After selecting the center backs last time, we complete our defense with the selection of the left-back in the Reader’s Choice Worst XI poll at www.manunited.uk
With legends like Denis Irwin and Patrice Evra in fresh memory, and Noel Cantwell and Tony Dunne a short trip down memory lane, many world-class left-backs have represented United throughout the club’s glorious history. But United have also had players like Alexander Buttner and Fabio at left back.
Remembered for his flamboyant hairstyles that Paul Pogba would be jealous off, it is easy to say that Alexander Buttner was never destined to become a first choice left-back at Old Trafford, especially when the team had a certain Patrice Evra on its payroll. Recruited to be United’s cover at left-back, he made a sensational start at Old Trafford. He picked up the man-of-the-match award on his debut against Wigan, where he scored and set up another. His goal was a run past two or three defenders before the cool finish. But appearances were rare thereafter and when afforded the chance, he did not show why he should displace Evra from the starting XI. He got a Winners’ medal in 2013 by Special Dispensation as he did not make the cut of 10 appearances. He stayed for another season where he made 15 more appearances before moving to Dynamo Moscow for a cut price.
The other half of the ‘famed’ Neville Brothers replacements, Fabio was not even half as good as his twin Rafael and he struggled to hold down a place. He looked out of position at both right back and left back making just 22 appearances in six seasons. His moment of madness against Swansea in the FA Cup third round still bemuses United fans to this day. Three and a half minutes after coming on, his wild lunge at Jose Canas was met with a straight red card. He spent this season at relegated Middleborough and was at the receiving end of criticism throughout the season.
Signed for a fee of £1.5m back in 1999, Fortune was part of several championship-winning teams despite never really being there. Despite being in the squad for three title-winning teams, Fortune failed to rack up 10 appearances in a single one of them, with nine being closest. He did, however, get a medal that year through Special Dispensation. He was initially acquired to provide cover for Giggs. “Neither here nor there” was Fortune’s case. He never convinced when in the squad and struggled on the pitch. He often occupies the position of left-back in fans’ Worst XIs. He did rack up 75 appearances in seven seasons at United.