The Debate: United's most consistent player?
At the weekend, Man Utd's 'Mr Consistency' himself, Denis Irwin, was asked who he thought was the most consistent Red to pull on the shirt during the Premier League era.
The Irishman delivered Nemanja Vidic as his response, but who are the other contenders?
We put the question to the lads on our panel show The Debate, to see who else might be in the frame for the club's most consistent PL-era player.
Intriguingly, Wes Brown, David May, Ben Thornley and Danny Webber all had their own answers, and we think there are plenty more Reds that deserve a nomination. Have a read of the opinions shared below, and then vote in our poll to have your say...
Danny Webber: “If you think back, I can’t think of a bad performance off the top of my head from Scholesy. No matter whether he played further advanced or dropped deeper, his standards were always up there. I’m struggling to think of Scholesy ever putting in bad performances. Then coming back again [out of retirement] to do it again to those standards.”
Ben Thornley: “I would have chosen Denis, as he was always an 8 out of 10. The lads who played with him know what an incredible full-back he was in his time spent at United, and very unassuming as well. But I’ll probably go for his international team-mate in Roy Keane. The influence he had on the pitch, you just knew when he was leading you out, that you were in capable hands. Like Denis, you very rarely saw Roy have less than a seven out of 10 performance. He was just a huge player for United.”
David May: “I won’t copy any of these lads, so Giggsy for his longevity in the Premier League. He played in two or three different positions and the standard he had to play week in and week out... There was the odd average game from him but his consistency over that many years, to win as many titles and trophies as he did, nobody in the Premier League will ever get to that. To do that over 20 years of the Premier League is sensational, it really is. To score in every Premier League season he played [until his final campaign in 2013/14] in was a phenomenal record. I have to go for Giggsy.”
Wes Brown: “I would have gone for Denis but I’ll change again and go for Wayne Rooney. You know, I always thought he made something happen in games and was top scorer himself. He was one of those players who would never give up and always makes something happen. He played in nearly every game as well. I would have picked Den – we can all remember Denis Irwin. When I was a lad, my dad used to say ‘look at Denis, he never plays bad’ and my grandad would just say ‘watch Denis’.”
Personally, I'd cite Edwin van der Sar – a gloriously serene goalkeeper that eased my matchday nerves on countless occasions – and Rio Ferdinand, who always read the game so well and was therefore able to control many matches with what appeared to be the minimum of fuss.
As we mentioned, Irwin himself went for Rio's famous defensive partner Nemanja Vidic as his choice: “Vidic was one of my favourite players. I think he was a great partner for Rio [Ferdinand]. He was just an out-and-out defender, but I shouldn't really say that, because he could play football as well.
“He always came across as an out-and-out defender anyway and one no centre-forward would want to come up against. He very rarely made mistakes, was aggressive and scored a few important goals for us.”
So what do you think? Do any other names stick out to you? Have a think and vote in our poll above!