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Evra: The Defence Will WinThe League For United

Patrice Evra is sure that United will win the league for the fourth season in a row. He's never been one of the most modest of gentlemen but this a bit rash, even from him, no?

'I am sure we will win the league this year,' he said.

'Tell me another team that would have nine defenders injured like that and still only be one point away from the leaders.'

Good point but the leaders have a game in hand at Hull City so we should say we're four points behind.

'We would definitely be well ahead at the top of the table without these problems.'

Not sure about that although we would surely have more points.

Evra believes the Qatar trip was hugely useful.

'It was a chance to make sure everyone understands we must not throw the league away,' said Evra.

'We talked a lot about tactics and what we needed to achieve until the end of the season. It is a chance to write the story.

'A lot of people talk about Manchester United's attack but if you look back at our last three titles, the real strength is the defence.'


That is true - or at least it used to be true. If we can get Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra and Van der Sar fit on a consistent basis we'll have a really good chance - but Ferdinand's back problem is more and more worrying, Van der Sar is 38 and he had two injuries this season so we can't count upon it.

Evra also added that the Champions League semi-final first leg in Barcelona was our best performance as a unit which is going a bit too far I think. We were compact and disciplined that day, getting a well-earned draw which set us up nicely but that season was littered with wonderful performances, like the 4-0 trouncing of Arsenal or the away win at Roma - or I could say that we were disciplined, compact and dangerous on the break against Barcelona at Old Trafford. That was also a better performance that the catenaccio of the Nou Camp.

But hey, let's hope Evra's optimism is infectious because some of the lads look like they can't believe we're gonna do it again. Their shoulders drop way too often after conceding a goal, that lack of fight and self-belief is a real problem which I hope has been addressed in Qatar.




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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday January 15 2010

Time: 4:50PM

Your Comments

Nice toeing of the party line from Patrice, but I suspect thgat most of you are in the same boat as the author, ie you ain't buying it.
fifthcolumnblue
I reckon if we do have our full defence playing at the same time we should have a great chance of winning the league as most of our losses have been a result of conceding a really soft goal and then not being able to score as the opposition decided to go all out defense except for the Fulham game, but its very easy to argue the result would have been different for that game as well had we had a full, or at least half strength, defence.
khoder
Thing is khoder, you've looked OK in defence even without most of your recognised first team defenders, and even they will concede the odd goal too. It's just that aside from Rooney, no-one else is regularly knocking in goals for you, so unless you foresee loads of squeaky-bum type 1-0 wins, then I can't see many reds sharing Evra's optimism.
fifthcolumnblue
I hope we see more of rafael than gary in the future games.He just can't perform any longer on the biggest stage.
Antriksh (abmtd)
Good to see all the strikers score.Keep it up guys.
Antriksh (abmtd)
I see what you're saying fcb, but I'd say that with the defenses we've been forced to put out recently - we've had midfielders in defence, backups in the middle and everybody putting in a huge defensive shift to make sure our makeshift back four was well protected. Hardly the recipe for free flowing attractive football. A solid base, with Rio at the back makes us far better in position. Statistically he is one of the top passers in our team when he plays.
tuscan3000
Berba played really well against Burnley hopefully he puts in a few more performances like that.
khoder
What's the latest on Berbatov's knee? As I understand it he had to be subbed due to "feeling it" against Burnley?
fifthcolumnblue
I reckon berba is playing through the pain because if he has surgery and is out for an extended period - its quite possible his career as a first choice striker at United could be over. A lot of people are already on his back over his price tag, the number of goals he's scored and his percieved lack of effort - if he adds "injury prone" to his list of achievements the vocal dissent of his detractors could become too loud for the club to ignore.
tuscan3000
Evra is spot on! Pundits everywhere predicted us to finish 3rd behind Liverpool and some went as far as 4th without Ronaldo and Tevez. And yet, without these defensive woes, we'd easily be top by now playing with just Rooney as our top man! It's very hard to doubt Fergie even though he does make the odd mistake; that man is a genius!
ForeverUnited
 

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