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Who's The Best Option: Brown, Rafael Or Neville?

Right-back is still a problematic position for United despite having three players to call on there. But which one is the best?

Gary Neville, Wes Brown and Rafael da Silva were all handed starts this season and all produced good performances to stake their claim for the first-team spot.

Gary Neville has started the season quietly. He wasn't bad but wasn't exceptional either. The worst thing about him is his crossing at the moment, something which was one of his greatest assets. It was particularly evident against Villarreal that he is very far from his best as he sent cross after cross behind the goal or into the keeper's hands.

His tackling ability and positional sense remain undiminished as he demonstrated at Stamford Bridge where only fatigue prevented him from playing the full 90 minutes but produced an assured display. Concerns about his stamina and pace won't disappear now, he's probably not fit enough to play 45-50 games a season.

Rafael could be his son, biologically... The 18-year-old Brazilian is a prodigious talent and possesses brilliant technical ability as well as a ferocious shot. He's got lightning pace, too. But he's far from being the finished article.

I would not risk him against the best teams as he is not disciplined enough yet and likes to wander forward very often, joining in the attack, dribbling through defenders. Aalborg and West Brom could not capitalise on it but Arsenal or Villarreal would... Besides, he does not have the stamina to play the full 90 minutes and his lack of experience might lead to costly mistakes in big games.

Therefore, you have surely guessed it, I still think the best option is Wes Brown. His contribution to last season's successes is criminally underrated - he committed mistakes, sure, but we are much stricter with him than with, say, Evra or Vidic, simply because of his past, because he was known to commit dreadful things.

Last season he played from August to May and he was reliable and hard to beat even though he was far from the brilliance of Evra on the other flank. He found his opportunities rather limited this season but he was excellent at Blackburn and at the moment I believe that with all his faults, he's the best right-back in the squad. He's experienced enough, fit enough and balanced enough to do well against any team.

Most certainly, there will be a lot of rotation but there has to be some sort of pecking order. And that should be clear: Gary's the past, Rafael's the future but Wesley, I feel, is the present.




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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 20 2008

Time: 8:03PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
It's too early to write off Gary Neville just now, I hink he'll be the main man this year. He's still the club captain and he's still better than Brown though I agree that he can't play a full season. But two months have already gone...
midlothian99
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20/10/2008 20:15:00

sorry - I don't rate brown one bit. He is a poor centre back, playing out of position, and only plays for you becuase neville is too old, Rafael too young, and you have no-one else. When it comes to england, I have noidea why he plays - as there are 2/3 better english right backs in the league... glen johnson, micah richards... to name just two!
pompeycarpet
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20/10/2008 20:19:00

Wes Brown - don't make me laugh!
merlin
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20/10/2008 21:10:00

wes brown is class i would rate him over boswinga rafael is class aswell ok even though he played against a team in the championship in aalborg and dont write united or gary neville off
matth01
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20/10/2008 21:56:00

Brown over Bosingwa? Don't write Neville off? You don't operate any heavy machinery, do you? It's a frightening thought.
RadioactiveD
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21/10/2008 00:07:00

Wes Brown is a fantastic defender and anyone who doesnt think he's good enough, guess what, your opinion doesnt even matter! We as United fans appreciate everything he does and so does Capello and Fergie!
ForeverUnited
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21/10/2008 00:09:00

Since you can write I can assume you're capable of reading. Where do I even imply that Brown isn't a good defender? He is. If you start for Man United it's a safe assumption you're good. However, he isn't as good as Bosingwa. Why do you think Fergie wanted to get Bosingwa? Could it be to replace Wes Brown? Umm, a possibility at the very least!
RadioactiveD
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21/10/2008 04:09:00

to radioactive what i was trying to say is brown can save united money and he is a good right-back as a united fan i think it is good 2 see there is competion in the right back place ok gary nevill might be 30 odd but he's got a few years keft in him
matth01
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21/10/2008 11:43:00

*Neville
matth01
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21/10/2008 11:48:00

Obviously Fergie thinks he could find someone better, which was my point. It's a moot point anyway. Chelsea has Bosingwa and he's quickly making a name for himself. If Bayern Munich continue to falter I wouldn't be surprised if Sir Ferg goes for Lahm, who has many of the same qualities as Bosingwa--not as quick but certainly has a better shot and can defend better, I suppose.
RadioactiveD
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21/10/2008 14:07:00

yeah i wouldnt mind seeing lahm in a united shirt quality left back we need cover there incase if evra gets suspended or injured
matth01
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21/10/2008 15:10:00

His choice position is actually RB, which means Brown would certainly be pushed aside. Evra--I doubt it. At Bayern, Lahm played on the left in order to accomodate Sagnol. Now it's Oddo he's accomodating. It's his versatility on both sides I like so much, as well as his fantastic attacking skill. I wish Chelsea had signed him but really there's no need now. I could see Fergie going for Lahm, as he is too young and too good not to outgrow the Bundesliga. Fergie will take note and so will Madrid, Barca, all the big ones.
RadioactiveD
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21/10/2008 15:24:00

RadioactiveD - So you DO admit that you STOLE Bosingwa from us! One of the many players you've stolen from us have anyway. Brown isnt better than Bosingwa only because he's not a natural RB. You ask me if I'd rather pay 17 mil for a RB or keep Brown? Brown any day!
ForeverUnited
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21/10/2008 17:23:00

Stole? I didn't know you owned the rights to sign him? It's better to move on. I was pretty irked by what happened with Robinho but what can you do? Now he's Man City's little trophy.
RadioactiveD
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21/10/2008 19:43:00

brown by far
Kimbo
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21/10/2008 21:27:00

Rafeal isn't ready; Neville's past it; but the answer still isn't Brown
LeeCookFan
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23/10/2008 07:58:00

i wouldnt say neville has past it he still has more 2 offer as a united player and as captain rafael is ready and the answer probably is brown why did fergie offer him a four year contract then? i think brown is a class right back so 2 are gary neville and rafael da silva
matth01
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23/10/2008 12:26:00

 

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