Manchester United: 25 Possibilities to Make The Final Squad Selection

Zaakir HoosenAnalyst IAugust 7, 2010

Manchester United: 25 Possibilities to Make The Final Squad Selection

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    As we draw closer to the start of yet another season, the basic preparation continues as coaches try to up fitness levels and match readiness.

    But this season throws another curve ball for managers to deal with, an interesting yet frustrating decision that allows only 25 players to be submitted to the FA by Sept. 1.

    This is part of the new rules for the Barclays Premier League squad for 2010/11. 

    With regards to United, Sir Alex is hard at work as he tries to select the best possible candidates that he sees fit.

    Part of the rules, as defined by the Footballing Association, is that the squad must be represented by eight home-grown players.

    Home-grown players are defined as those who "irrespective of nationality or age, have been affiliated to the FA or Welsh FA for a period of three seasons or 36 months prior to their 21st birthday.

    Which makes the task a little more taxing, while some clubs might be short of players to fill their roster, other might be having the perfect number 25, while for a club like Manchester United it's not that simple.

    United have around 40 players from who to choose, yes a part of them been youngsters who will unfortunately not get a chance in the league, but that still leaves Ferguson with a number of "maybe" possibilities.

    So I decided, let me take a punch at selecting 25 United players who could go on and represent, taking into consideration injuries, suspension, etc. The squad needs to be correctly balanced both in attack and defence.

1. Edwin Van der Sar

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    Edwin is, of course, the first name on the squad sheet, as he is the No. 1 goalkeeper.

    Ferguson will require him to be at his best this season as it looks to be one of the most competitive seasons in the league.

    Van der Sar was unfortunate to miss out for periods last season due to injuries.

    After a good summer rest and preseason preparation, the Dutchman will look to play a huge role in what could be his last season.

2. Tomasz Kuszczak

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    Kuszczak has been working hard to make an impact and be part of Ferguson's plans.

    Now with Foster out of the way, it will give him more opportunity, something he will relish and look to make the best of it.

3. Ben Amos

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    For my money Ben will definitely be part of the squad, highly rated and another great talent.

    Still very young, he has a great future ahead, although he might not get many opportunities so long as Edwin and Tomasz are fit.

    He will provide cover for the duo.

4. Gary Neville

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    A debatable selection for some, while other will understand why...

    The picture illustrates exactly why Ferguson will include him in the squad. His desire, passion, and belief not just for the game, but for Manchester United is ever-growing.

    His experience is something United will require especially in a season that seems to be highly challenging.

    Neville, who might be sitting on the sideline more often than not, could play a huge role against the tougher opposition in Chelsea, Liverpool, and city rivals Manchester City.

5. Rio Ferdinand

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    Rio commands the back lines when he's 100 percent fit and full of confidence, but in recent seasons, he's become more of a liability.

    With all due respect to his ability and past history at the club, Ferguson could have a problem here.

    His continuous injury woes could be a huge factor, which means Ferguson will want to obviously have him in the squad.

    But Ferguson will have to select an extra defender for cover, which leaves one midfielder or forward out of the mix.

6. Patrice Evra

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    Patrice might have had the worst World Cup experience, which gives him the best opportunity to bounce back and re-establish his connection with the fans.

    He will be one of the key members of this squad as his experience, ability, talent, speed and creativity forms a huge part of his game.

7. Wes Brown

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    Wes will be important this season, as a fully fit Brown gives Ferguson the opportunity to have a well-balanced right back.

    He also can slot into the center of defence if required to.

8. Nemanja Vidic

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    The No. 1 defender in my book, Vidic is undoubtedly amongst the best in the world currently.

    His dominance at the back is vital, as United will look to concede as few goals as possible if they want to challenge Chelsea for the title.

9. Rafael da Silva

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    Many spectators might feel he lacks experience and makes mistakes at vital times, in important matches. 

    Yet Rafael has a bright future, a great talent, and with the correct molding, could be a great player.

    Time will tell, for now I feel Fergie will include him as cover for Brown; he's young, so fitness shouldn't be a major concern.

    Currently he is nursing an injury but will be ready to go.

10. John O'Shea

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    O'Shea is one of the players you expect to be part no matter what; he has played in almost every position for United and sometimes doesn't get the due for his contribution.

    Nevertheless, Ferguson feels satisfied having him on the bench as he can cover any eventuality.

    A great team player and fighter, with the squad limits, he could have a huge role this season.

11. Johnny Evans

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    Evans has been instrumental in United's failed attempt to hold on to the title last season. But this time around he will look to be on the successful end.

    Evans joins a number of other quality defenders on this list.

    Sir Alex will want to be sure he has sufficient cover at the back, taking into account what happened last season.

12. Chris Smalling

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    One of two new signings, Chris is tall, young, and is said to be an excellent defender.

    I haven't watched him yet, but he will definetly be part of the squad.

13. Ryan Giggs

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    Giggs brings two important elements to the squad. The first is his experience and ability at this level.

    The second is he forms part of the eight home-grown players.

14. Paul Scholes

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    Another player with immense experience, he will be key in the central role, ball distribution and controlling the center.

    Another home-grown player.

15. Nani

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    Not very long ago, many hopped on that Ferguson should sell the Portuguese. Now he forms part of the core of United's midfield.

    He has grown leaps in the last couple months.

    Having missed out at the World Cup due to injury, Nani will be hyped up and ready for the season.

