There’s no query that the position of a defender has modified considerably in the final decade – so what makes a world class centre-half?
Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Micah Richards mentioned the greatest centre-halves to play in the Premier League in the newest Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast.
You can take heed to the podcast on BBC Sounds and have your say by rating your decisions at the backside of this web page.
Ricardo Carvalho (Shearer: 10th, Richards: ninth)
Portuguese centre-half Carvalho made 135 Premier League appearances for Chelsea in his six seasons between 2004-2010 – successful the title 3 times. He partnered John Terry for a lot of his time at the London membership, together with the 2004-05 season after they conceded solely 15 objectives underneath Jose Mourinho.
Richards: We have these perceptions of what these gamers ought to seem like, somebody like Rio Ferdinand, who’s so elegant on the eye, whereas Carvalho wasn’t. But he received three Premier League titles at Chelsea so he is a prime participant. Sometimes our eyes can play tips on us – he actually was a implausible footballer.
Shearer: He was solely fairly small however he might put a crunching deal with in, he had a nasty aspect to him. There are quite a bit of these gamers that you just assume of after which assume of their accomplice, he was clearly partnered with John Terry which was an important partnership.
Marcel Desailly (Shearer: seventh, Richards: 10th)
France worldwide Desailly fashioned half of a formidable partnership at Chelsea with fellow countryman Frank Leboeuf. He made 158 League appearances for the Blues in his six-year keep after signing from AC Milan in 1998. He did not win a Premier League title with Chelsea however was half of the 1998 France staff that received the World Cup.
Shearer: In phrases of what you want as a defender – fast, good in the air, agile, might deal with – he was an excellent participant. Him and Leboeuf had been the partnership at Chelsea and he requested me as soon as why I might by no means go and stand on him and I mentioned ‘nicely why would I come and stand on you once I can stand on Frank?’. But I reminded him of that once I turned him at St James’ Park and launched one in from 30 yards out.
Lineker: He has received a World Cup… He mentioned to me as soon as doing punditry collectively that “France has had some of the greatest players of all time – Zinedine Zidane, Michel Platini and Marcel Desailly” – it was one of my biggest moments in punditry and he wasn’t joking!
Gary Pallister (Shearer: ninth, Richards: eighth)
Pallister arrived at Manchester United in 1989 for a file £2.3m payment from Middlesbrough. He made 206 Premier League appearances for United, primarily performed alongside Steve Bruce, serving to Sir Alex Ferguson’s aspect win their first Premier League title in 1993, in addition to the 1990 FA Cup, Ferguson’s first trophy as United supervisor.
Shearer: Lovely man and we had some nice battles – he kicked me and I kicked him. He might play out from the again and he performed in an unbelievable staff at Manchester United, him and Bruce had an important partnership. He might do all the pieces.
Jaap Stam (Shearer: eighth, Richards: seventh)
Another stalwart of Manchester United’s defence, Stam made 79 Premier League appearances between 1998-2002, successful the title for 3 consecutive years between 1999-2001 in addition to being an essential half of the staff that did the treble in 1999.
Shearer: He was fast – he was an enormous set man however nonetheless very fast.
Richards: Amazing numbers in phrases of titles and appearances however he isn’t somebody I might look as much as and assume I need to play like him.
Nemanja Vidic (Shearer: sixth, Richards: sixth)
Serb Vidic made 211 Premier League appearances over 9 seasons for Manchester United – successful 5 titles, together with three consecutively between 2007-09, and the Champions League in 2008.
Richards: He was a prime participant however Fernando Torres at all times used to have him on toast. I simply imagine that some of the gamers I’ve put above him had a bit extra in phrases of each points to their video games.
Lineker: Perhaps a bit of bias in opposition to Manchester United there Micah!
Virgil van Dijk (Shearer: 4th, Richards: fifth)
Liverpool’s Van Dijk, 29, is the solely centre-half on this record nonetheless enjoying at the prime degree. Since signing from Southampton in 2018 for a payment of £73m he has made 95 Premier League appearances for the Merseyside membership. He helped them win the Champions League in 2018-19 and was a vital half of the staff that received Liverpool’s first top-flight title since the 1989-90 season final time period.
Shearer: He’s a sport changer for Liverpool – he took them to the place they needed to go. Liverpool have missed him and his management this season as a result of of his damage. They have this urgent sport they usually have the confidence in him that they’ll go away him one v one, it isn’t an issue as a result of in the event that they need to knock it over the prime he can flip and be as fast as anybody. We’ve seen them this 12 months not urgent as a lot as they might and will, as a result of they do not really feel the confidence to do it with out him.
Richards: He might be the biggest ever, perhaps it is getting a bit late now in phrases of age and he is had his damage however he had an prompt impression – there is no query marks over him, he can do all the pieces. I am unable to imagine when he was at Celtic that Manchester City did not take a little bit punt on him.
Lineker: It’s simple to say that now although as a result of none of the so-called ‘massive boys’ took a punt on him and even when Liverpool signed him individuals had been saying ‘how a lot?!’.
