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Robson, Cantona or Keane – Who Was Fergie’s Greatest?

In the 21+ years that Sir Alex Ferguson has been in charge of United, we’ve been blessed with some highly talented players. To pick a strongest United XI, even in just the Fergie era, is something that can never be agreed upon.

Beckham instead of Ronaldo? Pick two from Hughes, Nistelrooy, Cantona, Cole, Yorke and Rooney? Pick two from Pallister, Stam, Bruce, Ferdinand and Vidic?

The only certain spots can be given to Gary Neville at right back, Peter Schmeichel in goal, and Ryan Giggs on the left wing. Our once easily decided left sided full back is now a contentious one, with Patrice Evra fighting it out with Denis Irwin.

If picking a strongest XI is too difficult, then how on earth do we go about picking just one player?

In a press conference today, where Fergie claims he might just have two years left at the club, he debates over who has been his best player. He narrows it down to three, possibly swaying towards a certain Frenchman.

“Well Robson definitely. Cantona definitely. Keane,” he said. “It’s hard to, those three were definitely giants,” he said. “Eric’s great asset was to score important goals at important times or make a goal at important times. That’s what his great asset was. Just when you’re saying to yourself, God we need a goal here – up he’d pop. And he’d either make one or score one. He was a fantastic personality -I’ve been very lucky – the players I’ve had. Some fantastic players. “

Who do you think is the greatest United player in Fergie’s time at the club?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Richard says:

    Sorry, but this one is easy. There is only one player that stood out as being undoubtedly the best in the world in his position and that was Peter Schmeichel.

    Keane was never considered the best in the world in his position – he was good, he was a great leader, yes but he was as he admits limited in his play.

    Cantona was never the best in the world either.

    Giggs comes close to Schmeichel, but Schmeichel was outstanding and without peers.

    So this one is fairly easy.

  2. Adam says:

    Ryan Giggs, every day of the week.

    I think Fergie probably means who his best signing was because he’d never leave Giggs and Scholes out.

    His best signing would be Keane, and I’ve chosen him because he was at United longer – Cantona inspired the start of the Premier League domination and was a crucial figure in blooding the youth.

  3. Anant says:

    paul scholes , he scores goals . no doubt . unfortunately i never saw robson play , cantona was amazing but at the club for too little time .
    so for best player – i narrowed it down to keano or scholesy , with scholesy obviously winning coz he is my fav united player .
    in terms of best signing ever- it should come down to scmiechel or cantona who were the best bargain buys ever made in football history .

    also i chose scholes over giggs because i feel he has been more consistant over the years . even opposition supporters never had a bad thing to say about him . perfect footballer , perfect role model , perfect united LEGEND !
    if only his tackling were better………

  4. arun says:

    If Ronaldo has two more like his past two, I would rate him above everybody else. Just because he has been the only player who has been able to make a strong claim for the title of the “best player in the world”

  5. suhayl says:

    hard one….all three SAF names are legends..and so are nev, schmichy, giggsy and scholesy…

    Agree tho if ron stay and plays like he has done for another 3 years..he will be the best

  6. jonny says:

    i could have sworn SAF had perviously said scholes was the best player he’s ever worked with

    . . no?

  7. Patel says:

    he was asked “SIGNED” not ” Worked” with, so he never actually had to sign Giggs, Scholes or Neville
    while Schmichel being a best bargain sign, best at his position but Robbo, Keanu and King Cantona are way up in leading the club
    I now would love Ferdinand to be there after next 2 seasons

  8. blindkat says:

    Eric Cantona made me love soccer. As an American I had grown up believing, like most yanks, that soccer was for hippies, fags, and 3rd grade girls. If you grow up here the soccer you see most of the time only enforces these negative ideas, and americans hate the crazy fake diving, the magic spray, the rolling around like you were shot only to jump right up, etc. Then espn started showing premier league games and bam there was United playing soccer like men, i’d never seen soccer played like that, I was sold, and then when he kicked that bastard in the chest I knew who my team was from then on out. No question

  9. Stephen says:

    Pure and simple, Roy Keane.

  10. eddidaz says:

    Cantona = god, king… everything

  11. jimmy Bob says:

    schemicel for me , the guy was amazing
    fergie best 11 for me
    the great dane
    irwin stam rio g neville
    giggs robson (in his prime) keane ronaldo

    subs vds vidic scholes andrei m hughes

  12. Garry says:

    Roy Keane – gave his all every game and possibly the greatest captain I have witnessed for any team. Putting Viera in his box in the tunnel at Highbury and then on the pitch summed up everything that Keano was about!

  13. Brian says:


  14. nik says:

    Really surprised more didnt say Robbo,without doubt my favourite player to of played the game.Real hard bastard who many times carried the team on his back .When he didnt play we didnt have a chance..


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