Tony Book - tons better than Neville, Dave Watson - tons better than Pallister, Peter Barnes - tons better than Ronaldo, Everyone better than Rooney!

  • Comment number 45.

    Neville should never get into this side. That's a joke. Second most overrated footballer in the last decade...after Torres! Any right-back still playing on either side would be better: Micah Richards, Wes Brown, Rafael...they're all better than Neville.

    PS. Giggs has got to be included, as has Cantona.

  • Comment number 46.

    Did Steve Bruce win more England caps than Duncan Edwards?

  • Comment number 47.

    #25 - and don't forget Kleberson and William Prunier!

  • Comment number 48.

    No Franny Lee?!!


    City are rubbish

    Plus Duncan Edwards was a central midfielder

  • Comment number 49.

    Should have just created one for united and one for city, because it's pretty obvious starting XI would all be united (subs bench and expanded squad would also all be united).
    How Rooney gets in ahead of Cantona i just do not know. Gary Neville is in there because there is no other right back from either team that comes to mind.

    Good to see Duncan Edwards in there, really is sad how many fans, especially United ones have no clue who he is. Would have been one arguably one of the best english players of all time.

  • Comment number 50.

    Rooney over Cantona? Riiiiiight... Even Van Nistlerooy was a far better player. You could even shunt Ronaldo up top to include Giggs who surely deserves to be in there somewhere.

  • Comment number 51.

    Why has no-one suggested David Beckham? Cantona, Giggs, Scholes etc sure but no Becks? Come on!!

  • Comment number 52.

    Taibi, Wes Brown, Donaghy, Duxbury, Pointon; Lomas, Webb, McNab, Power; Davenport, Sheron.

  • Comment number 53.

    Oh deary deary deary me.

    I wrongly assumed that nobody could fail to select Giggs on the left, (so never even looked). Ronaldo ahead of Giggs?








  • Comment number 54.

    Don't support either but Rooney, what a joke, Best up front, Robson in midfield, Watson and Woosnam instead of Pallister and the joke Neville, not sure on Schmeichal or Trautman and Donachie for Irwin.

  • Comment number 55.

    Media sucking up to Rooney again? zzzzzzzzzzz

    He would NEVER EVER make any sort of dream team he is average. end of.

  • Comment number 56.

    Cant believe the bbc have done this if you are trying to upset CITY fans before a crucial match against united you have succeded I hope this doesnt add fuel to what could be an explosive encounter shame on you. Gary Neville do me favour most overrated player ever this is the guy who threatened to cause a mutiny in the England camp over the Rio Ferdinand drug ban.

  • Comment number 57.

    Replace Pallister with Staam, Bell with Giggs (Bell ahead of Giggs? Really?) and Rooney with Cantona and it wouldn't be far off.

  • Comment number 58.

    i cant believe ex-united superstar Jonathan Spector isnt included, what an absolute joke

  • Comment number 59.

    The team I would go for would be:


    G Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Irwin,
    Best, Robson, Charlton, Giggs
    Cantona, Ronaldo

    I know that I have not picked any City players, but they have not had the same quality of player that United have over the years, and the hardest thing was leaving out the likes of Scholes, Keane, Evra, and Edwards.

  • Comment number 60.

    The only player i don't know on there is colin bell but surely he wasn't better than Ryan Giggs and then you have Roy Keane Paul Scholes & Bryan Robson...

    Rooney doesn't deserve to be there yet and if you are using a 4-4-2 Cantona should be there.

    I'd play a 4-3-3 with 2 inside strikers

    GK Peter Schmeichel
    RB Gary Neville
    CB Rio Ferdinand
    CB Steve Bruce
    LB Patrice Evra
    CDM Duncan Edwards
    CM Paul Scholes
    CAM Bobby Charlton
    LS George Best
    RS Cristiano Ronaldo
    ST Dennis Law


    Edwin Van Der Sar
    Gary Palliser
    Paul Scholes
    Roy Keane
    Bryan Robson
    David Beckham
    Ryan Giggs
    Ole Gunnar Solskaer
    Wayne Rooney
    Eric Cantona

    LOL thats 2 hard you should do two teams there are too many legends i'll not even included Jaap Steam Dennis Violet, Teddy Sheringham & Nobby Stiles and the rest

  • Comment number 61.

    39. At 16:00pm 14th Apr 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:

    Bobby Charlton in centre-mid - too much pressure for 4-4-2

    Schmeicel is peerless in gopal and has played for both

    I would play 3 at the back with Pallister, Edwards and Neville

    4 in midfield - Giggs, Robson, Scholes, Ronaldo

    Cantona and Law up front.

    Bobby Charlton's goals to games ratio is better than Charlton's (only Ruud Van Nistelrooy really compares to it)

    Ryan Giggs shades George Best mainly due to longevity as best was a genius but wasted his talent and retired prematurely otherwise he would be in there.

