O'Neill: O'Shea And Cuellar To Be Used In The Middle

Carlos Cuellar looks set to be a first choice in the middle of our back line next season.

There's been a fair bit of talk about our defensive situation at the moment. While most have acknowledged that despite the loss of Michael Turner to Norwich City, we're well stocked in that department to cope with most injury crisis' and injury problems.

Today however when speaking to the local press, Martin O'Neill has intimated that his central defensive choice for next season will largely comprise of John O'Shea and recent signing Carlos Cuellar;

Carlos' best position is at centre-back. He has played at right-back for me, more times than either he or I would have wanted, and did it really finely. But Carlos has a number of limitations in that full-back position.

I probably see John O'Shea as a centre-half too. I think he's more comfortable in that position.

When first signed a lot of us expected to see Cuellar at right-back, with O'Shea joining Wes Brown in the middle of the defence, but these comments certainly call for a rethink.

With Cuellar and O'Shea in the middle, the immediate question is - where does that leave Brown? - usually it leaves the former Manchester United defender on the treatment table and little cause for concern. However, Brown's latest injury isn't apparently all that serious, leaving a starting berth in doubt.

Could it mean Brown features at right-back? Despite age and injury, when fit he's far too good to leave out completely. He's played several times as a full-back in his career, but not at any time recently, and rarely for us since his arrival. Not to mention the position is filled by Phil Bardsley, who for all his limitations is more of a natural fit in the position, plus there's the on-going threat of putting Craig Gardner in the role.

It makes for an interesting thought though as to who lines up where in our defence next season, and despite a lack of significant transfer activity we could still be shocked when we see who lines up there against Arsenal in the first game of the season.

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