Alan Shearer and Micah Richards pick Premier League’s top 10 full-backs

BBC Sport pundits Alan Shearer and Micah Richards included players from Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool while they both agreed on the best Premier League full-back

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As Jamie Carragher once remarked, no one wants to grow up and be a Gary Neville.

But the full-back has become an integral part of title-winning sides in the Premier League over the years.

Speaking on the Match of the Day Top 10 podcast, Alan Shearer and Micah Richards have thrashed out their list of top 10 full-backs in the Premier League era.

Over the years, there have been some top players flying down the flanks while also completing their defensive duties.

But there have been some big omissions in their list, including Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Manchester City star Pablo Zabaleta and Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn.

Cezar Azpilicueta was snubbed from the top 10 list



There was a collection of players of today and of old – though Richards managed to sneak on to both lists in at 10th.

And there was unified agreement over the top full-back in Ashley Cole after a fantastic career with Arsenal and Chelsea.

The former England international won three Premier League titles, the Champions League, the League Cup and a record seven FA Cups.

But in between, there were some big arguments – particularly over Denis Irwin who made it up to second in Shearer’s list but was placed at No. 7 in Richards’.

Shearer said: “He was Mr Reliable, hardly ever missed games and scored goals.

“The £600,000 Manchester United paid for him from Oldham, talk about value for money.

Micah Richards has named himself in the top 10


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“He paid that back and a few million more. He was always the quiet one in that Manchester United team, but he was like the silent assassin.”

Trent Alexander-Arnold only has 135 appearances in the Premier League but was named third in both lists.

Kyle Walker, Stuart Pearce and Andy Robertson also made it into both of their top 10s while Gary Lineker sat in between to mediate.

Speaking about Cole, Shearer said: “This, for me, was my easiest topic to pick number one.

“Ashley Cole stands out on here more than anyone else for being a defender. He was the best at that.

“Very rarely anyone got past him, you couldn’t rough him up because he was hard as nails. He was nasty, horrible at times. But one versus one, he was magnificent.”

Richards added: “If I had one criticism it is offensively. He could have had bigger numbers of goals and assists. But that is just the final piece.

“He was the best full-back we had during my time with England.”

Ashley Cole was named as the best full-back ever in the Premier League

Richards’ list

  1. Ashley Cole
  2. Gary Neville
  3. Trent Alexander-Arnold
  4. Patrice Evra
  5. Kyle Walker
  6. Andy Robertson
  7. Dennis Irwin
  8. Stuart Peace
  9. Lee Dixon
  10. Micah Richards

Shearer’s list

  1. Ashley Cole
  2. Dennis Irwin
  3. Trent Alexander-Arnold
  4. Andy Robertson
  5. Gary Neville
  6. Kyle Walker
  7. Stuart Pearce
  8. Lee Dixon
  9. Patrice Evra
  10. Micah Richards

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