    Billy Meredith would have been an interesting choice but while prolific for City he only netted 35 in 303 appearances for United.

    Robson beats Keane for differing reasons ut it was tight as both were outstanding captains

    Couple of things Adam,

    you've got 3-4-2 as your formation.

    Plus this.....

    Bobby Charlton's goals to games ratio is better than Charlton's


  • Comment number 62.

    Would the manager be King Kevin Keegan ?

  • Comment number 63.

    Go easy people. There are only 11 slots and it was an uphill task that's been set here. Perhaps a few people could offer a better 11 rather than just complaining about the omission of Giggs (which is crazy) or the inclusion of Rooney.

    All those people having a go at Neville, need to have a serious think about what they are saying because I think you'd struggle to name a right back with as many medals or as many England caps. He might not be fashionable or flashy, but the guy was solid in his day and he record is second to none - end of.

    Perhaps Alistair, you would have been better off trying to select the best 11 players that have represented both clubs.

  • Comment number 64.

    No Nicky Weaver, that's ridiculous.

  • Comment number 65.

    No Cantona? would have Foulkes or Vidic before Pallister as welll

  • Comment number 66.

    I'm not a fan of either team but what struck me was that, whatever the arguments for and against individual players, the balance of the team is wrong. Ronaldo/Charlton/Bell/Best plus two up front.

    Doesn't it need a more defensive/destructive midfielder. Keane would be my choice but...

  • Comment number 67.

    who cares - and of the people making the selection, how many actually saw duncan edwards play and if so how many games?

  • Comment number 68.

    Sorry 3-4-3

    Schmeicel is peerless in gopal and has played for both

    I would play 3 at the back with Pallister, Edwards and Neville

    4 in midfield - Giggs, Robson, Scholes, Ronaldo

    Cantona and Law up front.

    Sorry 3-4-1-2 needed

    New team

    Peter Schmeichel

    Gary Pallister
    Duncan Edwards
    Bill Foulkes

    Cristiano Ronaldo
    Bryan Robson
    Paul Scholes
    Ryan Giggs

    Eric Cantona

    Tommy Taylor
    Dennis Violett


    Gary Bailey
    Gary Neville
    Martin Buchan
    George Best
    Roy Keane
    Ruud Van Nistelrooy
    Denis Law

    Have decided the strikers on how prolific they were

    Taylor and Edwards died at Munich so hard to guage how brilliant they would have become but Taylor's record was outstanding with 16 goals in 19 apps for England I think if he had stayed fit he and not Bobby Charlton would be Englands highest ever goal scorer

  • Comment number 69.

    no giggs? no vidic? i think there overall bit biased towards man city- who have won nothing!

  • Comment number 70.

    Ohh really no wonder i don't know Colin Bell if you are going to include Man City player your going to have to wait until the next millenium... there's a reason they haven't won a trophy in 30 years, the champions league and get worldwide recognition.. United & Madrid would be best to do its like doing Grimsby Town & Barcelona in 2011

  • Comment number 71.

    Bert Trautmann was light years better than Schmeichal. Colin Bell streets ahead of some of the United players. Law represents City, the only "Manchester" club he played for. Giggs should be in for sure.

    Pallister and Nevville, you're having a laugh, Mike Doyle was streets better than Pallister. Even Tony Book was better than neville, then again Phil Neville is better than his brother and is still playing not enjoying fat lunches at Sky's expense, did this eminent panel pick them out of a hat?

  • Comment number 72.

    Apologies for mistype - In Tommy Taylor's case I meant survived Munich - stayed fit was part of a comment I was writing about Bryan Robson

  • Comment number 73.

    Ralph Milne was my all time favourite United player.

  • Comment number 74.

    ronaldo? is that for when he hits a free kick u wet your pants after he bags one after 30 try's. no giggs? my revolt for humans continues.........

  • Comment number 75.

    Yet another piece of evidence that the media DO HATE CITY!

    I'm not saying the team selection is wrong. (well it is, Rooney! no Giggs or Robson...please)

    But the fact that there is no reason for this piece of rubbish other than to belittle City yet again.

    If you've been on the City 'my club' page this season you'll notice that near all of our 'features' have come after a defeat or negative moment.

    What is the point of this.

    Yes, we all know Utd have had better players than us over the years! Why be a ****...

    That is all

  • Comment number 76.

    Always when these things comes along i have a one will ever be happy with those picked..but really, no GIGGS!!! as soon as i saw that i dismissed this as a farce. Why the need to add Rooney as well?? Best Manchester group of all time and Rooney is up front...FAIL!!! he is good but not that good??? I am a Liverpool supporter so i don't care either way but come on no City player would make this team, none...too many great united players over the years!!
    But its fun to see all the trouble stirred up with this blog!!

