The Right Back Dilemma

Posted: September 15, 2011 by derekorourke in Chelsea, Defence, English Premier League, Manchester United
Tags: , ,

With Chelsea set to travel to Old Trafford this weekend in what will doubtless prove to be their most challenging game under AVB to date, I ask the question – who should play at Right-Back?

United are in devastating form and Chelsea have been a little laboured if truth be told. So what chance do we have? Well, call me an optimist (you’re an optimist Derek) but I think we can do ‘em up there. I feel we have a big performance in us and a burning desire within the squad to shove two fingers up at the media for their constant badgering.

In spite of my confidence, if David Luiz plays at centre-back, I feel there is a big decision to be made at right back…

The options:

Jose Bosingwa:

Jose has been like a man re-born under AVB and looks somewhat like he has re-discovered his top form after some very indifferent performances last season.


A very quick attacking full back who has a decent delivery and a real knack of getting into good advanced wide positions. He can overlap and/or offer support to our right sided attacker and really adds another dimension to our attack.

We saw against Norwich that he has a dangerous shot in his locker when the situation arises and is in confident form due to his good start this season.


Jose can be very suspect defensively. We all remember Ryan Giggs tearing him apart at Stamford Bridge last season in the Champions League. His positional sense isn’t the best and usually comes down to his lapses in concentration.

He is not the strongest individual either – if it comes to an important tackle or block being made you wouldn’t exactly have your mortgage on him would you?

Branislav Ivanovic:


A beast of a man; Branner is a real tough tackling and inspiring defender who has the ability to drive on those around him. He is strong in the air and on the ground in the tackle and is very brave in all situations.

He is a threat in the box from set pieces and has scored some important goals for Chelsea in the past.


Branner would consider himself a centre-back rather than a full-back but he has played in the right-back position admirably for some time now.

Not the best at rampaging up the wing and his crossing can leave him down at times. The fact that he’s not a natural attacking full-back means that the opposition can focus on cutting Ashley Cole’s threat off on the other side which affects Chelsea’s balance and ability to create from deep when needs be.


These two players offer something completely different from right back. Bosingwa is an attacking outlet whereas Ivanovic is a natural defender. If we could morph these two players into one we’d have one of the best right-backs ever. Unfortunately I couldn’t get in contact with Jeff Goldblum this week.

For all the criticism of Bosingwa’s defensive capabilities, let us not forget that at left back in the Champions League a couple of years ago versus Barcelona that one Lionel Messi hardly kicked the ball over two legs when being marked by the pacey Portugueezer. Yes he may get caught out at times but if (big IF), just if he can keep his concentration and be disciplined up against Ashley Young he may well be the man to stop their threat down the left and instigate ours up the right.

Of course this may be all elementary if Ivanovic plays at centre back instead of Luiz, but I enjoyed writing this anyway!

What do you think? Who should play? Please feel free to comment below or tweet me @fattyfoulke

  1. Robert says:

    Mmm… It’s going to be a close game so maybe set peices will be significant – for that reason I’d go for Ivanovic.

    Though Bosingwa mobility would be better on one-on-ones with Young.

    Agree we’ve got a big performance in us waiting to get out – would be brilliant if that was on Sunday.

  2. @Feezabicrown says:

    Hmmm. . . . Who to choose? I think its pretty uncertain who to clearly stated by you,Ivanovic is the better defender BUT Bosingwa is the better attacker and provides an attacking option. . .i’ll go with Brana,no gambles.better keep it safe.

  3. Nick says:

    The incredibly close poll demonstrates just how tough of a call AVB has on his hands!

    I would go with Bane. The way I see the game playing out, I don’t think either of them will have too many opportunities to go forward anyway. I trust Bane more to shut down Young. Playing Luiz next to him will make sure that Young won’t be afforded too much space in behind.

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