The Greatest ever Liverpool - Right Back (Fan poll)

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Along with Left back, this is probably the most forgotten position on the pitch. All too often we've seen it filled with failed wingers and ageing midfielders but to be a truly great fullback you need to excel in many facets of the game.

Over time this position has changed enormously. Originally Right and Left Back would be the last line of defence (not including the goalkeeper) with half backs sitting in front in what we would now see as midfielders, with the remaining five players being attackers.

Now fullbacks sit firmly out wide and their role within the team continues to evolve especially in an attacking sense. For comparison I’ve looked through our long and illustrious history to find the top ten Right Backs to ever represent our great club.

LFC-Right-Backs-stats-table

D1 = League Titles. FA = FA Cup. LC = League Cup. E = European Cups. O = Other Cups

EPHRAIN LONGWORTH - First Liverpool player to Captain England. Didn’t feel Fullbacks should go up field which probably explains him never scoring. Became part of the coaching staff after eighteen years as a player.

ROB JONES - Was named in the PFA Team of the Year, 91/92 & 94/95 seasons. Although providing an outlet he was not overly comfortable attacking but was an excellent defender whose career was cut short by injury.

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CHRIS LAWLER - Known as “The Silent Knight” because of the way he quietly and calmly went about his business. Scored his 61 goals from open play. Was once described as playing like he was “sauntering through games with all the apparent urgency of a man walking his dog”.
 

PHIL NEAL - Our most decorated player ever, amassing a total of 23 trophies with the club. Went six full seasons without missing a game. Ice cool penalty taker.

MARKUS BABBEL - A career cruelly cut short, however was still one of Germany’s most decorated players, and part of our famous treble cup winning side. Bayern had already struck a deal with Real Madrid to sign Babbel who refused as he only wanted to join us.

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ROY LAMBERT - Signed an amateur contract with us in Jan 1936 aged just 13years 189 days, however he didn’t play professionally for us until 1946 due to WW2. Was part of the first Post War League Title winning side.

DONALD MACKINLAY - Captained the side to 2 League Titles, however like so many of our full backs he saw hardly any international football. Was able to play in several positions.

STEVE FINNAN - If ever there was a player who was prepared to work hard for success this was it. The only player to have ever played in The Conference League, All 4 Divisions of the English League, a World Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup and Intertoto Cup. Internationally our most capped Right Back.

TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD - World Record holder for number of assists in a season, the sky is the limit. A local lad come good and able to attack as well as many wingers. Already tasted European success.

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STEVE NICOL - Could play in every position as if it was his own. Once scored a hat trick because no one told him to hold back. If you needed a character in the team it was him. FWA Player of the Year 88/89.

What struck me the most was how few caps our fullbacks get, especially when you take on board that more often than not we were dominating domestic football. Steve Finnan, Markus Babbel and Phil Neal got just over 50 each, other than that only Steve Nicol and Glen Johnson (39 caps while a player for Liverpool FC) got in to double figures, but that’s a debate for another day.

We all look for different things from a full back, defend first then attack, assists or goals scored. As you can imagine stats pre The Premier League were generally not taken other than appearances and goals so I’ve taken into account comments and articles, along with TV clips and You Tube to form an overall opinion, and so based on that my overall top three are:

Steve Nicol - Mr Versatility
Chris Lawler - Before his time
Phil Neal - Most decorated Liverpool Player EVER

What are your top three and who is your greatest ever Liverpool Right Back?

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