Manchester United have endured a rocky three seasons since Sir Alex Ferguson finally exited the Old Trafford changing rooms for the last time.
Ferguson’s replacement, compatriot David Moyes didn’t even last a season. Fans, stockholders and the sporting media simply couldn’t accept the spectacular fall from the top of the table to fighting it out for second tier European football qualification.
Cue Louis van Gaal. Arriving to replace Moyes and right the floundering United ship, much was expected from the Iron Tulip. Two seasons later and United are no better off. One shepherd’s hook later, and United are now pinning their hopes on Jose Mourinho to restore United to its former glory.
As United continue to find the right manager for the job, it must be pointed out that even the great Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t always get it right either. Some of his signings have been the stuff of absolute nightmares, and compiled below is the worst of the worst Manchester United XI.
Goal – Massimo Taibi
Brought in to fill the big boots of United legend Peter Schmeichel, Massimo Taibi was always going to be faced with a difficult job. Failing in spectacular fashion, including the conceding of a goal from between his legs as he crouched to collect the ball, Taibi lasted just four games before Ferguson sent the hapless Italian packing.
Defence – Mark Lynch
Who? Joining United aged 17 in 2001 and sent out on loan to Scottish side St. Johnstone, Lynch had to wait until 2003 for his United debut, where he scored an own goal. This was enough for Ferguson, who never gave the defender another chance, shipping him off to Sunderland.
Defence – William Prunier
Not the first Frenchman to play for United but surely the worst. Arriving on loan from Bordeaux, Prunier was called into the squad amid an injury crisis. Playing just two games for United, including a games that saw Tottenham score four times, Prunier’s time at United was short lived.
Defence – Jonathon Spector
Since leaving United, Spector has made a decent carrier for himself in the Championship with Birmingham City. However, at United he was brutal. He never actually made it into the first team and Alex Ferguson even appeared to prefer sending midfielders back into defence instead of playing Spector.
Defence – Quinton Fortune
Brought in as an attacking midfielder, Ferguson found him to be better in defence than attack. Featuring only 88 times in seven seasons, Fortune was eventually released having never been able to secure his place in the side.
Midfield – Eric Djemba-Djemba
So bad they named him twice.
Djemba-Djemba must surely go down as one of Ferguson’s worst signings. Brought in to replace Roy Keane at a cost of £3.5 million, the Cameroonian managed only 20 appearances before moving to Aston Villa, where he failed miserably also.
Midfield – Liam Miller
Signing from Celtic as a promising 23 year old, Ferguson never warmed to the Irishman. With only 22 appearances in two seasons, Ferguson finally lost all faith and cut him loose in 2006.
Midfield – Anderson
At £26 million, Anderson is one of Manchester United’s most expensive ever teenage signings. Much was expected of the attacking midfielder. However after 179 appearances and only nine goals, the often unfit Brazilian was cut by Ferguson.
Midfield – Kleberson
What could go wrong with a Brazilian international, one of the world’s most sought after midfielders? Everything, as it turned out. Constantly injured and mediocre at best when fit, Kleberson last only two seasons and featured a mere 20 times.
Forward – Dong Fangzhuo
A pure business decision if ever there was one. Dong was brought in as a marketing tool to allow United break into the emerging Chinese football scene. Featuring only three times in four seasons, the Chinese footballer is certainly one of the most obscure of Ferguson’s signings.
Forward – Radamel Falcao
While strictly not a Ferguson signing, Falcao was apparently brought in by David Moyes with the older Scot’s endorsement.
Ravaged by injury, Falcao came to United a mere shadow of his former greatness. Featured sparingly due to dodgy knees, his loan spell from Monaco in 2014 could not be over quickly enough. With a reported wage of over £200,000 per week, United were thrilled to see the back of the expensive failure in 2015.
It is clear from this list that while Sir Alex Ferguson has enjoyed the most successful football managerial career of all time, he was not immune to signing some real nags in his time.
Read More About: Alex Ferguson, Anderson, David Moyes, dong fanhzhou, Eric Djemba-Djemba, Football, Jonathon Spector, jose mourinho, kleberson, Liam Miller, louis van gaal, Manchester United, manchester united news, mark lynch, Massimo Taibi, Premier League, Quinton Fortune, radamel falcao, worst players, worst xi