Who are the top five Premier League CBs?

Colombian Mancunian

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Alderweilder.
VVD.
Verthongen.
Bailly.
Azpilocueta.

Honorable mention: Davinson Sanchez.

Spurs seems to develop great CBs.

Really people, Maguire? He is average at best. I think some people here overrate him due to being English.
 

NoPace

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I think Rio's last couple of seasons screwed up people's memories of him. His distribution did become pretty poor and I remember regular complaints of him hoofing the ball, but when he came through and in his prime, he was excellent with the ball.

He started his career as an attacking midfielder ffs, there's no way he was poor on the ball.
Yeah. Also I would say he was composed on the ball but didn't create a ton with passing or dribbling. Varane isn't a terrible comparison, as Ramos is the more ambitious passer. Basically there's your brilliant passing CBs who hit long passes accurately and split the lines over and over (Hummels and Bonucci come to mind), good long passers who aren't special splitting the lines (Boateng, Van Dijk, Maguire), composed but unambitious on the ball types (Rio, Godin (though he's getting a tad more ambitious on the ball as he ages, and it's working) and then the guys who outright struggle on it like Smalling.
 

B20

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Ball playing centrebacks is not that modern. I remember discussions that you need them to win titles from when I was a kid inin the 80s too. The centrality of the libero in former times certainly backs that up. Even in England, guys like Alan Hansen would still stand out today.

It's less the technical demands that stand out to me about modern defending and more the requirements of holding a high line, defending aggressively and proactively with loads of space behind you and often no one else covering that space, since modern midfields tend to press up and early more, to snuff out attacks early and recover possession higher up the pitch.

Ferdinand would have been fine in the modern game. He was used to not having all that much protection from midfield anyway and was an outstanding defender even when isolated and attackers running at him. Bobby Moore might have found it more difficult. And even so, it's far from all teams that line up in a "modern" way. Mourinho for example, which is why he still got mileages out of an ageing Terry (who even at his peak needed Carvalho to mind the space behind him when they pushed up) whilst AVB high line left him horridly exposed.
 

Beagle

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Anyone else think that Bailly is a little too rash and happy to tackle at times? Apart from that he can be one of the best CB in the league when fit.
 

Rossa

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What I don't understand is how there are hardly any mentions of our own CBs here. Only City conceded less goals than we did last season; people moaned about our midfield and our ability to keep possession, so ultimately our defense had to cope with more than City or Liverpool, for instance. Furthermore, people complain about our terrible fullbacks and how they are converted wingers and not able to keep their position or defend well (most agree that Valencia is good one on one, but not otherwise). Yes, we have the best goalie in the league, at least in terms of being a shot stopper. However, even with a defensive approach, our defenders simply have to do more work than City's or Liverpool's. When actually called upon to do some, you know, actual defending, Stones has been pretty terrible, and Pool haven't exactly been great either - I think VVD made more mistakes in his limited time for Pool than Smalling did for the entire season playing for United.

What has happened to REDcafe - there is so little support and love for United on here it's pretty ridiculous. I understand that ball playing centre backs is the be all at the moment, as it is for goalies it seems (Ederson would have conceded two for careless passing if not for Özil being shite), but as a pure defender, I would argue Smalling is better than most on the lists you make. Alderweireld and especially Verthongen on the other hand, those are a notch above, imo. Bailly being our best CB is speculation based on his potential, not his actual contribution thus far.
 

Rossa

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Ball playing centrebacks is not that modern. I remember discussions that you need them to win titles from when I was a kid inin the 80s too. The centrality of the libero in former times certainly backs that up. Even in England, guys like Alan Hansen would still stand out today.

It's less the technical demands that stand out to me about modern defending and more the requirements of holding a high line, defending aggressively and proactively with loads of space behind you and often no one else covering that space, since modern midfields tend to press up and early more, to snuff out attacks early and recover possession higher up the pitch.

