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Manchester United & Manchester City: 2011/2011 Manchester All-Star Squad

Bryce GerrichContributor IIJune 4, 2011

Manchester United & Manchester City: 2011/2011 Manchester All-Star Squad

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    MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 19:   Wayne Rooney of Manchester United battles for the ball with Carlos Tevez of Manchester City during the Carling Cup Semi Final match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the City of Manchester Stadium
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Manchester United versus Manchester City. Red versus Blue. Until this season, triumphant Big Brother versus downtrodden Little Brother.

    But for “Blue Moon” singers everywhere, the 2010/2011 season will be marked as City’s return to prominence, capturing the club's first silverware in decades with the FA Cup and a third-place finish in the league, ushering them into next year’s Champions League.

    Still, while City supporters were dancing in the streets, United fans were pointing to another Derby sweep (and one of the goals of the decade from Wayne Rooney), a record 19th English Premier League title, and yet another run to the Final of the Champions League.

    In the city where the first atom was split, the red and blue sides of Manchester are as divided as two entities can be, despite the mere five miles separating the two stadiums. But what if the two clubs were fused together as part of an All-Star squad?

    This explosive combination would undoubtedly lead to boiled-over tempers, but also would give the world one of the best collections of talent it has ever seen on a pitch.

    The following players make up the 2010/2011 Manchester All-Star squad.

Edwin Van Der Sar: Goalkeeper

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    HOUSTON - JULY 28:  Edwin van der Sar #1 of Manchester United makes a save during the MLS All Star Game at Reliant Stadium on July 28, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The now-retired Dutch keeper arguably had the best season of his career.

    His leadership and minding of the Red Devils' net was world-class and his distribution from the back had no equal.

    Van Der Sar is also the perfect steadying influence for an all-star squad full of so many volatile personalities.

Patrice Evra: Defender

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    GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - APRIL 26:  Patrice Evra of Manchester United in action during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between FC Schalke 04 and Manchester United at Veltins Arena on April 26, 2011 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.  (Photo b
    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Evra once again anchored the left side of United's defense, effectively pairing with Nani, Giggs, and even Wayne Rooney at times this year down the flank.

    His energy and passing will be welcome assets for the All-Stars.

Vincent Kompany: Defender

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04:   Vincent Kompany of Manchester City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers at the City of Manchester Stadium on December 4, 2010 in Manchester, England.  (Photo b
    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    A rock in the middle of the defense, literally and figuratively, Kompany brought his bruising athleticism to more games than any outfield player in City's lineup this season.

    His aerial ability and toughness are surpassed only by his durability.

Nemanja Vidic: Defender

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20: Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United plays the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford on November 20, 2010 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Rega
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Vidic was, in the eyes of many observers, the best player in the world this season.

    With loads of uncertainty at United's other center back spot, Vidic paired with Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, and a hobbled Rio Ferdinand to lead United to excellent results this season.

    With Vidic alongside Kompany, the opposing team stands absolutely no chance of winning a ball in the air. 

Micah Richards: Defender

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    THESSALONIKI, GREECE - FEBRUARY 15:  Micah Richards of Manchester City in action during the first leg round of 32 Europa League match between Aris Saloniki and Manchester City  at Kleanthis Vikelidis stadium on February 15, 2011 in Thessaloniki, Greece.
    Vladimir Rys/Getty Images

    Richards, even at such a young age, has already become world-known for his immense physical strength, leaping ability, and pace down the right flank.

    His brutish style is punctuated by storming runs along the touch line and soaring headers from set pieces.  

Ryan Giggs: Midfielder

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 06:  Ryan Giggs of Manchester United in action during the UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on April 6, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/
    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Giggs, despite his turbulent season off the pitch, managed to reinvent himself (again) on it.

    Stepping in as the passing lynchpin in the United midfield, Giggs was able to turn his guile and field vision into a new role in the center of the United's attack.

    His leadership and effort set a tone for United's glorious domestic and international season.  