Vincent Kompany (Shearer: fifth, Richards: 4th)
Kompany joined Manchester City underneath then supervisor Mark Hughes from Hamburg for £9m as half of City’s rebuild when Sheikh Mansour purchased the membership in 2008, and the Belgian turned synonymous with the Blues throughout his decade-long keep. He made 236 Premier League appearances and helped them win the 2011 FA Cup, their first main trophy since 1976, a second FA Cup in 2019, 4 Premier League titles and 4 League Cups, earlier than returning to his boyhood membership Anderlecht in 2019.
Richards: Sir Vincent Kompany – we [Manchester City] performed at Hamburg in pre-season and he performed as a quantity 10. He was doing tips, stepovers and had nice toes – we signed him. One of his first video games he was ridiculously good in midfield, spraying passes about. In the video games after it was simply ‘good’ – he might do an excellent job in there however there was a sport in opposition to Arsenal when his contact was terrible and after that he went to centre-back and when he did that I believed ‘wow’ – he was the greatest defender I’ve ever seen.
He’s an actual chief. He may be egocentric at instances, he’s a perfectionist and when you do not do issues at his degree he takes issues to coronary heart. When he first got here to the membership underneath Hughes we had been a shambles. Kompany was a serious half of taking the membership to the subsequent degree when the new homeowners got here in. He generally is a bit critical at instances, however he was doing it as a result of he needed to be the greatest.
Lineker: Smart, clever man and a scorer of important objectives at key moments in league successful seasons. The one in opposition to Manchester United and the lengthy distance one in opposition to Leicester – essential moments.
Shearer: His angle [was superb], he was a winner. He got here in when it wasn’t so good and noticed all of it by means of, the managers caught with him and realised what he had and what he delivered to the membership – that tells you all the pieces that you must learn about him.
Rio Ferdinand (Shearer: third, Richards: 2nd)
Ferdinand joined Manchester United in 2002 from Leeds for £41m. He had 12 seasons with the Red Devils the place he made a complete of 312 Premier League appearances, partnering Vidic for a lot of his time there. Ferdinand was a big half of United’s success, serving to them to win an unbelievable six Premier League titles, three League Cups and a Champions League trophy, earlier than departing for Queens Park Rangers in 2014.
Richards: Rio was prime notch, once I went to the England camp he was like nothing I’d ever seen earlier than. He was so relaxed on the ball, he might see a move, all the pieces was simple for him. He had all of it, easy, he seemed like a centre-half. He at all times used to speak to me once we performed for England, inform me when to go, when to not go – and for a senior skilled to try this and discuss you thru the sport it makes issues a lot simpler.
Lineker: He instructed me as soon as that enjoying for England, Sven-Goran Eriksson instructed him he did not need him to come back out of defence with the ball in any respect, he was to remain in defence and that he was prohibited from popping out with England, which is simply extraordinary.
Shearer: It beggars perception that somebody with that potential can be instructed you are not allowed to try this. A Rolls Royce of a centre-half – elegant, might carry the ball out with tempo, might begin the transfer, might cease the transfer, intelligent, might learn the sport.
Tony Adams (Shearer: 1st, Richards: third)
A one-club man, Adams made his debut for Arsenal in 1983 and went on to play for the Gunners till 2002. He made 255 Premier League appearances, successful 4 top-flight titles, three FA Cups and two League Cups.
Shearer: I might come off with lower eyes, a damaged nostril and lower lip after a sport in opposition to him, however at all times shake palms. Not nearly as good as Ferdinand at spraying the ball round however what a competitor.
He was the greatest centre-half I’ve performed in opposition to I believe, in that period in phrases of how aggressive you could possibly be as a centre-half. He performed in that again 4 that was unbelievable and had an important goalkeeper behind him. He was an unbelievable chief, organiser, tackler, he might play as nicely, he was powerful. The greatest centre-half I’ve ever performed in opposition to.
Lineker: I did not thoughts enjoying in opposition to him as a result of Arsenal at all times performed a excessive line so I had house to get in behind – they did kick lumps out of you however you could possibly hear them coming.
John Terry (Shearer: 2nd, Richards: 1st)
Terry racked up a complete of 712 appearances for Chelsea throughout his 18-year stint at the London membership between 1999 and 2017 and scored 41 objectives in 492 Premier League appearances. The membership captain received 5 Premier League titles with the Blues, together with 5 FA Cups, two League Cups, a Europa League and a Champions League.
Shearer: The quantity of instances we have sat and mentioned Van Dijk’s diagonal balls into the forwards at Liverpool [is huge], however Terry might try this with both foot, he might play in the trendy sport no drawback.
Richards: His file is ridiculous – 41 objectives – that is what simply tipped it over the edge for me. I could not decide between him and Rio. If I used to be watching a sport I might go in direction of Rio, as a result of he seemed extra elegant, however the objectives tipped it for me.
Terry was at all times proven as being a pacesetter, placing his head in, however he is greater than that. When you educated with him you’d see him pinging diagonal balls along with his left foot. He at all times performed left aspect as a result of he favored the ball there, he is proper footed however the method he might ping a ball in along with his left foot. His weak foot was higher than my greatest foot.