It’s the topic of conversation on everyone’s lips – as Manchester City bare down on a potential treble, is this current Sky Blues side better than Manchester United’s 1998/99 outfit?
First of all, there are plenty of factors to consider. In terms of player quality, Manchester United had some wonderful talents, such as Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and David Beckham.
However, when compared to the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland and Rodri, can United’s squad match up? We don’t think so.
Which team performed better?
City are set to eclipse the Premier League points tally that United had in their treble-winning season. They finished the season with 79 points, just a single point ahead of second-placed Arsenal. Meanwhile, City already have 85 points, with three games still to play.
Despite this, Manchester United had an ace up their sleeve – the presence of captain Roy Keane. The former Irish international was arguably the greatest captain of all time – he always demanded 100% from those around him – or else.
City do not have a player who offers this sort of fighting spirit. When things do not go to plan (which is admittedly rare), Guardiola’s men tend to look lost.
Moreover, City have also lost on more occasions this season than United did. The Sky Blues have been defeated in four Premier League games this season, while the Red Devils only lost three league games in 1998/99.
While Manchester City have the better team player-for-player, Manchester United had a certain x-factor about them in 1998/99. They simply refused to be beaten, even when defeat looked inevitable.
As such, we apologise for the non-answer – but it is very difficult to pick between the two. City have more talented players in their ranks, but United’s determination and team spirit were unrivalled.
If we were held at gunpoint, we would probably pick City – but the closeness between the two sides simply cannot be understated.