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Thread: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

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    WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs


    Every Saturday a new thread will be posted and open for the week to discuss the best in that particular position(s). Then I will post the results here before opening up the next position.


    The Team So Far:

    --- Peter Schmeichel ---
    --- Gary Neville ---- x --- x ---- x ----
    --- x ---- x --- x ---- x ----
    ---- ---- x ---- x ---- -----





    On to the discussion.




    Schmeichel and Neville were decisive victors in their respective positions. Understandably so, thanks to their longevity and dominance in their position. I think this is the first really big test of this discussion. The centre backs. There have been some absolute titans at the back, and there is a shit load of competition and discussion to be had here.

    As we are voting for two positions here, the format is slightly different. More votes, but with the top two making it into the final team.



    Please vote with your top five Premier League Centre Backs in history via PM to me by 5.00PM GMT on Saturday 21st September. E.G:


    1- Titus Bramble (5 Points)
    2- Frank Sinclair (4 Points)
    3- Winston Bogarde (3 Points)
    4- Sebastien Squillaci (2 Points)
    5- Shkodran Mustafi (1 Point)


    Also use this thread to pitch who you think is the best, or who deserves to be in the discussion.






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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    I'll make some safe shout-outs: John Terry and Rio Ferdinand.
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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    Terry is definitely my number 1. Best defender I've seen in the Premier League. Had everything - strong, read the game better than anyone, terrific passer, organised his defence well, a goal threat at the other side, and was a great player for over 10 years in the league. Even as an old man in the 2014-2015 season he was still the best defender in the league.

    Number 2 is such a hard choice though. Rio, Vidic, Stam, Adams, Campbell are all the front runners. Kompany, King, and Desailly would be in consideration for me too. Right now I'm leaning towards Rio as my number 2 choice, but it's very very difficult.





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    Pretty good

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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    Lot more choice around for this, and I expect it’ll be tightly contested. Obviously the likes of Kompany, Vidic, Ferdinand and Terry will be front runners, with recency bias probably giving VVD a decent chance at picking up votes. But I’d like to give mentions to Toby Adams and Sol Campbell too.

    William Prunier should be worth consideration too.



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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    I think Terry, Ferdinand and Vidic are my top three and then it gets difficult.
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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    Gareth McAuley was the best 37 year old defender the league has ever seen.

    It's really hard not to go with Terry as one of them. You get the organisation, the reading, the heading ability, the leadership of a Tony Adams like defender, but then with the great passing ability and fitness to make him one of the best modern day defenders. Best of both worlds type of CB who I don't think fell into the traps Rio would sometimes get himself into by getting too adventurous.

    The 2nd choice I'm open to listening to debates on because I think it could go to a number of people. Right now it's likely to go to Kompany because he's been hugely important to City, amazing captain, 10 years of service and ended on the highest of notes with the goal against Leicester. The only 'but' is the injury record in the last 3-4 seasons.

    Stam was amazing but doesn't have the longevity to break into the top 2 CBs ever. Sort of like big Virgil's problem, just not enough seasons under his belt.

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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    I echo all the names above. I don't think I can really add anyone else to the list of those mentioned other than perhaps Bruce and Pallister but they were very early PL days and may not have played too many PL games compared to others.
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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    Top 3 are surely easy, my top 2 are stone wall. Luckily I had a discussion with some work colleagues about this a few days ago thanks to that ridiculous twitter thing by Sky Sports about the best CB in Prem history. Reminded me of who I thought was the best.

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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    So many choices this time around. United have like 5 possible nominations alone.

    Couple of names I'm thinking Rio, Vidic, Stam, Terry, Carvalho, Campbell, Kompany.


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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    Terry, Rio and Vidic are the automatic three that came to mind in both quality but longevity as well. Kompany has a shout though.

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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    If I'm being picky (which I think we have to be considering the calibre of players we're discussing), did we ever see Vidic with any other partner for a long period of time? Rio was class back in his Leeds days with Woodgate, was consistently great at Man Utd with Vidic and also with good but not great defenders like O'Shea, Brown and Evans. Vidic was good with some of those players too, but not for as long as Rio. I think Vidic is helped by the fact that for about 90% of his run in the Premier League he was alongside another great great defender like Rio.

    Whereas other guys in the discussion have proven to be world class even with weaker defensive partners (e.g. Rio and Johnny Evans, Terry and Gary Cahill).

    Vidic also suffers from the same thing Kompany does - injuries. He was there for several seasons but missed large chunks in the later seasons due to injury. So he doesn't have longevity on his side like Rio and Terry - the two guys I've talked myself into the top two players. For example, Vidic played less games for Man Utd than Sol Campbell did for Spurs, nevermind his Arsenal and Portsmouth stints.

    Don't get me wrong, Vidic was class and he'll be in my top 5 very easily, but just thought they were points worth bringing up.





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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    To be honest with you mate, I think Vidic prolonged Rio's career a bit longer because he complimented his weaker areas. The two just fitted each other to perfection.

    Plus realistically, their dominance together as a partnership during some of United's most successful years shows how good that partnership was and is probably the best of all time as a two in the Premier League which is why I personally can't separate Rio or Vida despite believing that Rio & Terry is the top two and the likely outcome.

    Worth noting that Sky Sports actually ran a poll recently selecting the best Premier League defender of all time voted by the fans. The winner?! Nemanja Vidic!


