Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still sees United’s 1999 team as the benchmark for quality

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Liverpool are running amok in the Premier League but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has yet to see a better English team than the treble-winning Manchester United side he was a part of in 1999.

Jurgen Klopp’s Champions League holders’ superb, dominant campaign had led to renewed debate over the best side to grace the game.

The swashbuckling Reds are certainly in the conversation but they will be unable to replicate the treble secured by Sir Alex Ferguson’s men in 1999 after bowing out of the FA Cup at Chelsea on Tuesday.

Soccer Man Utd bus/trophies3
Huge crowds at Deansgate, Manchester, greeted United’s treble-winners in 1999 (PA)

Asked if United’s 1999 squad remain the best he has seen in English football, he said with a laugh: “I think so”.

Ferguson was spotted at United’s Carrington training base ahead of Thursday’s FA Cup fifth-round trip to Derby and there was plenty of talk of the magnitude of the treble.

“The key to it? We had a very strong squad,” Solskjaer said

“We had a manager who knew when to pick who and I felt trusted in the FA Cup. The other lands, Yorkie (Dwight Yorke) and Coley (Andy Cole), played more in the league and Champions League.

“It was a remarkable season, absolutely incredible. But I think the competition is tougher now. There’s more top teams.”

Put to Solskjaer that United saw off a great Arsenal team whereas Liverpool have not had a serious competitor, Solskjaer said: “Well, we can’t say Liverpool have not had a competitor because the quality in the league is high.

“So, they have done great so far but of course, for me now, cup games as well, any given team can beat anyone. But it was us and Arsenal back then.”

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