Stretford-End XI: Right Back

Gary Neville
Yesterday we polled our readers for the best United goalkeeper of all time, and now we turn our attentions to the right back position for the Stretford-End XI. The four right back candidates for the Stretford-End XI are Viv Anderson, Paul Parker, Gary Neville, and Wes Brown. Some readers have called for Bill Foulkes and Denis Irwin to be included in this poll. However, Foulkes will be a contender in his favoured centre back position and Irwin will be a candidate in the left back poll.

Viv Anderson

After rising to fame with Nottingham Forest, Viv Anderson moved to Arsenal before becoming Sir Alex Ferguson’s first ever signing at Manchester United in 1987. He is well known for being the first black footballer to represent England. Anderson moved on in 1991 just before United began a period of remarkable success, but there is no doubt he played a key role in the rebuilding process under Sir Alex. Despite making less than 100 appearance, Anderson still remains very involved with the club. He is still a frequent guest on MUTV and at United Nights.

Paul Parker

Following Viv Anderson’s tenure at Old Trafford, Paul Parker was the next right back at Manchester United. Parker was a regular fixture at the right back spot when United won their first Premier League title under Sir Alex Ferguson in 1992-93. However, two seasons later Parker spent most of the campaign on the sideline due to injury. Sadly, that injury signalled the end of Parker’s career at the top. He was replaced by Gary Neville as the first-choice right back, and failed to reclaim his spot after recovering. Parker left the club in 1996 and eventually retired in 1997 after brief stints with various clubs.

Gary Neville

Sitting at fifth place for all time appearances, Gary Neville has represented  Manchester United on 599 occasions. No right back has made more appearances in the club’s illustrious history. Neville was part of the United squad during the club’s most successful era, which included the 1999 Treble and 2008 Champions League. Neville was named captain of the club in 2005, and although the armband has since been handed to Nemanja Vidic, Neville remains the off-the-field captain. Neville’s involvement has decreased in recent seasons, and it is widely believed that he will hang up his boots at the conclusion of this season.

Wes Brown

Though nowhere near having as many appearances as Gary Neville, Wes Brown has played an important role in the club’s recent success. Also a one-club man, Brown began his career as a centre back before eventually switching to right back. He became the first-choice right back during the 2007-08 campaign when United won the European Double. It was Brown’s cross that Cristiano Ronaldo headed for the opening goal in the Champions League final against Chelsea. His appearances have since been limited following an injury, and Brown has had to settle for a bit part role.


Follow Kyle on Twitter at KDill_MUFC

7 Comments on Stretford-End XI: Right Back

  1. I went for Neville. Nothing against Wes but despite his role in recent seasons I think he’s a bit out of place in that list.

    Anyway, went for Neville because I think he can do a bit of everything, even if on occasion he’s been prone to the odd clanger. He can play it tough, he can stand off his man, he can keep tight and he can get forward, being particularly good on the overlap. The best right back in the country for a long time and before he started to pick up injuries as he got old he was a consistent and entirely reliable part of the team.

  2. Viv Anderson.

    Is getting an exclusive interview from him mean you have to treat him like one the greatest. Your turning into a joke of a site pulling “interviews” from anyone you can find on Twitter by kissing their arses beforehand and afterwards.

    Viv Anderson did nothing for United but because you interview the guy, he’s shortlisted for the greatest of all time. Henning Berg, Wes Brown both Right Backs who deserve to placed in the list above before Viv Anderson.

    Kids trying to play at being Sports Journalists

  3. Regardless of your opinions on the interview Paul, it is worth pointing out that Henning Berg played the majority of his United career at centre back despite playing right back at other clubs. In fact in his first season – the 97/98 campaign where he made more starts than in any other of his seasons, he never once started a came at right back, the only game he played in a full back position was left back away at Barnsley on the last day of the campaign. I don’t have the time to trawl through his other seasons but at a glance, they follow a similar pattern.

  4. So incensed by your ill-researched remark, that my research concludes that Henning Berg never once started a game for United at right back. That one game he started at left back, he ended up moving to centre back and swapping positions with Clegg who went to the full back position.

    Berg’s United career was spent alongside Gary and Phil Neville, Dennis Irwin, Wes Brown and Mikael Silvestre – cover was sometimes provided by John Curtis, Danny Higginbotham and Michael Clegg so Berg was never required to play at full back very often.

  5. Paul, privately discussing this we concluded we thought Neville would run away with it. It was a matter of who to include to beef up the section as right back isn’t our strongest spot in history, and then deciding of those that could arguably be put in that category without someone saying they weren’t strong in that position. Duncan Edwards, for example, could probably have done a job in any position.

    Sure, other players achieved more than Viv at United. Sure, it might look a bit like we’re kissing arse given that we recently interviewed him. He was a good, solid player in that position though and given his pedigree beforehand in his career, I don’t think it’s that ridiculous an inclusion. A push, sure. But “anyone you can find”? A bit of a harsh dismissal on someone who achieved so much.

    Wes Brown has been included, so I don’t see your point on him.

  6. Paul/Anthony/Squeaky Bum or whatever your name is.

    You seem to have a massive problem with the website considering you keep posting insults under different aliases. Why not drop me a line here and you can document all of you problems – – with me.

    I’ve put in tons of hours on this website, from 2006 onwards, not to get bullshit criticism. “Your turning into a joke of a site” – I don’t mind someone disagreeing with me on a topic, but to claim the ‘whole website is a joke’ is pure and utter bollocks. United fans find the stats, news and chants useful and I don’t see the need for you to openly criticise the website as a whole, considering you seem to just have a problems with the interviews.

    I wasn’t involved in the polling and I wouldn’t have included Viv Anderson within the list – however, you debate the issue rather than come across as angry and oversensitive. I thought Shay Brennan could have been included but that is the whole point of debating. Like I said email me ( if you have any further ‘issues’ with the content rather than clogging up the comments with different names.

  7. I’m sorry you didn’t agree with our selections Paul, but Yolkie and Doron pretty much got it spot on. Right back is not a position like winger or centre midfield where there are a plethora of world-class options.

    Gary Neville has been involved with the firs team for nearly two decades, and was the first choice for club and country for over 10 years. It was clear to us he would run away with the votes, which he has. In order to actually make it a competition though, we had to include more than one. Wes Brown was included, but he really only had one fantastic season as right back which was when United won the European Double. Yet we included him, just like you suggested.

    A lot of our readers haven’t seen players from before the 1980s (check the results, older players aren’t getting votes), so we tried to pick more current candidates. Thus, we picked Viv Anderson and Paul Parker. Anderson was perhaps a stretch, but we wanted to have options. Also, like Doron said, we didn’t feel Berg was an option.

    You’ll notice our site also has multiple interviews with David May, however he has not been included in any of the polls. That is not what these polls are about; it’s about deciding who is the best. In right back, I admittedly had to make an exception in order to make it a contest.

    We always welcome debate here, and it’s have been great for you to open a discussion about Viv Anderson’s inclusion. The personal attacks on the writers and the site is uncalled for though. You are allowed to disagree without being offensive. At least then it may have generated some good debate.

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