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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    Vidic and Ferdinand was great but I wouldn't say for certain it was better than Terry and Carvalho. That 2004-2005 season is incredibly hard to argue against.

    Plus one of Rio's most impressive seasons was Fergie's last season in 12-13 when he made Johnny Evans look like a world class defender without Vidic. I think it's unfair to say Vidic prolonged Rio's career when Rio was still excellent at Man Utd when required to play without Vidic, which happened quite a lot in Vidic's later seasons.





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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    I think I'm the only one who mentioned Ricardo in here, and being Portuguese I absolutely love him! BUT, absolutely no question that Rio and Vidic was a better partnership for me. Longevity and the success would tell you that really.

    They're my two favourite combinations in terms of partnerships in the Prem though!

    Excited to see how the voting comes out! :D


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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    Big JT and Vidic all day for me.

    Rio would round out my top 3. Carvalho was class as well. VVD is superb and I think will eventually be in this bit not yet

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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    Shout out to Ledley King who I think I might give a 5th place vote to. Despite never training and had knees made out of glass and blu-tak, was still one of the best defenders in the league when he played.

    Damn, England were blessed for central defenders in the 00s.





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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    Two days to get those votes in!

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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    Shout out to Ledley King who I think I might give a 5th place vote to. Despite never training and had knees made out of glass and blu-tak, was still one of the best defenders in the league when he played.

    Damn, England were blessed for central defenders in the 00s.
    I can totally admit I'm biased, but I'll have to find a way to get him in somewhere. When he was fit, he was unbelievable. I genuinely don't think I saw any one else play at the Lane, for any team, that impressed me as much as he did nearly every time he played. It's just a shame he didn't play all that often.

    As much as it pains me to say, I think Sol will probably find a way in to my top 5 as well. I remember watching him in the mid-90s and he felt like a totally different type of centre back to anyone else in the league. Insanely strong, quick, beast in the air, read the game brilliantly but was unusually good at playing the ball around for a CB in that era. And played at the top(ish) level for nearly 20 years. I've hated him for nearly two decades for what he did, but man was he a player.

    That said, I think I'll probably go for Rio in my top spot.

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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    Thanks to the following voters who chimed in to the greatest centre back list: Order, Wolf Beast, DarkestEarth, Deco90, DeclanDimi, Baloocha, PS, Sykotic, MC16, TWG, Ed, Baldrick and Shock. On to the list






    The Honourable Mentions:


    Ledley King - 1 Point
    Marcel Desailly - 1 Point
    Ricardo Carvalho - 1 Point
    Sylvain Distin - 3 Points
    Jaap Stam - 4 Points
    Sol Campbell - 11 Points

    It’s a shame for some fantastic defenders like King, Desailly and Carvalho to only get a single point as all deserved more, but with so many players to choose from it’s no surprise that they fell of a lot of peoples’ lists. I definitely think that a good few of these players would have been a lot of 6th choice picks.







    5th Place:


    Tony Adams - 16 Points


    Very happy to see Tony Adams getting the love he deserves. One of Arsenal’s greatest ever players, and a title winner in three different decades (albeit one pre-Premier League) is some achievement.





    4th Place


    Vincent Kompany - 23 Points


    As great as his forehead is large, Kompany has been pivotal in each of Man City’s title wins. Like a lot of the players on this list, he’s a phenomenal leader, a great athlete, and fantastic at reading the game. His goal against Leicester last season will go down as one of the most important goals in the league’s history.





    3rd Place:

    Nemanja Vidic - 35 Points


    A big gap between Vidic and Kompany sees the Serbian as comfortably the best runner up on the list, just missing that starting place. A colossus at the back, and one of the dominant figures of the superb Man Utd team in the late 00s.





    WC's Centre Backs are ...



    John Terry - 49 Points


    Our first centre back, just missing out on the top spot, is the Captain, Leader, Legend, John Terry. An all time great centre back and the heart of the Chelsea defence for well over a decade, including the meanest backline in Premier League history with Carvalho. A player that you could question his character, but you could never question his talent, his leadership, or his willingness to put it all out for the team. He becomes the first non-Man Utd player in the side.







    Rio Ferdinand - 53 Points


    Rio takes the other centre back spot and tops the list. A defender way ahead of his time, with his phenomenal passing ability, not to mention pretty much every physical advantage a player could ever want. A player that was consistently excellent for nearly 15 years in the league, regardless of his teammate beside him. From a promising youngster at West Ham, a quality talent at Leeds, and then a world class centre half at Manchester United. A worthy top place finish for one of England’s finest centre backs.





    The Team So Far:


    --- Peter Schmeichel ---
    --- Gary Neville ---- John Terry --- Rio Ferdinand ---- x ----
    --- x ---- x --- x ---- x ----
    ---- ---- x ---- x ---- -----


    Next part we'll be looking for the best Left Back in Premier League history. Thread to be posted soon.





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  20. #20
    Pretty good

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    Re: WC Decides: The Greatest Premier League Team - The Centre Backs

    Fully expecting Ashley Cole to take the left back spot and see the England "Golden Generation" fill out the entire back four.

    Can't argue John Terry making it into the top two based on his ability as a defender, and Rio - for me - was an absolute lock. Distin was an interesting shout. Never crossed my mind, but certainly a decent defender with a long run in the Premier League.



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