People Can't Get Their Head Around This Stat About Man United's Treble-Winning Side
Sir Alex Ferguson's 1999 treble-winning side is viewed as one of the greatest in English football history, but a mad statistic about the team has been doing the rounds.
With the Red Devils having a perfect blend of youth and experience, they won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in a truly memorable and unprecedented season.
The Premier League's Dirtiest Xi:
David Beckham, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and co. really came into their own, while United had four great strikers in Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
But would you believe it, the greatest XI Sir Alex Ferguson was able to field only actually started one Premier League game together, it has emerged.
Amazing. The classic United treble XI - Schmeichel; Neville, Johnsen, Stam, Irwin; Beckham, Keane, Scholes, Giggs; Cole, Yorke - actually only started one game together:https://t.co/yoQsdS9DME
- Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) January 27, 2018
That game was a 1-0 win over Coventry on 20 February 1999, where Ryan Giggs scored the winning goal.
Ronny Johnsen, the Norwegian centre-back, struggled with injury and so Henning Berg or David May would regularly deputise for him.
Moreover, Nicky Butt and Jesper Blomqvist got plenty of game-time in the season, while Fergie had the luxury of rotating his strikers because of the sheer quality of his attacking options.
But still, it's astounding to discover that such a great side never really played together - and it was mind-bending for a lot of people on social media.
An amazing stat! Sheringham/Berg/Solskjaer must've had a few starts between them though..
- Stewart Armitage (@StewartA90) January 27, 2018
Struggling to believe this!!!! But I bet it's true!!!! :laughing:
- MUFCMania (@MUFCMania92) January 28, 2018
Can't get my head round this.
- Si Lloyd (@SmnLlyd5) January 27, 2018
Still trying to get my head around this.
- Neil Finnegan (@finneganyc) January 27, 2018
As mental as it is though, it seems there's a bit of a pattern with great sides rarely playing together - as it's also the case for United in 2007/08 and Arsenal's Invincibles from 2003/04.
The 03/04 classic Invincible Arsenal team only started two games together I think: Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Campbell, Cole, Pires, Gilberto, Vieira, Ljunberg, Bergkamp, Henry
- Neil Dorganio (@Cornelimar) January 27, 2018
The same is true of the 07/08 double winners. Van Der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Hargreaves, Carrick, Scholes, Rooney, Tevez, Ronaldo.
- Rob Tuite (@robtuite10) January 27, 2018
What other crazy stats can you think of?