16. Micheal Carrick

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    If I were Ferguson, I would honestly sell Carrick, not because his not a good player but simply because his finding it tough to find his footing.

    He hasn't sparked and really shined since arriving, and could be the weak link.

    Rumors suggesting a possible move to Sunderland surfaced not so long ago, but nothing since.

    Nevertheless if he stays on, he will be part of the squad.

17. Ji Sung Park

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    Park will always be part of Ferguson's plans, he has the fight and energy to impact any match.

    After a pretty successful World Cup campaign, he will be ready and energized for the season ahead.

18. Darren Fletcher

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    Darren has become a key part of the midfield, his matured immensely and gets regular time on the pitch.

    Being a Scot, he is one of the favourites of Sir Alex, but that has no reasoning as to why he should be part of the squad.

    He has over and over again proven his worth as a greater fighter and very passionate player.

19. Antonio Valencia

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    A wonder signing, from Wigan Athletic to Manchester United.

    Valencia has brought some spark to right wing, his pace and energy on the flank opens up defenses, and his ball delivery into the box has been a contributing factor in Rooney's goal scoring success.

    He will once again be called on to produce the goods.

20. Darren Gibson

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    Darren is another youngster who has made his way through the ranks; now he sees a bright future ahead.

    Some feel that he won't make the squad based on the selection of others, but his growth and maturity since been introduced to the first team suggest he will be included.

21. Wayne Rooney

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    As a pure United fan at heart, I dearly hope he finds his form and delights us once again.

22. Dimitar Berbatov

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    Another player who needs to step it up, in preseason, there was great signs as he really impressed.

    Should he find his touch and dazzle fans, when at his best, Berba is a true goal scorer and poacher.

23. Javier Hernandez

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    Aka "Chicharito," the young kid astounded fans at the World Cup with his cameo appearances.

    So far he's played in three warm-up matches and scored thrice, one of them against United.

    Great anticipation and excitement surrounding Hernandez, fans can't wait to see him at Old Trafford.

    He could be exactly what United has been missing....

24. Michael Owen

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    A tricky one, it is

    Injury prone, will he get enough opportunities? Lots of questions and hard for Fergie to decide.

    Reports suggesting a possible loan-out to Bristol City, while I would say it's a good choice at his age, it could allow him more match time.

    But personally I feel he could play much better, been more relaxed with the World Cup selection pressure off his back.

    I'd like him to be part of the squad.

25. Fredrico Macheda

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    Inexperienced yet highly talented.

    Could we see Kiko in the league or will Alex loan him out as well?

    Another hard decision, as United want to have enough striking options, five strikers would be ideal.

How will this affect the younger players?

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    Well after along hard look at my selection, it's not that difficult in noticing many young players with huge talent been left out.

    Well with these rules, that's always going to be the case, something managers will invite the challenge while other might be worried how to accommodate all the service available.

    Loan deals will form a large part of this season, which will gives smaller teams a chance to benefit from talented youngsters.

    Joshua King is already loaned out to Preston, while Mame Biram Diouf, the highly rated Senegalese, has been loaned to Blackburn Rovers.

Who could be left out?

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    Players not included in my list:

    Anderson - Injured: Anderson is still nursing a knee injury and also was involved in a car crash. He could return to full training soon.

    Anderson could be a likely choice for Ferguson, yet I have my doubts. Once fully fit and ready to go, he could be included during the next window.

    Ferguson will wait until Aug. 31 to decide based on his fitness.


    Owen Hargreaves - Injured: Highly doubtful that he will get the nod, Owen is currently in America where he is been treated for his knee injury.

    Owen under went surgery on both knees, but was confirmed 100 percent fit last season, Fergie felt he was in the right mental state to make a return, and now it seems the knee injury has come up again.


    Obertan: He has bee described as a very creative player, quick and skillful. It would be interesting to see if he gets selected, but the questions is in whose place?


    Cleverly: According to the latest report, Ferguson doesn't plan to loan him this season as he feels his to good to play for another club, which suggest he could be considered. Again the problem lies, who will Ferguson leave out to add him to the roster.

Home-Grown Players

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    According to the new rules implemented from this season, eight home grown players are required in every squad of 25.

    1. Ryan Giggs
    2. Paul Scholes
    3. Gary Neville
    4. Wes Brown
    5. John O'Shea*
    6. Wayne Rooney
    7. Darren Fletcher
    8. Darren Gibson*

    * Not entirely sure it they qualify.



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    To understand the selection, it's simple.

    The squad requires balance both in attack and defense. Also cover for every player. Which means, if there's three similar players, one of them will be left out.

    Defense is a major part of any team, on day's when the attack might be average, the defense has the ability to save the match.

    Therefore sufficient defenders is required, the second important area in any team is the midfield, the engine of the team, where passes are created and movement starts.

    And of course the attacking side of the team, attacking midfielders to the forwards.

    In my selection there is three (3) Goal Keepers, Nine (9) Defenders, Eight (8) Midfielders and Five (5) Forwards.

    Some may be critical and suggest the need for more midfielders, which i fully concur and understand.

    This team has great balance, with John O'Shea, Rafael both of whom can slot into midfielding roles with ease.

    On the other hand, Rooney can always assist on the left if necessary which therefore in theory provides us with eleven (11) midfielders.


    Thank You, Hoping to read your comments and opinions....