Pondering whose names would go down the history as the greatest and the best left-backs in premier league history? I find it very hard to rank these legends’ hard work and dedication. Each of them is very competent. But the ones that I will be mentioning below, definitely deserve extra appreciation. So let the coronation begin!
He is known for mastering both the traditional left-back and the defensive duty and is extremely reflexive towards shifting his position according to the need. He is popularized for his outstanding performance despite not playing for one of the biggest clubs- Manchester United. Cole always made sure to portray his own country that made him achieve 107 England caps. This places him as the sixth most ever player being capped! Out of the 3 Premier League titles that he won, 2 were from Arsenal and the latter from Chelsea. In total, he earned 7 FA cups – 3 for Arsenal and 4 for Chelsea.
Personal Fact- Parental separation leading to adverse childhood psychological trauma.
Evra’s core qualities as a left-back player include his strength and positioning, well-timed defense, speed, and leadership. In total, he won 5 Premier leagues, which is a core witness to his consistent performance. He was also internationally popularized as he played 81 times for France. Evra did experience a shaky year in the World Cup of 2010. As of now, the world misses his reliability when he decided to retire in 2019. But he’s out there coaching other probable future leaders.
Personal Fact- Evra can fluently speak 5 languages- Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French, and English.
Initially, Robertson was considered to be too timid to pave his way into success but as years passed by, he could even outperform some of his peers. He acts the central part of his entire team as his excellent defensive mechanism helps to bag a terrific win for the team. His remarkable performance gained the limelight when he could achieve 40 Premier Leagues with just 189 appearances. The energetic player was capped 43 times for Scotland.
Personal Fact- Worked at Hampden Park and sold tickets after getting out of Celtic. In the meantime, he prepared himself for football through hardcore training.
Capped for 56 times for Ireland, Irwin can be portrayed as the prime reason behind many critical victories of Manchester United. He has a record-breaking penalty-kick history of a score of seven out of the eight matches played. He has a win rate of about 63% in the Premier League seasons. Irwin was prompt in his actions on the football field, a great defender, and was termed as the dead-ball specialist. These great qualities helped him achieve 2 FA Cups and a League Cup during the 90s. Personal Fact- Was never injured during matches.
Graeme Le Saux
Saux is an acclaimed player of Chelsea. But his journey without that club was also a success as he won the Premier League 95’ in Blackburn. The streak of triumph ever since that day stretched forward which led him to be the PFA Team of the Year. His recurrence in the Chelsea made him earn some headlines as one of the most expensive defenders who was paid £5 million. The legend was capped 36 times for England. He chose to be a columnist and pundit after retiring in 2005.
Personal fact: Participated in the Dancing on Ice competition in 2009.
Nigel is known to be one of Arsenal’s prized and committed players as he relentlessly played for the club for 13 long years. Joining Arsenal from Wimbledon was pivotal in his career. During the 90s, he provided a shielded defense to the club that landed the club winning 3 leagues. He was like a thunderbolt on the football field with a great stamina that helped him achieve 2 FA Cups, Cup Winners Cup 94’ and one League Cup. He chose to be a football pundit after his retirement in 2003.
Personal fact: Nigel made it to the list of most popular Soccer players and is ranked in the elute list of famous players of the UK.
Pearce is infamous for being a ravaging traditional defensive left-back player. Though he wasn’t a part of any major leagues, for 5 times he was included in the PFA Team of the year. Though half of his career was over when the Premier League was established, he still has more than 500 league appearances. He could easily tackle the opponents and was feared due to his mighty strength. His powerful tactics made him represent England for 78 times and also won 2 League Cups.
Personal fact- Served as a part-time electrician during his tenure as a non-league football player.
Sometimes, the adjective “best” may not have to describe something singular. If you are still scratching your head, you may look at this snapshot consisting of some major facts about these players!
Fig: Stats and Major Achievements of the Best Left-Backs in Premier League History
|Ashley Cole||2012 Champions League2013 Europa League385 appearances15 goals148 clean sheets Clubs: Arsenal (1998-2006), Chelsea (2006-2014)|
|Patrice Evra||5 Premier Leagues3 League Cups2008 Champions League278 appearances7 goals98 clean sheetsClubs: Manchester United (2005-2014), West Ham (2017-2018)|
|Andrew Robertson||2019 Champion’s LeagueAppearances: 189Goals: 5Assists: 39Clubs: Hull (2014-2017), Liverpool (2017-)|
|Denis Irwin||7 Premier Leagues1999 Champion’s League123 clean sheetsAppearances: 328Goals: 18Assists: 25Clubs: Manchester United (-2002), Wolves (2003-2004)|
|Graeme Le Saux||Premier League 1995Cup Winners Cup 1998327 appearances12 goals92 clean sheetsClubs: Blackburn (1993-1997), Chelsea (-1993, 1997-2003), Southampton (2003-2005)|
|Nigel Winterburn||352 appearances5 goals119 clean sheetsAssists: 19Clubs: Arsenal (-2000), West Ham (2000-2003)|
|Stuart Pearce||202 appearances20 goals52 clean sheetsAssists: 7Clubs: Nottingham Forest (-1997), Newcastle (1997-1999), West Ham (1999-2001)|
The hard work and dedication of these legends do not deserve a hierarchical comparison as each has their fair share of struggles with one thing in common- being the best left-backs in premier league history.