Man Utd v Arsenal: Which current players would get in 2005 teams?

Mikael Silvestre

Ten years ago current FA Cup holders Arsenal beat Manchester United on penalties to lift the trophy after a goalless encounter at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

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FA Cup: Manchester United v Arsenal - The Rivalry

The two great rivals - and most successful sides in the competition with 11 victories apiece - meet again at Old Trafford on Monday in the quarter-finals, a match being shown live on BBC One and the BBC Sport website.

But which of the players in the current sides, if any, would get into the formidable 2005 Cup final starting line-ups?

Former Manchester United and Arsenal defender Mikael Silvestre, who played for United against the Gunners in the 2005 final before a two-year spell with Arsenal from 2008, picks his combined starting XIs.

Manchester United

2005 starting XI: Roy Carroll; Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Mikael Silvestre, John O'Shea; Darren Fletcher, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Cristiano Ronaldo; Wayne Rooney, Ruud van Nistelrooy.

2015 starting XI (possible): David De Gea; Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw; Daley Blind, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, Angel Di Maria, Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao.

Graphic showing Mikael Silvestre's combined XI from Manchester United sides of 2005 and 2015

Arsenal

2005 starting XI: Jens Lehmann; Lauren, Kolo Toure, Philippe Senderos, Ashley Cole; Patrick Vieira, Gilberto Silva, Cesc Fabregas, Robert Pires; Jose Antonio Reyes, Dennis Bergkamp.

2015 starting XI (probable): David Ospina, Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Kieran Gibbs; Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Mezut Ozil; Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud.

Graphic showing Mikael Silvestre's combined XI from Arsenal sides of 2005 and 2015

Goalkeepers: 'Lehmann unsettled the opposition'

Man Utd: The keepers have one job to do: save the ball. David De Gea has done that this season. He has saved quite a few results for United, which is why he would replace Roy Carroll. Even United's second choice Victor Valdes would have made the 2005 team.

Tim Howard was on the bench in 2005 and he should have been given more time at the club, he was still young. I was surprised to see him go to Everton in such a sudden way. The gaffer, Sir Alex Ferguson, took the decision based on performances and that was it for Tim.

Jens Lehmann makes a point as angry Man Utd players react
Lehmann (right) was a source of irritation to opposition players, as shown here against Man Utd

Arsenal: Jens Lehmann's main strengths were his character and what he brought to the team. He was loud and had a presence in goal. Goalkeepers are far away from the action and they need to guide the team and he did that.

He brought confidence to the back four and was unbeaten in his first 49 games at the club, a run which we ended with a 2-0 win. He was good at playing on the opposition's mind - he was irritating and unsettled them. That was new to some Premier League players and they didn't like it.

Defence: Rio brings balance; 'Kos' a perfect fit

Man Utd: Luke Shaw is still young and learning so John O'Shea at the time would have been in front of him. The versatility of players such as Wes Brown and John was good for the team.

In central defence, Rio Ferdinand was so calm and composed. He read the game so well and his technique was superb. There is no panic from him and that is what you need at the back. If the defence is shaky, it brings negativity to the whole team. Rio's main attribute was bringing a balance to the side.

Rio Ferdinand
Ferdinand won six Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two league Cups and a Champions League

Current defenders Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans should all have stepped up by now and imposed themselves on the first team. When you see someone like Marcos Rojo showing authority, those three are not doing that in their game. They are also very fragile - in and out with injuries - and that is frustrating for themselves and the manager.

Arsenal: Laurent Koscielny would start in place of Philippe Senderos. 'Kos' is Arsenal's best defender at the moment. The Frenchman is a good reader of the game, pretty good in the air and his all-round game is excellent. To play at Arsenal, you need to be good on the ball at the back. His mentality, vision and passing range makes him a perfect fit.

Lauren, Ashley Cole and Kolo Toure had great athleticism and Arsenal have always been an attacking team. Cole and Lauren bombed forward all the time but they were very good defenders too. They had a good balance within their own game. They knew when to go forward and when to stay back. All three were good in one-on-one situations too.

Midfield: 'Zola and Keane in one'; Warrior Vieira

Man Utd: Roy Keane was a constant leader on the field, no matter what type of game we played. Even in training, he was driven by his determination. He had the passion and desire to win and had all the attributes of a leader, by voice and by performances.

His central midfield partner Paul Scholes was Gianfranco Zola and Keane in one. He could produce magic in attack and score goals. He was very good technically, had a superb passing range and was a very good finisher. Even though he was small, he was strong in the tackle. As the English say, he was as hard as nails.

Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira
Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira fought many tussles in United-Arsenal matches down the years

You could tell Cristiano Ronaldo's potential straight away. After a few months at the club, I told him, 'One day you will be the best player in the world'. He just smiled. What can you say to that?

I would choose Angel Di Maria in place of Darren Fletcher. Di Maria is world class and such an exciting player.

Arsenal: Arsenal have been missing a Gilberto Silva or Vieira-style player for a long time. Alex Song left to join Barcelona and Abou Diaby has not developed. They haven't got someone protecting the back four.

When you have a back four protected by a Vieira or Gilberto, there is little the opposition can do. Patrick brought a dimension and presence. He was a warrior, a box-to-box player.

Cesc Fabregas brought the attacking flair. He was only 18 in the final but already had the game. He had great vision and his technique was perfect. He didn't have any fear and brought the freshness about doing things differently.

Robert Pires was vital on the counter-attack. He was very good on the ball, his passing was excellent and was a precious part of the side. Those four would dominate the midfield.

Attack: A Dutch 'screamer' and fearless Chilean

Man Utd: Ruud van Nistelrooy's technique was amazing and one of the best I have seen. He was very talented and a great finisher. He was a proper Dutchman. He wanted the ball all the time and used to scream at Cristiano to pass him the ball so that he could score. As a striker, there is a lot of pressure on your shoulders so you have to be selfish. That is what made him so good.

At the moment, it is too early to drop Wayne Rooney into midfield. When you are a defender, the thing you hate most is a player running in behind you. Wayne still has enough energy to break the line and has an eye for goal. He can do well in midfield but you would rather see him doing the damage up front.

Jose Reyes

Arsenal: I would pick Alexis Sanchez over Jose Antonio Reyes. The Chilean has made a great start, brings a lot of quality and is not afraid of the challenges.

That was not the case with Reyes. We knew that if we had a go at him, he didn't like it being physical. There were matches where the Spaniard was on Gary Neville's side of the pitch and he took care of him.

Is Olivier Giroud good enough for Arsenal? I think he is. His goal ratio is better than Diego Costa's. The Frenchman has the finishing quality, there is no question about that.

Do you agree with Mikael's selections? Who would make your combined XIs? Have your say in the comments section below (desktop site only) or have your say on social media using #bbcfacup.

Mikael Silvestre was talking to BBC Sport's Shamoon Hafez.

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