A mark of the inconsistency of Manchester’s finest this season is that, going into one of their most anticipated derbies in recent times, United and City would only boast the sum total of one player in the Premiership’s ‘best eleven’ were it to be named now.
In relative speak, the two most persistent outfield performers for either side have been David Silva and Wayne Rooney Silva can blame the failure of his team to convert his relentless probing into results, and Rooney the period he laboured in midfield obscurity as his manager experimented, but none of them is quite worth a slot among the league’s best collection, their teammates even less so.
It is not for the want of star quality on either side as the city is one of the most endowed anywhere in Europe right now, and but for fatigue and acclimatisation issues respectively, Yaya Toure and Angel Di Maria would be shoe-ins. Sergio Aguero has blown hot and cold while Radamel Falcao has barely flickered, and proven champions of yester-year such as Vincent Kompany and Robin Van Persie have been way below the high standards they have previously set.
Because City are dropping from top spot and United rising from seventh, contrasts can be made between the underwhelming season of previous elites Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas, Edin Dzeko and Pablo Zabaleta and the renaissance of Juan Mata, Ashley Young, Marounne Fellaini and Antonio Valencia while all these can arouse themselves for a memorable performance at Old Trafford tomorrow, I am afraid it would not be enough to get them into the best eleven.
As it is, of the 22 or more players to grace the derby, only David De Gea makes the cut for the repeated heroics that kept Man United from sinking further below mid-table mediocrity and into an unthinkable relegation scrap, before they eventually found their feet.
The rest of the team is littered with men who have distinguished themselves indisputably, and it is not surprising for example that in front of Spain’s number one keeper, the back four has two each from Chelsea and Southampton, the teams that have conceded the least number of goals in the league.
Nemanja Matic is out on his own as the best holding midfielder in the league, while from that eleven has to come the Most Valuable Player Of The Year, an accolade Belgian wizard Eden Hazard would scoop ahead of the season’s revelation Harry Kane, the indefatigable Alexis Sanchez and De Gea.
Southampton could have had even more players in that eleven but for Ivanovic edging out Nathaniel Clyne and Matic bettering Morgan Schneiderlin, and for that Ronald Koeman earns the manager’s slot.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor