Right Back – Gary Neville, Rafael OR Kyle Walker, Joao Cancelo
JF – I can’t even contemplate having Gary Neville, Rafael or possibly John O’Shea in this squad. I think GNev is a good pundit but, even in his own words, he wasn’t a fantastic player; lacked technical ability, speed all hidden with his passion for the club.
Kyle Walker is the choice me as I believe he is still one of the best right-backs in the country. Still possess great speed and is good technically, can be find in defensive difficulties at times and not had the best start to the season but he goes in.
LG – Just chuckling about James’ GNev comments, and I have to agree. The quality of football now is very different to the quality in 08/09, and Walker with his unique and crucial defensive contribution to the only English side to complete the Domestic Treble tops the list for me.
Centre backs – Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Wes Brown OR Ruben Dias, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake
JF – I could go for one of the best defensive partnership to have graced the Premier League but I can’t leave out the best centre back in the game today (in my opinion). Ruben Dias makes it for me and now to chose between a Serbian colossus or a fast, dominating Englishman. I’m going for Rio Ferdinand as his abilities will suit a partnership with Dias and hopefully keep a few clean sheets in the process.
LG – I’m going for the right-footed Vidic and left-footed Laporte. A paring that I think complements each other nicely. Laporte is an elegant defender with excellent passing ability and can drive the team forward from the back. Vidic will be the aggressive brut that is needed in all CB pairings.
Left backs – Patrice Evra, John O’Shea OR Joao Cancelo, Sergio Gomez
JF – Patrice Evra competed with Ashley Cole for the best in the league for many years, but Joao Cancelo beats them, or runs Cole close, even on his weaker side. The Portuguese full back commands that left flank and his technical ability is evidenced by the assist for Haaland against Borussia Dortmund.
LG – Joao Cancelo for me; his technical ability, intelligence and versatility far outweighs what the others on the list could offer. Occasionally trouble defensively, not through lack of ability, but through playing style and positioning – both of which are decided by the coach.