Worst XI: The Centre-Backs

We continue to select a reader’s choice Worst XI here at manunited.uk

After selecting the right back in this team, we take a look at the worst centre-backs to wear the famous Red Shirt. While there have been players like Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Steve Bruce and Bill Foulkes, there have been the likes of William Prunier and Pat McGibbon, among others, to turn out for United.


Prunier joined United from Bordeaux on a trial basis but first team injuries meant he was thrust into the first team before Sir Alex planned to. Though he impressed in his first game, providing an assist and striking the bar, he was disastrous in his second outing. The makeshift defense conceded four goals and Prunier found himself being the scapegoat for the defeat. Despite being offered an extension, Prunier declined and was off to play elsewhere.


McGibbon was at United for five years yet failed to make a single league appearance. He made just a solitary appearance for the team in the League Cup against York City. It was supposed to be a cakewalk but McGibbon got sent off and United suffered a 3-0 reverse. Constantly plagued by injuries, he once missed over five months due to two operations. He was shipped out on loan twice with the latter club – Wigan Athletic choosing to buy him.


Arnie Sidebottom was the prime example of being a ‘Jack of All but Master of None’. Sidebottom played both cricket and football and even won a Test Cap for the former. In football, it was more of the same as the player seemed confused as to what he wanted more. He looked out of his depth when United were promoted in the 1974-75 season. He was voted the fifth worst player to appear in the top flight by the Times.


Broke through into the first team under Louis van Gaal. Became a regular in the matchday squads but was never comfortable on the pitch. Unreliability and errors were common but huge things were expected of the Northern Irishman. But he had a huge regression in his second year. His best performance for United came in the right back position and was even awarded a new contract. But with Mourinho’s arrival, he was shunted out to Sunderland along with Donald Love.


The most controversial nominee among the center backs. Joined United way past his best and produced a series of shocking performances. A World Cup winner, Blanc failed to live up his reputation and was part of the defense that led United to its worst league finish under Ferguson in the Premier League era. Replaced by Rio Ferdinand.