After the completing the defense, we go forward and select the men in the middle for the Readers’ Choice Worst XI here at www.manunited.uk
United’s midfield has been graced by the likes of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick, Roy Keane and Bobby Charlton but there have been players like Kleberson, Eric Djemba-Djemba, and others.
Joined United with much fanfare alongside Ronaldo back in 2003. United thought they signed a World Cup winner in the Brazilian and he was said to be the first player in the Brazil starting XI ahead of the likes of Rivaldo. But he was a big disappointment. He was brought in to replace another flop in Juan Sebastian Veron but he lacked the physical presence required to impose himself against the likes of Viera. Dogged by injuries and disappointments on the field, Kleberson made just 20 appearances over two years after being heralded as a game-changer. He had a bright start but failed to recreate it later on. Sold to Besiktas. Now plays in the American second tier.
“So bad, they named him twice” is the saying that goes around with Eric’s at Old Trafford. Brought in to replace Roy Keane, it was clear he wasn’t even half as good as the enigmatic Irishman. He failed to establish himself at Old Trafford and his widely considered to be one of the worst signings ever made by Sir Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex afforded him more opportunities than deserved but Eric lacked the temperament and attitude to become a United great. Surrounded by off-field issues, Djemba-Djemba declared bankruptcy and let these issues affect his bad performances on the field.
JUAN SEBASTIAN VERON
The who does not fear the Premier League. Looking back, it is a joke fans tell each other at matches and pubs now. Brought for a then British record of £28m, he was an expensive flop. Veron could not adapt to the Premier League’s pace. He did OK in the Champions League mostly due to the slower tempo of the game. Veron’s time in England is a prime example as to why top players find it tough to play in the Premier League, mostly due to its pace and physical style of play. He often struggled with fitness, form, and injuries. Ferguson’s expletive-ladened post-match comments in defense of Veron is still remembered, but he was quick to let him leave for Chelsea for half the price.
Played for United for over years but made just 11 appearances. He made three appearances in his first campaign in 1978-79, before making eight in the next one. Sloan’s influence decreased at United and he made a further three appearances over the next two seasons. To imagine United had to beat the likes of Tottenham to sign him speaks to the scale of disaster the move eventually was.
Fondly known as Mr. Shelly Webb, he is known for his wife’s talking off the pitch rather than his on it. Often criticized for being overweight, lazy and injury prone, Webb was a liability each time he stepped onto the field. There was no chance he could compete with the likes of Bryan Robson for a first-team spot. Sold back to Nottingham Forest for a cut-price fee.