Like all football fans, I’m a sucker for the debate of all-time best XIs. So this week, I thought I’d have a go at my Best Manchester United Team Since I’ve Been Watching.
Now I’ve been a United fan since the late 80’s, a dedication begun by the combination of all my pals being Liverpool fans, getting a Panini sticker album for the ’86-87 season and being drawn to this team nicknamed The Red Devils, and then taking down a poster on my bedroom wall of the band A-Ha and serendipitously finding a Manchester United squad photo on the back, and deciding to just put the poster back up the other way around. Once I started to watch the team and get into the history of this club that played cavalier attacking football, and had a history of giving chances to young players like the Busby Babes and recovering from the Munich air disaster with the ’68 European Cup winning team, I was caught. I have vague memories of watching United winning the FA Cup Final in 1990 – I remember being sort of disappointed that our average left-back Lee Martin scored the winner rather than one of the attacking stars – but I was definitely utterly wrapped up in watching every game of United’s run to the European Cup-Winner’s Cup Final in 1991, beating Pécsi Mecsek, Wrexham, Montpellier and Legia Warsaw on the way to overcoming the mighty Barcelona in the final, with Mark Hughes scoring two before United were hanging on the final minutes with our goalkeeper injured and barely able to walk.