Yaya Toure: Midfielder

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    THESSALONIKI, GREECE - FEBRUARY 15:  Yaya Toure of Manchester City in action during the first leg round of 32 Europa League match between Aris Saloniki and Manchester City  at Kleanthis Vikelidis stadium on February 15, 2011 in Thessaloniki, Greece.  (Pho
    Vladimir Rys/Getty Images

    On the subject of reinventions, Yaya Toure made the switch from defensive, holding midfielder at Barcelona to attacking midfielder at Eastlands.

    The transition could not have been smoother. Toure's loping pace along with his powerful shot (as evidenced by the lone goal in the FA Cup final) propelled City to never-before-seen heights.

    The Ivorian came to Manchester with high hopes and has somehow exceeded them.  

David Silva: Midfielder

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 03:   David Silva of Manchester City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Sunderland at the City of Manchester Stadium on April 3, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/G
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Silva and his creative style of play took a few games to settle in to the English game, but once the acclimation was complete, the results were breathtaking.

    Manager Roberto Mancini adapted his tactics to allow Silva the freedom to roam the pitch, picking perfect passes and beating defenders off the dribble with regularity.

    Despite his small frame, Silva made a gigantic impact in his first season in the Premier League. 

Javier Hernandez: Forward

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    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 06:  Chicharito of Manchester United in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 6, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Possibly the signing of the season after coming over from Guadalajara, "Chicharito" made the massive leap from the Mexican League to an eventual starting position in a Champions League Final.

    His pace is outstanding, but more vitally, the intelligence and suddenness of his movement make him an ideal choice up front for the Manchester All-Stars.

Carlos Tevez: Forward

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 03:  Carlos Tevez of Manchester City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Sunderland at the City of Manchester Stadium on April 3, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/G
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Tevez backed up his fantastic first season on the Blue side of Manchester with an equally impressive individual season in 2010/2011.

    He asserted himself as a leader, serving as captain numerous times and helping the City squad come together.

    While his season was marred by family issues and a demand to leave Eastlands (which still may occur this summer), his play on the field was second to none.

    Though his calling card is his bulldog-like style of play, his goals this season were some of the year's most beautifully crafted.

Wayne Rooney: Forward

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United scores a goal from an overhead kick during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on February 12, 2011 in Manchester, England.
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Speaking of a tumultuous season which included off-the-pitch problems and a demand to leave Manchester, Tevez's former teammate—Wayne Rooney—completes the starting squad for the Manchester All-Stars.

    Having scored the goal of his life at Old Trafford when City and United met in February, Wayne Rooney's mark on the Manchester Derby is already indelible.

    Sinking into more of a playmaker role this season, based on the success of Dimitar Berbatov and Hernandez up front, Rooney showed his versatility and class in passing and operating an attack.

    His 2010/2011 season showed just how much he deserves to wear Number 10 for the Red Devils. 

Sir Alex Ferguson: Manager

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28:  Sir Alex Ferguson manager of Manchester United looks dejected after defeat during the UEFA Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC at Wembley Stadium on May 28, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Mi
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Sir Alex presented a master class in management this season, juggling his lineup due to numerous injuries, manipulating players' roles to get the most out of their talent, and using squad players to keep stars fresh.

    Throw in the shrewd purchase of Chicharito and you have one of the most effective jobs a manager has done in the Premier League in years. 

    When managing the Manchester All-Stars, though, Ferguson's main "problem" will be choosing who comes off the bench.

    In fact, the All-Stars' bench would look like a full All-Star squad in its own right.

Manchester All-Stars Bench

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 16:  Ji-Sung Park of Manchester United clashes with Nigel de Jong of Manchester City during the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON semi final match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on April 16, 2011 in London,
    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Manchester All-Stars Bench:

    GK: Joe Hart

    D: Pablo Zabaleta

    M: Ji Sung Park

    M: Nani

    M: Nigel De Jong

    F: Dmitar Berbatov

    F: Mario Balotelli

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