Ask any defender and they will tell you that clean sheets win games. The goalscorers may get all the praise but it’s the defenders who set the platform and make winning the 3 points possible. We wanted to recognize theunsung defensive rocks of the Premier League era, so here is our list of the 10 Best Premier League Defensive Partnerships of all time:
10. Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott
Both Kompany and Lescott were integral to City’s rise in the English Premier League and without their consistent contribution at the back in their title winning season; the Blue Moon would have surely not risen.
9. Frank Leboeuf and Marcel Desailly
Desailly is a well-known figure in world football and although Leboeuf isn’t counted in the same breath as his defensive counterpart, the duo gelled extremely well for Chelsea and picked up domestic honours at Stamford Bridge.
8. Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher
Carragher is already rated as one of the finest defenders to have ever plied his trade in the English Premier League and whilst combining with Sami Hyypia at the back, Liverpool looked like a completely different that almost gave Manchester United a run for their money.
7. Tony Adams and Steve Bould
Adams is synonymous with another Arsenal legend, but his partnership with Bould has always been understated despite the honours the two won during Arsene Wenger’s early days in England.
6. Sol Campbell and KoloToure
The Arsenal Invincibles were always known for their brilliant attack. Henry, Pires and Vieira were amongst the finest players in the world during their peak, but at the bedrock of that title winning campaign was Toure and Campbell that kept out every single Premier League that they came across. And it down to their defensive master class that Arsene Wenger eventually lifted the coveted trophy without losing a single game.
5. Tony Adams and Martin Keown
Keown and Adams were one of the most formidable partnerships in not only Arsenal’s history, but the history of the Premier League too. Wenger built his team from the back and the result was Premier League success on a number of occasions.
4. Garry Pallister and Steve Bruce
Sir Alex Ferguson started with these two influential centre-backs and took the Premier League by storm as came out on top in the inaugural season. And considering how important both were for United, it is only befitting that it was England’s forgotten son Steven Bruce that scored the crucial goal, title clinching goal in the end.
3. David Weir and Alan Stubbs
Weir and Stubbs are hardly illustrious names that one can associate with being Premier League winning material. But the fact that the duo were behind relegation candidates Everton’s amazing run to the UEFA Champions League give’s a testament to hard-work and an eye for a bargain that the Blues savoured immensely during that brilliant season.
2. John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho
Chelsea cruised to the title in the 2009/10 season and behind that success was Terry’s leadership and Carvalho’s tough tackling approach to things. And while the quality attack won matches, it was these two that kept out the consistent on-slaught of attacks during the entire season.
1. Rio Ferdinand and NemanjaVidic
Manchester United’s dream would be hard-pressed to find better defenders. With Van Der Sar in goal and these two in front, United went 1311 minutes without conceding a goal. It was a perfect match, Ferdinand had intelligence and Vidic showed power. Hence, nearly every Premier League team struggled to put one past them.
Are these the 10 Best Premier League Defensive Partnerships of all time?
Do you agree with our list? Have we left out a defensive lynchpin like Titus Bramble? Let us know what you think in the comments section below for your chance to win a $50 Premier Sports Memorabilia gift voucher.