Rewinding The Clock: The Last Manchester United XI To Face Burton Albion

Steven Coney

Manchester United are gearing up for tonight’s tricky Carabao Cup tie against Burton Albion 11 years after the clubs last met – but what did the Reds team look like back then?

The two sides are meeting for only the third time and many United fans will remember the other two clashes from 2006. Burton, then playing in the Conference, took the Red Devils to an FA Cup replay following a goalless draw in the FA Cup.

United won the replay 5-0 at Old Trafford and now Jose Mourinho’s side, which will be much changed from Sunday’s win against Everton, will be hoping for more of the same. But who was in that team that saw off Burton on January 18th 2006?

Tim Howard

The American stopper was signed from the MetroStars in 2003 but never turned out to be the dependable keeper Manchester United hoped. After two and a bit seasons, and 77 first team appearances, he left for Everton after being replaced by Edwin van der Sar.

Howard had much more success with the Toffees, however, turning out over 400 times before moving back to his native America last year to sign for the Colorado Rapids.

Phil Bardsley

Another player that never quite panned out at Old Trafford. After progressing through the club’s youth ranks, Bardsley made 18 first team appearances, including eight Premier League games in 2005-06, before signing for Sunderland in 2007.

He has been a steady top-flight defender over the past ten years, playing 200 games for the Black Cats and a further 63 for Stoke City before signing for Burnley in the summer on a two-year deal.

Wes Brown

An underrated defender during his time with United, Brown played 362 times for the club between 1997 and 2010, picking up five Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues along the way.

Like Bardsley, he left for Sunderland – moving to the North East in 2011. He turned out 87 times for the Black Cats but could only play five times for Blackburn Rovers last season after joining them in September.

He has now reunited with former Red Devils coach Rene Meulensteen, joining Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters.

John O’Shea

Similar to Brown, O’Shea was a dependable player that Sir Alex Ferguson often relied on. The Irishman made just shy of 400 appearances for the Reds, playing across the back four and even in midfield.

The 36-year-old departed Old Trafford for Sunderland (are you sensing a theme here?) in 2011, and has played over 200 times for the Black Cats – who now find themselves in the Championship – so far.

Gerard Pique

Ever wondered what happened to that young Spanish defender that left Old Trafford in 2008 after just 23 appearances? Yeah, about that…

Pique has gone on to become one of the best central defenders in world football, picking up 91 caps for his country alongside over 400 appearances for Barcelona.

His medals cabinet may not have too much space left in it having won La Liga six times, the Copa del Rey five times and the Champions League three times among others. Oh, and he also lifted the World Cup in 2010. No wonder Burton Albion couldn’t break through!

Mikael Silvestre

Silvestre signed for Manchester United for £4million back in 1999 and was a very handy, versatile cog in the United machine during the early 2000s. Like Brown and O’Shea, Silvestre was in Manchester for many years, making 361 appearances in the famous red shirt.

In 2008, Silvestre joined Arsenal after almost signing for Manchester City. Maybe he wishes he had because his spell at the Gunners was a miserable one and after brief stints at Werder Bremen, Portland Timbers and Indian side Chennaiyin, he retired in 2014.

Kieran Richardson

Richardson never quite nailed down a first team place under Sir Alex at Old Trafford and was often used as a bit part player, featuring in Cup fixtures such as the Burton Albion game we’re looking at.

In search of first-team action, Richardson left for (stop me if you’ve heard this one before…) Sunderland in 2007. After 149 games for the Black Cats, Richardson had two-year spells at Fulham and then Aston Villa before spending last season in the Championship with Cardiff City. Currently a free agent.

Darren Fletcher

Yet another player on this list that never quite got the credit he deserved. While other players around him grabbed the headlines, Fletcher just got on with his job, mopping up in midfield. The Scotland international spent 13 years at Old Trafford, playing 342 games.

The 33-year-old was allowed to join West Brom on a free transfer in February 2015 and he was an ever present for the Baggies before switching to fellow Premier League side Stoke City in the summer.

Giuseppe Rossi

Rossi scored twice in the 5-0 win over Burton Albion but the fact that he only scored seven other goals in Manchester United colours shows that he wasn’t a success at Old Trafford.

The nippy forward moved to Villarreal in 2007 for £6.6million and it’s in Spain where he made his name. He scored 82 times in 192 games for Villarreal but suffered two anterior cruciate ligament injuries before being sold to Italian outfit Fiorentina.

Rossi only made 42 appearances for Viola in four seasons and ended last season back in Spain on loan at Celta Vigo. Currently a free agent.

Louis Saha

After impressing for Fulham, Saha was signed by Sir Alex in 2004 for £12.4million – a decent fee back then. His time at Old Trafford, however, was marred by injuries although he did manage to score 42 times in five seasons.

Netted 35 times over four campaigns for Everton after joining them from United in 2008 and also had brief spells with Spurs, Sunderland and Lazio before retiring in August 2013.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Nicknamed “The Baby-Faced Assassin”, Solskjaer played 366 times for the Red Devils and scored 126 goals during a successful period for United. He was well known as a ‘Super Sub’ at Old Trafford and will always be remembered for scoring the dramatic stoppage-time winner against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final.

Following his retirement in 2007, Solskjaer took charge of the Manchester United reserves before returning to his native Norway to manage his former club Molde. He spent eight months as manager of Cardiff City but left after relegation to the Championship and is now back in charge of Molde for a second time.

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