Ferdinand would have been fine in the modern game. He was used to not having all that much protection from midfield anyway and was an outstanding defender even when isolated and attackers running at him. Bobby Moore might have found it more difficult. And even so, it's far from all teams that line up in a "modern" way. Mourinho for example, which is why he still got mileages out of an ageing Terry (who even at his peak needed Carvalho to mind the space behind him when they pushed up) whilst AVB high line left him horridly exposed.
I think it depends more on the style of play and the centre back, just as it is with forwards. Ferdinand would be good in any set-up. At his peak, he is the most complete CB I have ever seen. Nobody really outran him, and although he wasn't as dominant in the air as Vidic, he got his scalp on most of the high balls as well. His defending one on one is arguably the best I have seen from any CB as was his reading of the game. His technique and moving the ball out from defense were also of the highest quality. He would excel at City, for instance. Vidic, on the other hand, I think would be immense for United, but he would struggle more for City and Liverpool because of his one on one defending when dragged wide and his lack of speed.
 

Coxy

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What I don't understand is how there are hardly any mentions of our own CBs here. Only City conceded less goals than we did last season; people moaned about our midfield and our ability to keep possession, so ultimately our defense had to cope with more than City or Liverpool, for instance. Furthermore, people complain about our terrible fullbacks and how they are converted wingers and not able to keep their position or defend well (most agree that Valencia is good one on one, but not otherwise). Yes, we have the best goalie in the league, at least in terms of being a shot stopper. However, even with a defensive approach, our defenders simply have to do more work than City's or Liverpool's. When actually called upon to do some, you know, actual defending, Stones has been pretty terrible, and Pool haven't exactly been great either - I think VVD made more mistakes in his limited time for Pool than Smalling did for the entire season playing for United.

What has happened to REDcafe - there is so little support and love for United on here it's pretty ridiculous. I understand that ball playing centre backs is the be all at the moment, as it is for goalies it seems (Ederson would have conceded two for careless passing if not for Özil being shite), but as a pure defender, I would argue Smalling is better than most on the lists you make. Alderweireld and especially Verthongen on the other hand, those are a notch above, imo. Bailly being our best CB is speculation based on his potential, not his actual contribution thus far.
Because maybe not everyone is biased?

Alderweireld
VVD.
Vertonghen

For me easily the best. Then it's a mixed bunch underneath - including ours.

The reason we conceded so few goats is because of our setup (the way we play) and the fact we have the best GK in the league. Dave has saved us so many times.

Bailly does indeed have great potential - but for me is already the best we have. I really don't rate Smalling - either does our international manager apparently.
 

Treble

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It's misleading to discuss players without context, e.g. tactics, team-mates, etc. Some playes are great in one system and not very good in another.
 

vadimivich

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United gave up an enormous amount of shots from very good positions compared to the other top 6 teams. The "defending" by the defenders was actually quite poor for the record achieved. De Gea played out of his damn mind and very deservedly gets his reputation for it. If this was a thread about "Top 5 GK in the PL" it would be everyone from every club writing #1 - De Gea, #2-5 some other guys.

Your center halves are kind of shit though. That's pretty obvious to anyone who looks past the most basic of goals against statistics on the table.
 

Treble

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Why did Spurs concede so many goals last season if they had the best CBs?
 

Rossa

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Because maybe not everyone is biased?

Alderweireld
VVD.
Vertonghen

For me easily the best. Then it's a mixed bunch underneath - including ours.

The reason we conceded so few goats is because of our setup (the way we play) and the fact we have the best GK in the league. Dave has saved us so many times.

Bailly does indeed have great potential - but for me is already the best we have. I really don't rate Smalling - either does our international manager apparently.
Verthongen and Alderweireld are the best in the league, imo. VVD has not proved that he is up there. Last season he made several silly mistakes that led to goals, and/or penalties.

Smalling also had to play with a different partner pretty much every other match due to injuries. Just because the national manager doesn't rate him does not necessarily reflect his abilities. Southgate wanted a ball playing defender, and chose Walker instead, who made at least two costly defensive mistakes that I would bet my sisters life on (not my own obviously) that Smalling would not have made. Is Sane not good enough as he was not picked by Löw?

Why is Bailly better, currently? He makes many mistakes; he is rash and not very good in the air. He has the potential to be one of the best in the league, but currently it is potential, not quality.
 

MBSADSED

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Im not sure how Alderweireld is making it in to peoples lists. He cant get in a team that wins feck all and there were no bids for him in the window. Don't get me wrong hes good, but the best....Nah. Also Bailly, give your head a wobble.


