Irwin vs Evra

Who was our best left back in the Premier League era?


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Charlie Foley

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Who was our best left back in the premier league era? Mods could you add a poll maybe?
 

Stobzilla

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There is an argument that Irwin is both our best left AND right back in the Premier League era. I am going with him. Even as much as I love Evra those last couple of years where he developed a habit of jogging back while being caught up the pitch is still too clear in the memory.
 

Skills

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There is an argument that Irwin is both our best left AND right back in the Premier League era. I am going with him. Even as much as I love Evra those last couple of years where he developed a habit of jogging back while being caught up the pitch is still too clear in the memory.
We did feck him over a bit in those last couple of years, with no adequate back up and no real rest.
 

Stobzilla

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We did feck him over a bit in those last couple of years, with no adequate back up and no real rest.
You aren't wrong, but still. If you know you don't have it in your tank, don't get caught that far up the pitch. It happened from like 2010 until 2014 and I dunno, I just can't shake it out of my system :lol: the mad bastard.
 

RedRonaldo

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Evra.
I know Irwin was Mr. Consistent, can strike good freekick, and solid defensively. But Evra was a much better attacking full back, a good tackler and great link up with Ronaldo at that time.
 

Bondi77

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Another one of these, Geez!
They were both great players that have played for Utd at different times so that is the indisputable truth.
What is next
Stam or Rio?
Nani or Kanchelskis?
 

norm87cro

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Personally I think that is the toughest match up when comparing the 08 and 99 teams. It is just that close.
 
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OnlyTwoDaSilvas

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Irwin was more consistent over a longer period of total domestic dominance. More versatile too.

But I think Evra's peak was better. At his absolute best he was considered to be one of, if not the best in the world in that position. As good as Irwin was, I think he doesn't quite have the international recognition that Evra has.

If neutral sources were to rank the best left backs of the last 30 years, I'd predict Evra would be ranked much higher than Irwin by most, if not all. Perhaps perennially underrated outside of United fans.

Longevity and contribution to the club, its Irwin. Top level as a footballer whilst playing for us, it's Evra. I voted the latter, by a whisker.
 

red4ever 79

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Another one of these, Geez!
They were both great players that have played for Utd at different times so that is the indisputable truth.
What is next
Stam or Rio?
Nani or Kanchelskis?
Lingard or Perriera
 
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Irwin was more consistent over a longer period of total domestic dominance. More versatile too.

But I think Evra's peak was better. At his absolute best he was considered to be one of, if not the best in the world in that position. As good as Irwin was, I think he doesn't quite have the international recognition that Evra has.

If neutral sources were to rank the best left backs of the last 30 years, I'd predict Evra would be ranked much higher than Irwin by most, if not all. Perhaps perennially underrated outside of United fans.

Longevity and contribution to the club, its Irwin. Top level as a footballer whilst playing for us, it's Evra. I voted the latter, by a whisker.
good argument. Evra certainly had a bigger profile, helpers by playing from France rather than ROI.

I think Irwin is one of the most rated, underrated players of all time - I really do think most opposition fans know how good he was.

Loved Evra, and he was a fantastic player for us, but I’d go for Irwin every day of the week. Him and Ashley Cole are the best two left backs in the PL era, and Evra comes in third.
 

SirAF

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Irwin was more consistent over a longer period of total domestic dominance. More versatile too.

But I think Evra's peak was better. At his absolute best he was considered to be one of, if not the best in the world in that position.
As good as Irwin was, I think he doesn't quite have the international recognition that Evra has.

If neutral sources were to rank the best left backs of the last 30 years, I'd predict Evra would be ranked much higher than Irwin by most, if not all. Perhaps perennially underrated outside of United fans.

Longevity and contribution to the club, its Irwin. Top level as a footballer whilst playing for us, it's Evra. I voted the latter, by a whisker.
This is in line with that I’m thinking too.
 

buckooo1978

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a close one but I opt for Irwin

Evra was superb and I love the guy - a great attacking left back though he had the odd mistake - struggled consistently with Aaron Lennon for example

Irwin though was one of the most solid left backs I've seen, 100% reliable and almost guaranteed to give you 7 or 8/10 each game - a fantastic defensive player who was very very very rarely beaten - a good passer, great crosser, great free kicks and penalties

Evra was probably better with movement and link up player and there was certainly a time when you could argue he was was one of the best in the world.
 

Rood

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Evra.
I know Irwin was Mr. Consistent, can strike good freekick, and solid defensively. But Evra was a much better attacking full back, a good tackler and great link up with Ronaldo at that time.
Definitely not 'much better', I don't remember Evra scoring many goals compared to Irwin and not just set pieces either - would like to check the assist/goal stats for each
 

Invictus

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Evra was a great player and a big part of our success over the years but I'll go with Irwin (by a fine but noticeable margin). Mostly because he was a more astute defender in fairly gung ho setups as Fergie was more adventurous back then, played with weaker defensive partners (relative to the consistent excellence of Ferdinand-Vidić), had a better final delivery (one of the best in club history in fact), and boasted a broader range of playmaking qualities on the ball. If Philipp Lahm represented Denmark instead of Germany in an alternate reality, I really think he would have a comparable profile to Irwin as they had a lot of similarities in terms of skill set and personality.

This graphic by @Mrs Smoker is always worth citing as it paints a lucid picture of Irwin's offensive impact (some of them were off set pieces but it's still a notewrothy output overall)...




