Sir Alex Ferguson spoke of Manchester United’s current attacking unit as a rival to the legendary force of 1999 that brought the famous treble to Old Trafford.
Speaking on the eve of securing Robin van Persie’s services for the next four seasons, Ferguson made a direct comparison between his current five-man forward line and the striking quartet of a decade ago.
“In 1999, I had Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the four best strikers in Europe,” said the long-serving United manager. “We are going towards that now.”
Indeed, it certainly looks like the Red Devils are heading towards replicating their treble success this season. The online gambling odds are certainly expecting a close showdown between United and City, once again.
RVP joins a small band of newcomers to United’s already strong squad, with Shinji Kagawa also coming through the doors of Carrington, this summer. Along with Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, and Danny Welbeck, United now have a front-line unit capable of dominating Europe.
What is most exciting, however, is how Van Persie will settle down with strike partner, Rooney. Both players are used to spearheading three-men attacking formations, with the majority of the play going through them.
It was expected that Fergie would maintain his 4-5-1 / 4-3-3 style that came so close to winning the Premier League last season, but with this memory of the 1999 squad rekindled, maybe the Scot is thinking of changing tactics.
The Van Persie and Rooney partnership strikes a fierce parallel to Yorke and Cole, the two powerful strikers that terrorised opposition defences across the continent. In alluding to this partnership, Ferguson has given us an insight into how his side will play this season.
Premier League predictions: Expect Van Persie and Rooney to start upfront in a 4-4-2 set-up this season, with the immediate expectation that they will emulate the success of 1999.