Back during the fag end of the 20th century, when left backs weren’t as attack minded as they are these days, it was more of a defensive world than we can actually imagine. Full backs such as Denis Irwin and Nigel Winterburn almost acted as wide centre backs, hardly marauding forward like the modern generation left backs and were very astute defensively. The back four used to be more solid and impenetrable than the modern times, and the last line of defense was slightly more tough to break down. Left backs, or even right backs, hardly dared to wander out of position and make inroads up front and stayed deep inside their own half.
And as the footballing world acquires the form of something that is more attack minded than ever before, the left back have become more dynamic and mobile than earlier. With the modern day examples of Marcelo, Jordi Alba and David Alaba, we can very well see how much the position and the game has actually evolved.
And in the Premier League too, there’s a shortage of such left backs. The likes of Aleksandar Kolarov, Luke Shaw, Nacho Monreal and Danny Rose are examples of left backs who are equally adept in both aspects of the game. And this season, there have been certain left backs who have ousted the others. The best of them are-
Nacho Monreal- Arsenal
The Spaniard has ousted former first choice Kieran Gibbs’ at the left back spot quite fittingly and the young Englishman is nothing but a second choice at the Emirates. And Monreal’s performances this season have been key for the Gunners. The 29-year-old has created 13 chances this season, making 46 clearances and completing 35 interceptions. He’s won as many as 60 percent of his average headed duels, which is very good and has a tackling success rate of 50 percent too.