P.S. Evra also benefited from playing in a slightly diluted era of fullbacks as his direct competition from the mid 2000s was mostly limited to Cole and Abidal...so it was easier to him to rise to prominence, whereas for Irwin you had the likes of Maldini, Carlos, Lizarazu over different stages of the '90s decade — even if United is equalized vs. Milan or Madrid or Bayern for the sake of argument, all of them represented stronger national teams and frequently reached the final stages of major international tournaments like the 1994/1998 World Cups and EURO 2000 and 1997/1999 Copa Américas (which afforded them the chance to build a global profile) — on top of being All-Time great caliber leftbacks on their own merit, of course.
 

Stacks

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Evra was a great player and a big part of our success over the years but I'll go with Irwin (by a fine but noticeable margin). Mostly because he was a more astute defender in fairly gung ho setups as Fergie was more adventurous back then, played with weaker defensive partners (relative to the consistent excellence of Ferdinand-Vidić), had a better final delivery (one of the best in club history in fact), and boasted a broader range of playmaking qualities on the ball. If Philipp Lahm represented Denmark instead of Germany in an alternate reality, I really think he would have a comparable profile to Irwin as they had a lot of similarities in terms of skill set and personality.

This graphic by @Mrs Smoker is always worth citing as it paints a lucid picture of Irwin's offensive impact (some of them were off set pieces but it's still a notewrothy output overall)...




P.S. Evra also benefited from playing in a slightly diluted era of fullbacks as his direct competition from the mid 2000s was mostly limited to Cole and Abidal...so it was easier to him to rise to prominence, whereas for Irwin you had the likes of Maldini, Carlos, Lizarazu over different stages of the '90s decade — even if United is equalized vs. Milan or Madrid or Bayern for the sake of argument, all of them represented stronger national teams and frequently reached the final stages of major international tournaments like the 1994/1998 World Cups and EURO 2000 and 1997/1999 Copa Américas (which afforded them the chance to build a global profile) — on top of being All-Time great caliber leftbacks on their own merit, of course.
Hey mate,

What site did you use to get the stats for retired players from the premier league era?
 

iHicksy

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Evra's peak was much higher than Irwin's for me. He was considered the best or top 2-3 (along with ashley cole etc) left back in the world. I don't remember Irwin ever being in that bracket. Evra was almost as consistent as Irwin except for that last season where it was more of a struggle for Evra to sprint back. But by then we'd played him into the ground. I don't remember giving the guy a break and he played something like an average of 55 games a season over 5 seasons.
 

BenitoSTARR

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Evra is black so people won't vote for him.
Nothing to do with race what a cockwomble.

Evra for me had the better peak from memory although stats wise you don’t see his attacking contribution as much but Irwin was so solid for us for so long I can’t ignore it. So if you’re talking best individual season Evra but Irwin I think had the better time with us overall.
 

SilentWitness

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It depends what you want. Evra was phenomenal for around 3 seasons during that 07/08 double winning side but the last 2/3 years of his United career were full of poor performances and sloppy errors.

I don't think Irwin ever hit the peak that Evra did but was largely super consistent throughout his whole United career and you'd rarely ever see a poor performance by him.
 

Champagne Football

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Ferguson said in 2013 that Irwin is the only player guaranteed to make his all time XI.

I think Irwin was mentally stronger, had more of a warrior spirit than Evra, was more humble in character, and I think he clearly edges it. Evra was definitely world class though.
 

devilish

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Another one of these, Geez!
They were both great players that have played for Utd at different times so that is the indisputable truth.
What is next
Stam or Rio?
Nani or Kanchelskis?
In this case its more like Ronaldo vs Valencia, Giggs vs Martial or Schmeichel vs DDG. Irwin is clearly the better player
 

devilish

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DDG is the better GK though?
Oh no. He's the better shot stopper but that's all. Schmeichel was a better leader, he was more dominant in the box, he was better in air and he was better 1 vs 1
 

Bondi77

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Lingard or Perriera
In this case its more like Ronaldo vs Valencia, Giggs vs Martial or Schmeichel vs DDG. Irwin is clearly the better player
I think that Irwin was the more complete player for us but I thought Evra was brilliant for us as well.
I just do not see the point in comparing because one then has to be labelled the second best and I don't think that is fair on that player.
 

BestRed

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Irwin for me 100%. Evra was top class for us too and a brilliant lad to have around the club. But his last couple of years here drove me up the feckin walls. Kept breaking forward and leaving massive spaces in behind, and then just making half-arsed attempts to get back. All the attacking in the world is great, but the #1 job of a fullback is to defend, something Irwin done consistently throughout his time at the club.
 

harms

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In this case its more like Ronaldo vs Valencia, Giggs vs Martial or Schmeichel vs DDG. Irwin is clearly the better player
Even if the latter statement is true (which is debatable, although I can see why people would say so), it's clearly nowhere close to the pairs that you've mentioned. Both were world-class fullbacks at their peak, Evra was even the best in the world for a couple of seasons between Cole and Marcelo, I guess, (not sure about Irwin, but he had a tougher competition) but neither were quite at the all-time level of the likes of Maldini, Facchetti or Roberto Carlos.
 

Fingeredmouse

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Irwin by a considerable distance. Irwin was better offensively and defensively in virtually every aspect.