  • Comment number 77.

    Can't really argue too much with the selection. They could only put 11 players on the field so that limits it a bit. Though I think I would have Cantona rather than Rooney in the XI.

    I think Giggs didn't get in as they rated Best and Ronaldo higher than him. Being too young to remember Best I'll have to take the word of the people who did see him and while Giggs is a true Manchester United legend, I would still put Ronaldo in the team before him.

    Gary Neville - for those against this I would ask who do you rate as a better right-back (for either club)?
    Possible compromise would be switch Irwin to right-back and have Evra as left-back?

    Scholes/Robson/Keane - You can only get one in the team given and that would drop the one out-and-out City player which is why they don't get in. Even then not sure who I would pick.

    Add in 7 subs and it gets easier - XI as in the article plus
    Van der Saar

  • Comment number 78.

    #71 - I suspect Longevity and trophies played their part

    Mike Doyle wasn't a full back he was a Cebtre-back / centre-mid

    Tony Book - 1 league title and most of his career at Bath City

    Phil Neville - Fergie didn't think so which is why Gary Neville or Denis Irwin were preferred and Patrice Evra bought

  • Comment number 79.

    where is Kinkladze?

  • Comment number 80.

    Cantona and Van Nistlerooy should defo have a spot in that 11

  • Comment number 81.

    As a red I'm a bit suprised the blues haven't mentions Georgi Kinkladze. He was as good as anyone united have had and about the best player city ever signed. IMHO.

  • Comment number 82.

    massimo taibi shud be in goal!

  • Comment number 83.

    Vidic???? Giggs??? Keane???

  • Comment number 84.

    is there going to be a man city XI tomorrow ? not a fan of either but you might as well have put scholes in there for bell or just say your man utd fans what a one sided artical bet the person who wrote it lives in devon !!!!!!

  • Comment number 85.

    Fallen into the Clasic trap of playing people out of position. Ronaldo is here playing on the left wing, when he's a right winger, so decide who'se the best out of him and Best and put giggs on the as hge was recently voted the best Manu player ever.

    Rooney is too inconsistent to go in the team, Cantona I would go for instead.

    Also Keane instead of Colin Bell, never heard of him which says it all really!

  • Comment number 86.

    Can't think of a Man City player who would get in the side to be honest. Over the years, Man Utd have had some of the best players in the world.
    For me, Schmeichel, Neville, Pallister, Edwards, Irwin, Best, Scholes, Charlton, Ronaldo, Cantona, Law.

  • Comment number 87.

    Quinton Fortune and Eric Djemba Djemba deserve places surely!?

  • Comment number 88.

    Am I the only one who's really surprised at Dennis Irwin? I mean, yeah he was good, but Evra right now is arguable considered one of the best 2 left-backs in the world. Irwin never had that status.

  • Comment number 89.

    One Mario Ballotelli is not going to be happy....

  • Comment number 90.

    Swap David Bellion for Rooney and you may have it right!

    You could have fun with this actually and name the worse starting 11 for each team.

  • Comment number 91.

    I am shamefaced at leaving Giggs out but I can't leave Ronaldo or Best out can I?!?

  • Comment number 92.

    I demand to know where Mario Ballotelli is........

  • Comment number 93.

    No Beckham, Really ??

  • Comment number 94.

    throw some Chicarrito in there as well...he's gon b ManU best evr striker..legend in the making!! and why do i see no Scholes, Giggs nd Ferdinand in there?

  • Comment number 95.

    nicky summerbee?

  • Comment number 96.

    Remi Moses????

  • Comment number 97.

    Rooney out, Ronaldo up front, Giggs on the left! problem solved!

  • Comment number 98.

    Who ever made these shambolic selections needs to be instantly relieved of their duties from the BBC. Never have I seen such drivle since Geoff Thomas' selection for England. No Giggs, NO CANTONA, and incredibly, NO SHERINGHAM.

    Have a break sunshine, I hear Bognor is nice this time of year. I could write your knowldge of football on a half chewed postage stamp.

  • Comment number 99.

    If you have to pick a City player, maybe Frank Swift or Burt Trautmanin goal or Billy Meredith in midfield?
    The big question is how do you get 40 great players into a starting 11 - playing Duncan Edwards out of position helps a bit, but it can't be done BUT ITS A BIT OF FUN TRYING and as for the Gary Neville thing relates to a lack of world class right backs for City or United (a tee-total, pre-knee injury Paul McGrath, played out of position anyone ).

  • Comment number 100.

    Giggs, Scholes, Cantona, Keane, Ole Gunnar!?!?!??! something's wrong with this team list... and throw on tevez too!!! haha


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