Former England manager Steve McClaren has made a big claim regarding the comparison between Jurgen Klopp’s current world-conquering squad and Sir Alex Ferguson’s 1998/99 infamous Treble-winners, who remain the only English side to win the FA Cup, European Cup and top-flight title in a single season.
Liverpool are currently on course to replicate United’s famous feat over two decades ago with the Reds currently 22 points clear at the Premier League summit and on course for a first league title in 30 years.
Klopp’s European champions also await a last-16 Champions League bout against Atletico Madrid as well as an FA Cup fifth-round clash at Chelsea.
Seven members of the Reds’ English champions-elect were recently nominated for the prestigious Ballon d’Or awards with Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Georginio Wijnaldum all touted for the individual honour earlier in December.
Liverpool have taken 100 points from a possible 102 since March and are unbeaten in their last 42 league matches.
Meanwhile, Man Utd’s 1999 team won 22, drew 13 and lost three of their Premier League fixtures amassing a points tally of 79 points -Liverpool are currently just six points shy of Untied’s total 21 years ago having played 13 matches less.
However, Ferguson’s former assistant Steve McClaren believes only one Liverpool player would get into United’s 1999 treble-winning side – and that’s Van Dijk.
Speaking on Sky Sports News, McClaren, who was Ferguson’s assistant manager in 1999, believes only Netherlands captain Van Dijk would fit into United’s 1999 XI.
He said: “Virgil van Dijk next to Jaap Stam, that would be invincible. Nobody would get past them
“But for me, seriously, only Van Dijk would get into that team. When you look at that Manchester United team, that is leadership throughout the whole team, and leadership was the key.
What RTK has to say
McClaren’s comments are hugely controversial and would warrant a serious debate on Merseyside.
To add some context, at the time of writing, Liverpool have made the strongest start seen not only in the PL era but in top-flight history across England, France, Germany, Italy or Spain.
With more than a third of the season to go, they have already racked up two more league wins than United’s treble-winning team of 1999.
They may or may not emulate Arsenal’s 2003-04 feat by going unbeaten for an entire top-flight season.
Also, Liverpool’s 2018/19 crop of players registered 97 points last season despite missing out on an elusive league title – that’s 18 points more than United registered to win the league in 99.
Whilst combined squads are a rather tedious concept all-together, the reality is that only including one player from arguably the most relentless team in PL history is a laughable notion to say the least.