Manchester United - The Nightmare Returns For Evra
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The Nightmare Returns For Evra

In the 2008 Champions League semi-finals, Lionel Messi spent most of his time running into blind alleys with the ball at his feet, such was the effectiveness of Patrice Evra in forcing him inside. The United left-back simply did not allow Messi to go past him and he did a reasonably good job in Rome as well, even though the other defenders left him with an uphill task...

And Messi is just the biggest name of those who could not really get one over our Patrice who is the best left-back in the world. However, there is one man whom he utterly, miserably fails to contain almost every single time: he is called Aaron Lennon.

I appreciate the talents and the frightening pace of the Spurs man but it's still a mystery for me why our world-class left-back regularly comes off second best against him. Take the Carling Cup final where he was tormented; take the league game at Old Trafford when he was skinned on several occasions, leading to two goals; or the league clash at White Hart Lane in February 2008 when we came within moments of losing. He just could not cope with Lennon on these occasions.

And it's not as Lennon's got a bewildering array of tricks. He usually uses his electric burst of pace to get past his men on the outside, to put a cross in or to get to the byline. He's a traditional winger, not some multi-task goalscoring terminator like Ronaldo. I would understand if a player like John O'Shea failed to cope with this: Big John is not the quickest player around... but Evra is very fast, he turns very quickly, his positioning is usually flawless - what inhibits him when he comes up against Lennon?

I fear we might never know that but with Lennon in electric form ahead of our trip to White Hart Lane tomorrow, something must be done. I don't know if Evra is concerned by Lennon - hopefully not, a relaxed Evra is far better than an anxious one - but it might be worth to start Park instead of Nani, to offer some extra protection on our left. Do I sound like a coward? Maybe - but I don't think that Lennon's psychological advantage should be underestimated. It is something we have to take into account, even though Evra might just play a blinder. Hoping for that.

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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday September 11 2009

Time: 5:04PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
lennon will hav em under his thumb the whole game. watch out!
Report Abuse
11/09/2009 17:14:00

Simple, because Evra is NOT the best LB. A Mr. Ashley Cole and Mr. Philipp Lahm take the honours, I'm afraid. I dont remember Ashley having any problems against Messi OR Lennon...
Report Abuse
11/09/2009 17:27:00

JT - Chelsea have players like Essien, Mikel, Malouda to help combat the threat of Lennon whiles we have Nani, Carrick (not a defensive mid), an aging Scholes (still can't tackle) and Fletcher. I'm quite sure by now you know which LB has it the easiest. But seriously I'm sure Evra has done some special training today to help stave off the Lennon threat.
Report Abuse
11/09/2009 18:47:00

Rooney and Berbatov are the danger men 2moro. They have the potential to be like our old partnership of Keane and Berbatov - Rooneys a similar type of player only much, much better lol
Report Abuse
11/09/2009 19:34:00

Hudders: Yeah, and while their copying our old partnership, lets hope they copy our league position as well with Berbatov on top :)
Report Abuse
11/09/2009 21:52:00

FU: I like what I'm hearing. You are admitting your squad is weak. I agree with you. I cannot remember United looking so weak for the last 15 years. You won't win this year.
Report Abuse
11/09/2009 21:53:00

NorwaYid - Not sure how you read what I said. My point was that, compared to Chelsea's options in the midfield we are very weak. But yes we are weaker than past years but we have started this season better than we did when we were stronger last season and the season before. I wonder what that means. I'm sure if we had Hargeaves, we could've dealt with the Lennon threat in a much easier way!
Report Abuse
12/09/2009 00:49:00

i fear that we have been putting alot of hopes and with that pressure on the shoulders of owen...we think he will save the mess that we know as midfield...but i fear it will be awhile for him to be back to his best and even then i don't know if him alone would cause a dramatic change in the way we play in the middle....tho i still anticipate his return very eagerly
Report Abuse
12/09/2009 02:58:00

Theres only one Arron Lennon!!!!!!! Thats why boys. Dont be so hard on your man evra, Lennon has made alot of LB look very silly and will continue to do so, He is ganna skin Evra today so your fears are right. Good Luck u will need it(PS not even the ref will help u today)
Report Abuse
12/09/2009 08:48:00

Havent seen the game - so tell me - how did the duel between lennon and evra go?
Report Abuse
12/09/2009 19:39:00

Evra won convincingly. Especially in the 2nd half.
Report Abuse
12/09/2009 19:51:00

Most reports seem to suggest he did. Where have all the spurs fans gone?
Report Abuse
13/09/2009 01:09:00

A fantastic performance by the lads,I must admit I was very nervous when I saw giggsy and scholesy starting the game,but we passed this test as well.
Antriksh (abmtd)
Report Abuse
13/09/2009 08:43:00

I was very impressed with andy as well,if he can only perform like this on a consistent basis,then he can surely take scholes' position.I just feel that our ginger prince cannot really last the whole 90mins if I be frank and he would be better suited as an impact player but unfortunately andy's form hasn't really picked up and as a result a lot of pressure is dumped on the shoulder's of carrick and scholes.So if andy can take the next step,i.e.,to be consistent and continue to add to his goalscoring touch,then he can solve quite a few problems for us.
Antriksh (abmtd)
Report Abuse
13/09/2009 08:54:00

Anderson finally scored heres to hoping he gets another 5-7 goals this season.
Report Abuse
13/09/2009 18:07:00

Evra owned him bascially all game.
Report Abuse
14/09/2009 02:34:00

Anderson has had 1 good game in what, 74 apearances, and you lot are mooting him as a ready made replacement for that ginger head who cant tackle?
Report Abuse
15/09/2009 16:13:00


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