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Withdean's Greatest XI Vote - Right Back

With the end in sight for Brighton and Hove Albion's time at Withdean Stadium, we've decided to put together a poll for the Greatest XI to pull on the stripes during our 12 year stay - with this weeks vote being for the right back slot.

Right back is supposed to be a defensive position, but since 1999 it has proven to be anything but that for the Albion.

Current incumbent Inigo Calderon is only the latest in a long line of full backs who have offered just as much at the back as they do going forward.

Paul Watson was the main architect for many of Bobby Zamora's goals with his set piece delivery, and even came within one goal of netting ten in 2000-2001.

Adam Virgo's surges forward were rewarded of course with that Swindon goal, and Paul Reid and Gary Hart were naturally midfield players who found themselves filling in.

It's been a position that, given how many players we have got through at Withdean, has had very few men play there such has been there consistency down the years - but who was the best for you?

Please remember this is a vote for the player you thought to be the BEST Albion right back - not your favourite!

Paul Watson 1999-2005, 197 appearances, 15 goals
Watson arrived from Brentford in the summer of 1999 and he did not relinquish his right back spot for another five years until injuries kicked in. He was as dependable a full back as you could have and arguably the best set piece taker seen at Withdean. Not only would he score with free-kicks, but the number of assists that his quick routine with Bobby Zamora would produce for the striker was remarkable. Watson completed over 100 games back-to-back and in 2000-2001 his ever present record enabled him to come within one goal of netting ten in a season. His professional career came to a premature end in 2005 after nearly a year on the treatment table.
Robbie Pethick 2001-2003, 63 appearances, 1 goal
A vastly experienced right back, Pethick arrived from Bristol Rovers on a free transfer in the summer of 2001. Although he never really managed to remove Paul Watson from the team, Pethick did end up making a respectable 63 appearances over the course of just over two years at the club. A solid player who would very rarely get beaten, his versatility was often his downfall as he found himself featuring at right back, right midfield, centre back and even central midfield, plugging holes left by other individuals. His best form arguably came at the start of the 2002-03 season, albeit in a team that was on a run of twelve league defeats in a row.
Adam Virgo 1999-2005, 2008-2010, 134 appearances, 13 goals
The first of three entries into the polls for Virgo is the position where he established himself as a first team regular under Mark McGhee. With Paul Watson suffering along term injury, Virgo was thrust into the side at right back and didn't let anybody down. He held the position until the end of the season, defying his appearance as a big, bulky centre back with bursting runs down the wings that ultimately culminated in his 120th minute equaliser against Swindon in the play-off semi finals. Part of the defence that kept seven clean sheets in eight games at the end of 2003-04 that had a huge bearing on the Albion's success in gaining promotion.
Paul Reid 2004-2008, 94 appearances, 5 goals
Paul Reid arrived as a central midfielder just before deadline day in 2004 to help with the Seagulls play-off push, but it was the next season as a right back that he really made a name for himself. Moving into the position after Adam Virgo's conversion to centre forward, Reid was a regular as either a full back or a wing back as the Seagulls survived in the Championship and in 2005-06, his versatility saw Mark McGhee use him at left back on occasions. A serious knee injury in 2006 kept him out of the game for over a year, and he never recovered the form that made him a formidable member of the Albion's defence, with Dean Wilkins releasing him in 2008.
Andy Whing 2006-2011, 91 appearances
Whing originally arrived on-loan from Coventry in 2006 to cover for the injured Paul Reid and ended up impressing so much that the Sky Blues recalled him in December of that year. Dean Wilkins got his man though when he joined on a free transfer in the summer of 2007, and Whing was an ever present from then, winning player of the season in Albion's great escape under Russell Slade for his never-say-die attitude and looking at times like the only player in that team who gave a toss. Unfortunately, his days were numbered though when Gus Poyet arrived with his new style of football with which Whing was distinctly uncomfortable and he left in January 2011.
Inigo Calderon 2010-, 47 appearances, 5 goals
One of Gus Poyet's first moves in the transfer market was the free signing of the Spaniard and it instantly proved to be a shrewd move. Calderon's cavalier style of defending fitted right in with the way that Poyet wanted his men to play as he roamed forward from right back with his long hair flowing in a Jesus-like manner. A capable defender as well as offering an attacking threat, his influence was such that after just six months at the club he was appointed vice captain. A regular scorer when he finds himself in the opposition half, rumours were abound that Celtic were looking to make a bid for him in Janaury.

 

The poll closes at 3.30pm on Tuesday 22nd March 2011. Let us know who you are voting for and why

 

 

 


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