But in the end we decided to grab the views of the men who really matter, the MirrorFootball columnists, who have each picked their best Fergie XIs for you to debate.
Martin has opted for Dutch colossus Jaap Stam to partner Rio Ferdinand at the heart of the defence, while Eric Cantona partners this season's top scorer Robin van Persie up top in a potent-looking strikeforce. David's XI is almost identical to Martin's, but our man in Manchester has opted for a different Dutchman to partner Cantona up front, the prolific Ruud van Nistelrooy. Former United trainee Robbie also selects Bruce at centre half, and also finds a place in attack for Wayne Rooney, who partners Eric Cantona in an explosive front two.
The worst XI is enough to bring United fans out in a cold sweat. Massimo Taibi had a shocker between the sticks during his time at United, while the likes of Djemba-Djemba and Bellion never found their feet at Old Trafford. This side remains the only one to achieve the Treble haul of the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup, a feat Ferguson has claimed is unlikely to ever be repeated. Victory in the Premier League was followed by a penalty shoo-out win against Chelsea in Moscow in the first-all English European Cup final, as Fergie claimed his second - and last - Champions League success.
United won the title with four games to spare, but missed out on setting a new Premier League record points total.
Manchester United's Dream Team: Red Devils' 11 Best Players Under Sir Alex
While the Premier League saw a huge amount of foreign players arriving in the country during the Premier League years, Ferguson always kept a strong core of domestic talent at his disposal, as this XI shows. Talent by the bucketload. By Simon Head. Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice. Follow mirrorfootball. He made everything look easy, even when asked to juggle the ball with his feet. And when you factor in the newly formed partnership of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic just in front, Ferguson could count on a strong base in the hunt for silverware.
Not that it was a particularly big squad. The manager depended on a fairly tight group. Giggs, Nani and Ji-Sung Park offered alternatives in midfield and Dimitar Berbatov was signed with the intention of providing something different in attack.
A growing criticism, however, was the lack of a dominant central midfielder in the Roy Keane mould; someone to drive the team forward with real dynamism. Yet Ferguson achieved great success without such a force. Ferguson has described the current squad as potentially his best given the room for improvement in many of the younger players. He may have a point. As it is, Jones deserves a place in the present first XI for his sterling work this season in the middle of the park where he has often been deployed as a specialist firefighter.
Next to Michael Carrick, the year-old offers energy and assurance like few others can. But when you compare this line up to some from the past, it can hardly be described as the pick of the bunch. Rooney, meanwhile, heads for a crossroads. If United buy another striker, Robert Lewandowski perhaps, his standing at Old Trafford takes a nosedive. That said, it would be a major surprise if United ran away with the title again.
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Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. Sunday 23 June Alex Ferguson retires: his greatest players and the best United XI under their most successful manager From a team without a trophy to treble winners and now a new generation, Sir Alex Ferguson has changed his teams over the years to maintain Manchester United's remarkable success. As squads go, this one was strong.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s Best XI
And finally Manchester United. Related Partners. In Manchester United. Top Football Galleries. Charlie Eccleshare Wenger mustn't moan at fans - he and players only have themselves to blame.