Head to head: John O’Shea (Man Utd) v Carles Puyol (Barcelona)

Ollie Irish

27th, May 2009


Battle of the right-backs
John O’Shea (Man Utd)
The much maligned Irishman will never win a place in United’s Hall of Fame, but Alex Ferguson trusts him, and that vote of confidence means a lot to a player. I’m sure it’s no accident that Fergie endorsed O’Shea’s place in the starting line-up before that of any other player – Barcelona must see O’Shea as a possible weak point in United’s defence, so it makes sense for United’s gaffer to boost his player’s confidence.
Anyway, O’Shea is greatly improved this season and I don’t expect Thierry Henry – who is a shadow of his Arsenal self – to trouble him much. However, if Lionel Messi switches to the left flank, then O’Shea, who isn’t the quickest on the turn, might struggle.
Mark: 7/10

Carles Puyol (Barcelona)
Most experts guess that Barca’s wild man will start tonight at right-back, thanks to the absence of Dani Alves (suspended), the club’s first-choice RB. I imagine Fergie will be rubbing his hands at the thought of matching Wayne Rooney (who will surely start on the left flank, where has been superb in recent games) against the erratic Puyol – there’s a very good chance that Barca’s club captain, who likes to rough up opponents, will pick up an early yellow card (or worse).
Puyol was great at Euro 2008, but I have never rated him as world-class. He’s like a Catalan John Terry, which means he’ll always give 100% but is prone to errors.
Mark: 7/10
Verdict: O’Shea is a more composed player than Puyol, and at 28 he’s in the form of his life. And because Puyol will be playing in an unfavoured position, my nod goes to the Irishman. But who do you choose? Vote below:

Edwin van der Sar v Victor Valdes

Posted in Champions League, La Liga, Man Utd

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  1. GEEEE says:

    Abidal is Barca’s first choice LEFT back not right back

  2. Ollie @ Pies says:

    Changed, thanks for the spot.

  3. Hootie says:

    Puyol doesn’t get the respect he deserves in England. His hair may be erratic, but his play is solid and he’s everything a captain should be. He’s twice the player O’Shea could ever be, even playing out of position down the right.

  4. Eric says:

    BOLLOX! Hootie you dont have a clue! O Shea has been one of Uniteds top performers 2nd half of the season! Puyol, he cant even get into the team when everyones fit!

  5. Diego says:

    puyol is one of the best defenders in the world and o shea is a decent squad player. everbody except some blind manchester united fans.

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