Now that the dust has settled from another top season for us, I’ve thought it would be a good moment to look back 2010/11 and give my player ratings over the course of the season.
I thought it would be sensible to only give ratings to players who have made a minimum of 5 appearances for us, so sadly that means players who failed to play that many times such as Gary Neville or Owen Hargreaves (for instance) will not get a mention.
26 players played for us more than 5 times last season, so here are the first 8 players listed by squad number with my respective ratings for them over the season. Parts 2 & 3 will follow soon.
1) Edwin Van der Sar: Had a tremendous final season at Old Trafford. His excellent leadership qualities at the back helped us overcome our difficult start to the season.
Throughout the year he made excellent saves and helped set up the odd goal or two from the back with his brilliant long throws and clearances. A quite wonderful goalkeeper and a wonderful man who but for Barcelona would have probably won 3 Champions League’s at the club.
It’s a credit to Edwin that he did not look his age last season as he only really made one mistake last year against West Brom at home. By the end of the year he was looking as good as ever. 8/10
3) Patrice Evra: Overcame a sluggish start by his standards due to the fall-out of France’s disastrous World Cup campaign to end the season on a high performing back to his best.
His all-round play came to the fore just when we needed it most. Has become the best left back in the Premier League and is becoming more and more dangerous going forward with his runs down the wings proving a great asset to the side.
Is probably already the club’s greatest foreign left back and has more good years left in him yet. 7.5/10
5) Rio Ferdinand: Still one of our most important players who by the end of the season was playing some of his best football as a United player. As calm as ever at the back, his partnership with Nemanja Vidic helped to cement us at the top of the table.
Rio overcame the disappointment of losing the England captaincy well and his performance away to Chelsea in the Champions League was his best game of the season, just when Sir Alex needed him to be at his best.
There’s no doubt that Rio is still one of our most important players and that although we have some great young defenders at the club, you would rather want Rio playing for us than not. 7/10
6) Wes Brown: Sadly for Wes the last season was one that he will want to forget, as sadly his injury problems and lack of form caught up with him.
Looked out of place away to Liverpool where Luis Suarez ran rings around him and didn’t feature for the club since being substituted at half time against Bolton at home.
There’s no doubt that he’s still good enough to play in the Premier League and with both Everton and Sunderland rumoured to be interested, now might be a good time for him to take up a new challenge. 5/10
7) Michael Owen: It was another ‘what if’ year for Owen who again found himself frustrated by injuries which limited him in making only 17 appearances all season.
It has to said though that due to the form of the other strikers at the club, he probably wouldn’t have many more appearances anyway. Still when he did get more than 15 minutes on the pitch, he looked ok.
Surprisingly he’s been handed a new contract by Sir Alex, which keeps him at the club for another season – which is something that Owen desperately wanted.
Only time can tell if that’s the right decision or not, but for Owen’s sake it would be nice for him to have an injury-free year giving him a real chance to ‘prove’ his worth. 6/10
8) Anderson: One of the ‘‘comeback stories’ of the season at United. Ando after the New Year hit top form for us and now looks to be playing with the same confidence and swagger that he had in his first season at the club.
Looks now to be a more mature player despite being only 23, after a good end to the season in which he scored 3 times, it’s hoped that he can ‘kick on’ again next year and do much more for the club.
His season in effect started in December as after scoring against Valencia at home in the Champions League, a week later he was handed a new contract keeping him at Old Trafford until 2015.
Perhaps now looking like the player that we’ve always wanted him to be, he begun to influence games alot more and the mistakes from the last couple of seasons begun to fade out of his game. Ando has to continue to improve next year. 7/10
9) Dimitar Berbatov: Despite being our leading goal scorer this year, Berba’s year wasn’t quite as good as it could have been.
Despite some incredible goals, 3 hat-tricks and better all-round performances on the pitch his year ended on a low when he wasn’t included in our squad for the Champions League final with Owen getting chosen ahead of him by Sir Alex.
That being said, his goals this season helped win us the league and when he was on-form there were very few players in the Premier League who could get near him in turns of quality.
His hat-trick at home to Liverpool – at least in the eyes of the media – confirmed to the world that he was ‘Manchester United’ quality and he seemed a much more confident player this year.
Sadly for Berba, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez’s superb form meant that he was on the sidelines towards the end of the season, but he looked a more dangerous player this year for us and he’ll need to start well again next season to stop the doubters again. 8/10
10) Wayne Rooney: It was quite an eventful year for our number 10 as he ended the year in style after starting it on a whimper.
Coming of England’s poor World Cup, he didn’t seem to be himself and by October had seemingly had enough of playing at Old Trafford and wanted out.
Sir Alex though turned him round and Wayne thankfully changed his mind and decided to stay at the club. It took him a couple of months for him to get back to his usual standards, but thankfully when we needed him to produce, he did.
With his confidence back, the goals kept coming and his stunning overhead kick at Old Trafford to defeat City was incredible. Just as important as that goal was his stunning second half hat-trick at West Ham to win us that game – which turned out to be a real pivotal point in our season.
It was a credit to Wayne that he bounced back for us and although we lost the Champions League final, his goal and his performance on the night was a real testament to the man himself. 7.5/10
By Adam Dennehey – @ADennehey87