Febian Brandy was being touted as an extremely hot prospect at the club but a number of injuries including a broken leg slowed down his development and meant he didn’t quite reach the heights that were expected and this summer he was one of 5 players to be released.
Whilst not as bad as this, Fabio Da Silva has seen his development hindered by injuries himself. Initially it was thought he was the more talented of the twins but Rafael’s ability to stay injury free have seen him excel and progress whilst Fabio hasn’t quite hit the same heights.
Beyond injuries, there is one other massive factor in Fabio’s progression namely Patrice Evra (Rafael has benefited from the fact we don’t have a confirmed #1 right back – it’s time for him to make that position his but that’s a different subject) but at points last season where Evra could have done with a rest Fabio was unavailable himself.
This season, Evra hasn’t quite reached the standards we expect of the best left back in the world. At times he looks worn out but that is to be expected when you have an all action playing style like Evra’s coupled with the fact he was ever present last season and then went to the World Cup.
On Wednesday I was surprised when I saw Fabio’s name on the team sheet (some misconstrued me being surprised with me being dismayed!) but it turned out to be one of the night’s highlights as he marshalled the left side of the pitch. Some may argue that Rangers hardly offered anything but Ibrox is a tough away venue for any young player to visit and he handled himself extremely well.
He showed great work ethic running up ad down the flank as well as put in some great crosses but the thing that I liked the most is the fact he didn’t show any fear of putting himself about as demonstrated when he won the penalty. It was an extremely brave act to go for that ball and may players wouldn’t have but bravery seems to be something both he and his brother have in abundance.
Like Rafael previously Fabio was caught out of position occasionally, but as with Rafael, with more games under his belt he can and will work these things out. He appears to be at the stage Rafael was before he started getting a good run of game which isn’t a terrible thing as he is still pretty advanced for a young full back. Although not left footed he appears to be confident and comfortable enough to use it as well as cutting in to use his right foot.
Fabio is coming on very well and whilst Evra is and will remain out number 1 left back it appears that Fabio is now a fully adequate deputy. I’ve had a peep at his medical records and this may come as a shock but Evra isn’t Superman and he will require a break from time to time, something he hasn’t always been afforded, but with Fabio making strides and looking to get back on track development wise he will definitely have put himself firmly in Sir Alex’s thoughts when Evra does need to sit a game or two out.
What could be better than Kelly Brook in 3d? Kelly Brook in the flesh!