UK time is: 04:09:49
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

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.




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 20 2008

Time: 8:03PM

Your Comments

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
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
Wes Brown - don't make me laugh!
merlin
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
Brown over Bosingwa? Don't write Neville off? You don't operate any heavy machinery, do you? It's a frightening thought.
RadioactiveD
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
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
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
*Neville
matth01
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
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
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
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
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
brown by far
Kimbo
Rafeal isn't ready; Neville's past it; but the answer still isn't Brown
LeeCookFan
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
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Manchester United Articles

United Interest in Bale Re-Ignited (Sunday December 21 2014)

Two Points Dropped! (Saturday December 20 2014)

Stats: Aston Villa v United (Saturday December 20 2014)

Aston Villa 1 Manchester United 1 (Saturday December 20 2014)

Aston Villa v United - Team Sheets (Saturday December 20 2014)

Van Gaal Makes Carrick United Vice-Captain (Saturday December 20 2014)

11 of the Best for Villa (a) (Saturday December 20 2014)

Archived Manchester United Articles

List All Vital United Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Aston Villa 1 - 1 Man Utd
Man Utd 3 - 0 Liverpool
Southampton 1 - 2 Man Utd
Man Utd 2 - 1 Stoke
Man Utd 3 - 0 Hull City
Arsenal 1 - 2 Man Utd

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
1. Chelsea 16 12 3 1 +23 39
2. Man City 17 12 3 2 +22 39
3. Man Utd 17 9 5 3 +12 32
4. West Ham 17 9 4 4 +10 31
5. Southampton 17 9 2 6 +15 29
6. Arsenal 17 7 6 4 +9 27
7. Spurs 17 8 3 6 -1 27

Breaking League News

Totally Deserved, says Gus Poyet
Sunderland : 22/12/2014 01:34:00
Pardew Will Have To Live With 4 In A Row Tab.
Sunderland : 22/12/2014 01:12:00
4 In A Row @NUFC
Newcastle : 22/12/2014 00:52:00
Sunderland Beat Newcastle Yet Again
Sunderland : 21/12/2014 22:31:00
Anfield Points Lost, Saved, Won And Dropped
Arsenal : 21/12/2014 21:25:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

MOTM v Aston Villa?
Suggested By:  Red Boy
De Gea 1%
Jones 0%
Carrick 0%
Evans 0%
Fletcher 0%
Van Persie 0%
Young 66%
Valencia 11%
Rooney 11%
Mata 0%
Falcao 11%
Blackett 0%
Wilson 0%
Di Maria 0%