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A look at the 2006/07 squad

With the 2006/07 season fast approaching and the additions of Nani, Anderson and Hargreaves to the squad, we take a look at the squad that will be making a claim to defend the Premiership title and taking that extra step for Champions League glory.

1 - Van der Sar

Arguably the best keeper we’ve had since the great Dane, Edwin van der Sar has made some crucial saves since joining from Fulham but towards the end of last season and during pre-season a few mistakes have started to creep into his game. May be fortunate that Foster is out for the start of the season or he would seriously be challenged for the number one spot.

2 - Neville

Club captain and first choice right back. Bardsley is emerging as a contender to replace him when he hangs up his boots but the right back is probably the first name on the team sheet when fit.

3 - Evra

Sturggled to start with but has since gone on to prove his worth by displacing Gabriel Heinze as first choice left back. If he can keep his form and performances at a consistent level then he’ll hold down the left back spot.

4 - Heinze

Unfortunate to pick up an injury to give Patrice Evra a chance at right back which he took with both hands. Heinze had a great start to his Old Trafford career but having drifted down the pecking order is rumored to be looking for a way out of the club. Liverpool have made inquiries but United are obviously not keen to sell to their rivals which has resulted in the threat of a court case from Heinze’s representatives.

5 - Ferdinand

Forged a great partnership with Nemanja Vidic last season and with no new faces brought in to compete at the back, Rio should hold down his first team place.

6 - Brown

Reliable when deputising last season especially at right back but unlikely that he’ll command a first team spot. Good cover to have at the club but as he gets older will he be happy as a squad player or look to move on for first team action.

7 - Ronaldo

What is there to say. Single handedly won games last season and easily picked up the accolades for player of the year and to think that he’s still only young. Will hopefully continue to improve this season and will be looking to help develop new signings Nani and Anderson.

9 - Saha

Many thought that he’d move on this summer but looks like he’ll be staying with the club. It really is a make or break season for Louis Saha who needs to maintain his fitness and prove that he can score on a regular basis. With the possible arrival of Carlos Tevez as well, he’ll be under pressure to deliver the goods this season.

10 - Rooney

Many thought he had a disappointing season last year but this was probably due to being over-shadowed by Ronaldo. Delivered his highest goal count to date and having had his first full pre-season should be raring to go for the new campaign.

11 - Giggs

His age may be slowing his legs down but his mind is still working just as fast. He may not be as quick as he used to be but even a slower Giggs is still quicker than most and was in great form last season. Adapted his game slightly to become more effective and will be under pressure this season from the new signings to keep delivering on a weekly basis.

13 - Park

An injury toward the end of last season has wrecked Park’s chances of challenging for a first team spot. Can be very effective but equally frustrating at times but with the new signings it’ll be interesting to see if he can get back to full fitness and get into the team after Christmas.

14 - Smith

Unlikely to be at the club for much longer, it’s been well documented that he’ll be allowed to leave the club, with Middlesbrough looking like the most likely destination. His commitment was never in doubt and his performance at home to Roma last season was probably the highlight of his comeback from injury but maybe doesn’t quite have the quality to stamp his mark as a vital member of the first team.

15 - Vidic

Along with Rio, the pair formed possibly the best partnership since Bruce and Pallister last season. Will almost certainly start as first choice centre-back for the club.

16 - Carrick

After his hefty price tag last season he grew in confidence as the season wore on and proved that there was life after Keano. Will be interesting to see what the manager has planned for the midfield though.

17 - Nani

Comes with a great reputation having been brought up at Sporting Lisbon in the same side as Cristiano Ronaldo and has great potential. Maybe a little lightweight and could do with some work in the gym but the ability is certainly there. Possibly the long term replacement for the Welsh wizard but should feature in a few games this season.

18 - Scholes

Was back to his best last season and was the unsung hero. Went about his job effectively and whilst Ronaldo took the plaudits many feel it was Paul Scholes that was the ingredient behind United’s title success. Picked up an injury in pre-season that sent panic through the United camp but will hopefully only be out for a few weeks.

19 - Foster

Had an extremely successful spell at Watford last season and will be looking to challenge Van der Sar for the number one spot. Picked up an injury at the end of last season which has resulted in surgery over the summer but has the potential to become United’s number one for many seasons to come.

20 - Solskjaer

Coming to the end of his career but will always be a legend in the fans eyes for his winning goal in ‘99. The model professional but may not feature too much this season. Can always be counted on to wear his heart on his sleeve and give 100% commitment to the club.

21 - Dong

Has shown promise whilst on loan but as yet has been unconvincing when given opportunities. Will probably get opportunities in the Carling Cup but will struggle to maintain a squad place this season.

22 - O’Shea

Utility player who’s been played in numerous positions over the years, even made an appearance in goal against Tottenham last season with Van der Sar injured. Had some great moments last year with his last minute winner at Anfield, the first goal in the come back against Everton and his save against Robbie Keane but is unlikely to command a first team place.

24 - Fletcher

Proved that he can come in and do a decent job but has slipped down the pecking order. His best position is certainly in the centre of the field but with so much competition it’s highly likely that he’ll play a bit part role this season.

26 - Bardsley

Had an enjoyable spell on loan at Aston Villa last season and will provide adequate cover for Gary Neville at right back.

27 - Silvestre

Many expected him to move on this summer but looks set to stay. When he’s on form and keeps his concentration his pace and power put him up there with some of the best defenders but too many lapses have cost him his places at left back and centre back but he still provides decent cover.

29 - Kuszczak

Completed his permanent move from West Brom this summer but is still to prove himself to the United faithful. His shot stopping ability is class but his ability to come and flap at crosses and look shaky under pressure is also class so will be interesting to see whether he can force his way into the manager’s plans especially with Foster returning to the club.

Anderson

Another upcoming talent, the Brazilian signed from Porto this summer and is heralded as the new Ronaldinho. Will be introduced slowly and given the time to develop his talents.

Hargreaves

One of the longest running transfers, United went after him in 2006 after shining for England at the World Cup but had to wait until the summer of 2007 to finally seal the deal. Will be interesting to see what Sir Alex has planned for his midfield in order to keep Scholes, Carrick and Hargreaves happy as well as introducing Nani and Anderson to a midfield that already contains Giggs and Ronaldo

Rossi

Impressed on loan last season at Parma and has been the talk of a possible transfer to Parma, Napoli and Juventus for a figure of around £6m. Is back at Old Trafford and the club have maintained that he’ll remain at the club but doubt still surrounds the future of the talented Italian.

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1 Comment

  1. anthony :: September 1st, 2007 3:01 pm

    Man united should have a better formation so that counter attacks and defence could increase that’s my oppinion.

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