VVD
Kompany (Fully Fit)
Vertongan
Luiz
Sanchez
 

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Two different questions if you ask me who's the best CB at the very moment, or over last two-three seasons... but as of now I'd say

VVD
Vertonghen
Laporte (he'll prove that this season)
Azpilcueta
Bailly/Luiz
 

vadimivich

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Why did Spurs concede so many goals last season if they had the best CBs?
Lloris did not have a great season and our 2 fullbacks are both pretty poor defenders (Trippier and Davies). Losing the athleticism of Rose and Walker hurt in the back. Spurs were still 3rd in the league in GA, so not like it was some atrocity defensively either.
 

vadimivich

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Im not sure how Alderweireld is making it in to peoples lists.
He was the best center half in the PL for several years, but he's nowhere close to this list now. That knee injury at the end of 2016 knocked him back and he has never fully recovered his form.
 

adexkola

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Lloris did not have a great season and our 2 fullbacks are both pretty poor defenders (Trippier and Davies). Losing the athleticism of Rose and Walker hurt in the back. Spurs were still 3rd in the league in GA, so not like it was some atrocity defensively either.
3rd in the league, yet a significant gap in GA between Tottenham/Liverpool and City/United.

GA doesn't give the full picture of course (chances/shots on goals may provide more context) but it's a valid metric for conversation on the merits of a CB pairing.
 

CechMate1

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Agree with the majority of choices but I feel Rudiger deserves to be in and around that top 5. He was probably our best defender last season and I feel he will only get better. He's absolutely rapid, strong and very good with the ball at his feet. I feel he will become our Koulibaly

Also, I don't see how Maguire is making this list. He's a good CB but has become ridiculously over-hyped due to being English and having a good WC. The prices that were talked about in the Summer were insane

There's been a massive drop in the quality of CBs in the last few years. I feel none of the current ones are close to the level of the likes of Terry, Rio and Vidic. You look at the Chelsea 05-07 team and Utd 07-09 teams which for me are two of the best ever sides in Premier League history and both teams had ridiculously good defences.
 

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Toby and van dijk are only (world) class defenders in PL.
Only one who i also rate is bailly. Other defenders are nothing special.
 

SqualorVictoria

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Lots of mentions for Bailly and not too many City CBs which is logical on a United forum, but I certainly wouldn't swap any of them for him. Great ceiling but still way too inconsistent.
 

Primativ

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3rd in the league, yet a significant gap in GA between Tottenham/Liverpool and City/United.

GA doesn't give the full picture of course (chances/shots on goals may provide more context) but it's a valid metric for conversation on the merits of a CB pairing.
Yet if you were to look at goals conceded over say the past 3 or 4 seasons, Spurs would likely have the best goals against column, certainly for two out of the last three seasons, Spurs had the best defence whilst having Alderweireld and Vertonghen as CBs.

Personally I'd say from watching football matches and not just going off stats, United relied more heavily on De Gea, than Spurs did on Lloris, and when called upon, Lloris wasn't at his best last season. This season, Lloris has started brilliantly.
 

tomaldinho1

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These are the three top level players, who I think would immediately walk into any other clubs starting XI.

Alderweireld
Vertonghen
Van Dijk

As for the rest, there are lots of good CBs: Bailly (yes even after Brighton), Maguire, Kompany (he used to be in the top bracket) etc.
 

adexkola

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Yet if you were to look at goals conceded over say the past 3 or 4 seasons, Spurs would likely have the best goals against column, certainly for two out of the last three seasons, Spurs had the best defence whilst having Alderweireld and Vertonghen as CBs.

Personally I'd say from watching football matches and not just going off stats, United relied more heavily on De Gea, than Spurs did on Lloris, and when called upon, Lloris wasn't at his best last season. This season, Lloris has started brilliantly.
I agree but it's hard to compare against other defenders who weren't starting 2-3 years ago. I'd say Tottenham's pairing have been the most stable in recent years. I imagine City's pairing of Stones and Laporte will be up there in a bit. Others may see more flux.

On the second bolded point, how many matches of both teams did you watch? Watching football is important but that's heavily reliant on your understanding of the game and your exposure to lots and lots of film. Stats aren't the full picture and never will be yet distilling hours and hours of detail into important metrics is where the value lies, and seriously, who on here can claim to have watched all 380 PL games remembering the important details of each one?
 

Klopper76

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Might have to take Bailly out after yesterday. How often does he have a game like that though?
 

sincher

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Amazed at how few people have mentioned Stones.