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Player time machine

Simple question: which currently actively footballers would look better (or worse) if they played in an earlier era? Name your player, what period they are being transported back to, and show your working.

I'd say Bruno Fernandes would have been more highly revered if he were playing in the first decade of the 2000s. If you look at United matches from that relatively successful time, it's striking how chaotic the football is: it's all much less structured, much more transitional in those days before Guardiola's positional discipline and focus on ball retention became conventional in the PL. Even technically excellent players like Scholes and Giggs are losing the ball on a frequent basis amid the chaos and the focus on attacking directly rather than waiting for the opportunity to construct the perfect attack. Bruno would have thrived in that environment, would probably have accumulated even more goals and assists than he has in this era, and wouldn't have been derided for losing the ball so often. (Similarly, I think Steven Gerrard would have been even more highly thought of had his career started five years earlier, and slightly less had it started five years later. Michael Carrick could have done with being born a decade later.)

posted 2 weeks, 1 day ago

rooney

posted 2 weeks, 1 day ago

comment by Ryan Howley (U1734)
posted 5 seconds ago
rooney
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He can track back in time and prove himself in any era.

posted 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Pogba

posted 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Martinelli in Arsenal’s 07/08 team instead of Eboue/Walcott

posted 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Maguire 1885. Preferably on a rainy Tuesday in Stoke.

posted 2 weeks, 1 day ago

comment by Kobbie The King Mainoo (U10026)
posted 18 minutes ago
Pogba
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In the 90s to early 2000s teams would have a shirt for 2 seasons, so Pogba would be half as valuable as he is in this era.

posted 2 weeks, 1 day ago

comment by Kobbie The King Mainoo (U10026)
posted 20 minutes ago
Pogba
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Vs souness circa 79/80

posted 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Dennis Irwin. Could play both right back and left, could cross, pass, took decent free kicks and penalties. Would have been much more appreciated and highly rated in the current era of fullbacks.

posted 2 weeks, 1 day ago

I was watching some old highlight reels of the early 2000 team over the weekend and came to the conclusion that not one of our current squad would be a starter. Most of them wouldn’t even make the squad.

posted 2 weeks ago

comment by Vidicschin (U3584)
posted 14 hours, 4 minutes ago
I was watching some old highlight reels of the early 2000 team over the weekend and came to the conclusion that not one of our current squad would be a starter. Most of them wouldn’t even make the squad.
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Our standards, relative to our competition, have certainly dropped massively since that era. (As a tangent to the main point, in retrospect, I think we were starting to see the beginning of that trend before Fergie left. Teams were beginning to emerge that were based on a more systematic approach to football vs United's personal fiefdom based on canny tactics and recruitment. Our final league title was eked out when few would have said we had the best squad or played the most dominant football. City were already progressing based on having a coherent sporting and recruitment philosophy, and other sides were adopting more rigorously rehearsed movement patterns than Fergie's United ever had.)

But while agreeing with you about the drop in standards, I think that decline seems to be magnified if you compare Fergie-era highlight reels with the whole matches we are consuming now. There is always plenty of less-champagne football across the 90 minutes between the highlights, and when rewatching whole matches from, say, 2002-5, I find I'm quite surprised at how disjointed we are (and how noticeably slower the game is).

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