Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Sir Alex Ferguson's worst ever XI at Manchester United

Goalkeeper - Massimo Taibi
It was always going to be hard following Peter Schmeichel however not quite as hard as Taibi made it look. United paid £4.4m for him in 1999 which in the end worked out at just over £1m per first team appearance. Taibi had a disastrous opening four games for the club, flapping at a free kick on debut and allowing Sami Hyypia to score as well as conceding five against Chelsea and committing one of the worst goalkeeping blunders of all time as he allowed a tame Matt Le Tissier shot to roll straight through his legs - something he blamed on his spikes. They were to be his only four games for the Red Devils.
Defence - William Prunier
Prunier had come through the Auxerre youth system with Eric Cantona however he did not share quite as an illustrious Man United career, managing just two first team appearances for the club. Ferguson brought him in on a trial with the intention of evaluating him in a few reserve team matches however he was hit with an injury crisis and Prunier was thrust into the first team. His club debut came against QPR where he was reasonably impressive however his second appearance did not go so well. United conceded four goals in a humiliating defeat by Tottenham and Prunier was singled-out for blame. He wasn't offered a permanent deal by Ferguson and returned to Europe.
Forward - Dong Fangzhuo
The first Chinese player to feature for United was signed in January 2004, however due to work permit restrictions he was unable to actually play for the Red Devils until 2006 and it wasn't until over three years after his signing that he made his debut for the club, at the end of the season, with the title already won. He made a substitute appearance in the Champions League and played an entire League Cup game as United lost to Coventry City but that was it. Dong failed to be given a squad number for the 2008-9 season with his number being given to Rafael da Silva and his contract was mutually terminated by the club so that he could find first team football elsewhere.

Sir Alex Ferguson is to bow out as Old Trafford supremo - but it hasn't all been a bed of roses.

He is the longest serving manager in world football and during those years has nurtured some of the finest footballing talent to hit the world stage. However, Sir Alex hasn't always got it right.

Here, we present a 'Worst XI', a selection of United players that even Ferguson couldn't make the best of.

Do you agree with our selection? Who would be in your 'Worst XI'? Leave your thoughts and comments below...

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