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