• Home
  • /
  • Football
  • /
  • Phil Thompson Picks Combined Liverpool/Man Utd XI, Clearly Doesn't Rate Luke Shaw

Phil Thompson Picks Combined Liverpool/Man Utd XI, Clearly Doesn't Rate Luke Shaw

Mikey Traynor
By Mikey Traynor
Share this article

We've got a lot of time for Phil Thompson here at Balls.ie, as the man was great company as he joined us in a car for a trip around Dublin's Pheonix Park shortly before the Europa League final at the end of last season...

If nothing else, the man can wolf down a 99.

Back then we asked Thommo to pick his combined Liverpool/United XI, and the main talking point then was insisting on including Alberto Moreno due to Luke Shaw's broken leg, despite my arguing that he was still a better defender than the Spaniard.

Well, here we are, months later, and Shaw is still being snubbed by Thompson, this time for James Milner.

Interestingly, Paul Pogba makes the team despite his less than spectacular return to Old Trafford, and there is a place for Zlatan Ibrahimovic too. Here's the team in full:



More interesting is his reasoning, position by position. Here's what he had to say on the left-back spot:

Both teams have their vulnerabilities defensively, as we've seen over the first seven games. However, James Milner has been absolutely brilliant since stepping in for Alberto Moreno so I'd rather have Liverpool's full-backs right now.

Luke Shaw might get in if he was fully fit and playing regularly but I'd have Milner over Daley Blind, while I'm a big fan of Nathaniel Clyne.

Luke Shaw is started Man Utd's first five games before missing the last two, and played well in them. Clearly Thommo just in't a big fan.

A United defender that he clearly is a fan of, however, is Chris Smalling, who the Liverpool legend thinks should be considered for England captain.

In the middle I'd pair Dejan Lovren with Chris Smalling, whom I can't believe isn't starting with John Stones for England. People have been talking about the next England captain and I would have thought he should not only be starting ahead of Gary Cahill but also considered for that role.

No love for Eric Bailly?

In terms of midfield, Phil says Henderson would have to play a disciplined role to allow Pogba to roam, and he has opted for as many Liverpool attacking-midfielders as possible because they cause havoc in the "magic zone", but there's no room for Rashford.

Here's where Liverpool's real strength is and as offensive players they're probably the strongest attacking midfielders in the league. They are like the red arrows, the way they interchange with pace and creativity.

They get into what I call the magic zone - between the opposition's midfield and defence - getting into those really dangerous positions, with the quality to exploit.

I've gone for Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino but Adam Lallana is unlucky to miss out. Who from Manchester United would get in ahead of them? Marcus Rashford is obviously quick and has tremendous potential but he's only just breaking into their first team.

All in all, it's not a bad effort from Thompson, and while the entire idea of a combined Liverpool/United XI is largely facrical, fair play to him for having a go and not literally just picking David De Gea to represent Manchester United.


[via Sky Sports.com]


Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are now subscribed!

Share this article

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com