Classic PFA Team of the Season: 1998/99 Season

By Stephen Jones
David Beckham and Roy Keane with Manchester United in 1999
David Beckham and Roy Keane with Manchester United in 1999 / Ben Radford / Staff

As the world prepared for the new millennium, it was Manchester United who had the most to shout about in England at the end of 1999.

The 1998/99 season saw the Red Devils create history, becoming the first English club to win the Premier League, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League treble.

The title race came down to the last day of the season, with Arsenal falling short by just one point, as Sir Alex Ferguson and his Red Devils secured a comeback win against Tottenham.

So, let's take a look at how the PFA Team of the Year shaped up that season.

GK - Nigel Martyn (Leeds United)

Nigel Martyn with Leeds in 1999
Nigel Martyn with Leeds in 1999 / Michael Steele / Staff

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's 18 goals helped Leeds finish fifth as the Whites enjoyed a successful campaign, but the foundation of that success was very much laid by Nigel Martyn.

The Cornish keeper made 34 league appearances for Leeds as he was included in the PFA Team of the Year for the second successive season.

RB - Gary Neville (Manchester United)

Gary Neville with Manchester United in 1999
Gary Neville with Manchester United in 1999 / Tony O'Brien / Stringer

In a season that was utterly dominated by United, it seems fitting that they have a total of five players within the team. Starting proceedings for them is their fearless right back Gary Neville.

The defender was fundamental for United and showed his importance on the last day of the season when he provided a pinpoint pass to set up Andy Cole. The Red Devils went on to beat Tottenham 2-1 to secure a fifth Premier League title.

CB - Sol Campbell (Tottenham Hotspur)

Sol Campbell with Tottenham in 1997
Sol Campbell with Tottenham in 1997 / Alex Livesey / Staff

Tottenham finished 14th in the previous year, and their 11th place finish in the 1998/99 season didn't exactly send shockwaves across north London.

However, there was the silver lining of their 1999 League Cup triumph. A big factor in them winning the trophy was down to their big centre back Sol Campbell.

The defender was integral to the Tottenham back four, playing 37 of Tottenham's league games and scoring six goals in the process. He's appreciated a little more at the Emirates nowadays.

CB - Jaap Stam (Manchester United)

Stam joined United from PSV for £10.6m at the start of the season and it turned out to be one of the signings of the campaign.

It took Stam a while to adjust to the Premier League, but once he got his bearings he quickly found himself becoming one of United's most reliable performers.

The Dutchman was an absolute warrior at the back for United and this was evident in the Champions League as he was the only outfield player to play every minute of United's campaign.

LB - Denis Irwin (Manchester United)

Denis Irwin with Manchester United in 1999
Denis Irwin with Manchester United in 1999 / Clive Brunskill / Staff

Completing the United defensive trio is Irishman Denis Irwin, who is considered to be one of the most underrated players in Premier League history.

The left back was United's longest-serving player in 1998/99 and his experience was called upon all season. Irwin played in 29 of United's league games and was vital in them securing the treble.

MF - David Beckham (Manchester United)

Continuing the red theme is the man of the 90s himself, David Beckham. This was Beckham's third of four straight TOTY appearances as he helped United to an unprecedented treble.

The midfielder appeared in 34 league games and netted six times. However, Beckham's last goal of the season was no doubt his most important as he scored the vital equaliser in United's last day victory over Tottenham.

MF - Emmanuel Petit (Arsenal)

Emmanuel Petit with Arsenal in 1998
Emmanuel Petit with Arsenal in 1998 / Stu Forster / Staff

Petit only appeared in 27 leagues games for Arsenal during this particular season, but the Frenchman made a lasting impact as he enjoyed an excellent campaign in north London.

The previous season was a great year for Petit as he helped Arsenal win both the Premier League and the FA Cup, and the truth is he was unlucky not to have won the league for the 1998/99 season.

MF - Patrick Vieira (Arsenal)

Patrick Vieira with Arsenal in 1999
Patrick Vieira with Arsenal in 1999 / Phil Cole / Staff

It's an all French central midfield as Petit is joined by his former teammate Patrick Vieira. While at Arsenal, the Frenchmen formed a stellar partnership and both were deserving of a place in the PFA Team of the Year.

Vieira played 34 times for Arsenal in the league and was the driving force behind their challenge for the title.

MF - David Ginola (Tottenham Hotspur)

David Ginola with Tottenham in 1998
David Ginola with Tottenham in 1998 / Shaun Botterill / Staff

Making it three Frenchmen in a row is Tottenham legend David Ginola. The midfielder was impressive all season as he appeared in 30 league games for Spurs.

Ginola helped his team out all season and was pivotal in them winning the League Cup, as Tottenham beat Leicester City 1-0 in the final. He also impressively bagged the PFA Players' Player of the Year award thanks to his stellar performances.

FW - Dwight Yorke (Manchester United)

The 1998/99 season was a monumental one for Dwight Yorke; he was the most crucial piece of the jigsaw for Sir Alex Ferguson.

He was in red hot form all season, scoring 18 goals in the Premier League and assisting 11, so it's no wonder why he was the Premier League Player of the Season.

Yorke also showed his talents in the Champions League, scoring eight to fire United to a second UEFA Champions League trophy.

FW - Nicolas Anelka (Arsenal)

Completing the list is Arsenal's Nicolas Anelka, who embarked on a tremendous season with the Gunners. The striker bagged himself 17 Premier League goals, and it saw the then 18-year-old Anelka become the PFA Young Player of the Year.

However, this was to be the Frenchman's last season for Arsenal as he joined Real Madrid in the summer of 1999.