Five full back pairs for Everton’s Coleman and Baines to emulate
With Everton, 16/1 to win the FA Cup this term, enjoying success utilising two of the best full backs in the league, Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman who are key to the way they play, Coral take a look at other teams who have also had effective full backs.
The Red Devils dominated sides using traditional width, though fundamental to their campaigns were Gary Neville and Patrice Evra when they were both in their pomp. Energetic, tenacious in the tackle and fantastic crossers of the ball, they were a useful string to the team’s bow and offered United another dimension going forward.
Invincibles Lauren and Ashley Cole epitomised the Gunners’ attacking style in the season when Arsene Wenger’s team went unbeaten in the Premier League’s 2003/04 campaign. Arsenal’s ability to keep hold of the ball, and the two full backs’ willingness to exploit space proved to be a vital weapon in their armoury. Added to this was the understanding they had with their wingers, Freddie Ljungberg and Robert Pires which was vital.
Diego Simeone’s La Liga-winning side, which also reached the Champions League final last season, had two of the most effective full backs in Europe. Filipe Luis and Juanfran were both, surprisingly, overlooked for World Cup squads Brazil and Spain respectively, despite a sterling campaign. Their understanding with lone striker Diego Costa was one of the strengths to Atleti’s style of play.
Who can forget that brilliant Samba Boys team that won the 2002 World Cup with Roberto Carlos and Cafu at full back? One with an eye for the spectacular and a lethal left foot to boot, and the other who could run forever with calves like cannonballs. This duo helped to pin back opposition wingers with their relentless attacking ability, and could also get back to defend in a matter of seconds.
No one expected the Azzurri to win the 2006 World Cup, though a combination of desire, guts and hard work got them over the line. Fundamental were full backs Fabio Grosso and Gianluca Zambrotta, who were not quite at the level of Carlos and Cafu, though provided a great case for comparison.
So, with Everton’s future potentially built on the performance of Coleman and Baines, they have some fantastic role models to follow, with the Toffees 2/1 for a top six finish in the Premier League this term.