Wes Brown’s perfectly delivered cross in the Champions League midweek was met by Ronaldo’s head, and ended up in the back of the net. The Longsight lad has scrubbed up well for us, and whilst the seemingly never ending wait for Neville to return still goes on, it is reassuring to have a player of Brown’s quality and experience to fill in.
I remember seeing him playing back in 1999, with the crowd urging him on down the right flank, as he filled in at right back. He was only twenty then, but already the fans had a strong affinity with him.
The chant “We’ve got Wesley Brown” is not one of the most heard in Old Trafford, but that doesn’t take away from the sentiment. We are lucky to have a player like Wes at the club, not just for his ability, but for the passion he has for the team.
“Love, life, loyalty” reads the tattoo across his ribs, and it is that loyalty to the club he’s played for since being a young lad that earns him the respect of our fans. His career has been blighted with injury, and that has perhaps prevented him from becoming an even better player. Regardless, he’s racked up an average of 29 games a season for us since making his debut in 1998.
He’s underrated outside of Old Trafford, but well loved and appreciated within it. Ferguson once called Wes the best natural defender in England. He can make the last ditch tackle, he has the strength to muscle the opposition off the ball, and he can read the game well.
When talk of contract renewal came about at the end of last season, Brown was quick to confirm he saw his future at United. “I love playing for United and talk of me leaving this summer was rubbish. I have never thought of going anywhere else because it would be a step down.” He talks like a fan and plays like a fan, and it is players like these you need in your team.
Brown has spoken out about his future again today, saying, “I have always tried my best for the team. I have been here nine years now and I would do anything for the club. It is good to know how highly I am valued by the manager. It is certainly hard to imagine ever playing for anyone else. Hopefully that won’t happen. I am happy here and hopefully I can stay here.”
Gary Neville is a proper red, but in terms of ability and passion for the club, you couldn’t ask for a better fill in than Wes Brown. He’ll have a tough game tomorrow, and it is unknown what effect Mourinho’s departure will have on Chelsea. Having players like Brown, Giggs, Scholes and Neville is what sets us apart from the other top four teams, we have the extra fight when it counts and the extra effort when it’s needed. I hope these players show their hunger tomorrow, and give us the result we need to properly re-establish ourselves this season.
So here’s to Wes Brown, and his future at the club.