Fergie’s Conundrum: Who’s right at right back?

John O'Shea, Manchester United

Since the birth of man, Manchester United have never quite been able to settle on a first choice right back. Or, more precisely, since injuries had become a common event in the life and career of Gary Neville, sometime, or after, the 06/07 season. This campaign had originally seen the manager’s faith instilled in John O’Shea, a solid, versatile full back although ultimately a ‘no-frills’ type. Indeed, the mutual feeling is that Rafael should get the nod, and having played two games in the space of four days, there is an ever-increasing likelihood of Rafael succeeding his aim in becoming an established member of the team.

Yet, things surely wouldn’t be that easy for Rafael. As already said, O’Shea has so often been first choice; although Rafael looked in decent touch in both the visits to Valencia and Sunderland, where United had kept a ‘rare’ clean sheet on both occasions. It’s a head-scratcher this and once that should provoke much debate. Although Rafael is more favoured amongst fans – for many reasons – yet, it is most likely that Sir Alex will focus in executing his rotation policy.

O’Shea has found himself under much scrutiny; most unjustified, mind you. For, the Irishman does the dirty work and is the most ‘reliable’ choice because, unlike Rafael, he is experienced and certainly not naive. Which is what some might say about the Brazilian: the red card against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarters finals last year meant some were quick to dismiss him as an individual – his temperament and discipline. The key for him is gain much-needed experience; and the only way he’ll get that is by playing regularly. There’s no doubting the boy has talent.

Of course, we must also mention Neville and Wes Brown, both of whom have been plagued by numerous setbacks and therefore failing to get games. The thinking is that if these problems had not occurred in the first place, then either one of these two would be that first choice at the moment. Neville once was, of course, something stretching for many a season. Brown had a fine season in 07/08, helping United to Champions League glory at the Luzhniki, Moscow, before fresh injuries set in and such rhythm was lost. It’s a disappointment for both meaning it is very likely that the ‘fight’ is between O’Shea and Rafael.

Even seven games into the season, there is still much debate regarding the situation. O’Shea might be ‘right for right back’ at this moment in time, because I personally believe he is currently the best option due to his experience and versatility, but Rafael will surely have to be considered as the first choice if he continues to build on the opportunity’s given. It’s not exactly a ‘problem’, but many believe that United need an established first choice. Of course, your opinion on this matter counts: share it with us all by leaving a comment.

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12 responses to “Fergie’s Conundrum: Who’s right at right back?”

  1. Sam says :

    If Brown could stay fit then I’d go for him but otherwise I think now is the time to give Rafael a run of say 10 games to try and cement his spot

  2. Xyth says :

    Wes or Rafael are much better options at right back!

  3. rp says :

    O’Shea is Pants

  4. Natural Red says :

    Rafael has raw talent that needs polish.I swear one day that kid is going to end someone’s career with one of his lunging tackles.In time he will be a class act.

    O’Shea although not excitng to watch – holds his concentration for 90 + minutes.Also has good positioning and can rely on experience as fore-sight to read what is about to unfold.Whereas Rafael at times,goes from moment to moment which leads to desparate cases which eventually brings yellow and finally red cards.

    I love the kid(Rafael)and hope to see him mature in to the player we all know he could be.As for his tackles well….

  5. julian says :

    rafael > (better) than sheasy… i vote for rafael

  6. Franco Mizzi says :

    Rafael for me and not because I dont believe big John cant do the job cause he is and can do so for much longer but this kid Rafael is something special and should be given a run in the team to gain much needed experience. The boy has it in him to become a legend at OT.

  7. Mike Kennard says :

    Rafael would get the nod from me. O’Shea is one handy player to have around but we are having a nightmare in the creativity department and that is something Rafael can provide that O’Shea cannot. In bigger matches I would be a little more tempted to include O’Shea due to his experience.

    We need to start getting this kid more matches under his belt or we may see a transfer request being placed on someone’s desk.

  8. Julius says :

    I would go rafael coz his fast and in big games he usually go forward and assist in attack.

  9. Giiggggsey says :

    O’Shea is a centre back or centre midfield player really. Just hasnt got the speed for the wings, so i would pick Rafael to be honest.

  10. don zozo says :

    rafael, the kid’s got confidence and will always be a plus to the attack.

  11. Albashir says :

    Honestly, Rafael is miles better than Oshea. He’s got skills, speed,dribbles, confidence, and good on the air, besides Oshea is just tall but not that good in the air and lacks creativity. As for me i ‘ll go for Brown and Rafeal. Eergie is just too arrogant to understand.

  12. spindle says :

    rotate it. need john in some games for height

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