Date: 13th March 2011 at 12:15pm
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Will United's defence inspire us to silverware this seasonA famous adage states that offense wins games, but defence wins championships. On Saturday, it was definitely a case of defence winning us a very important game on Saturday and the latter part of that saying could still be realised by the end of the season.

I am fairly sure I was not the only person counting on fingers the number of defenders in the Utd line-up as team news was being read out on the stadium tannoy. I ended up with 5 full-backs and 2 central defenders!

It’s just incredible how players like O’Shea, Brown and even Gibson who get slammed so often by the fans of their own team keep turning up for us when we most need them. They don’t score last-gasp winners or make defence splitting passes, but when the squad is stretched, they slot in effortlessly (albeit not majestically, we don’t need them to tear defences apart) and deliver. They still get abuse week in week out with fans demanding we sign super-stars (who will be too happy to sit on the bench and play in 10 different positions on the pitch…) to replace them.

Given how fluid and versatile our line-ups have been this season, I almost came to the conclusion that these so-called fringe players could be the main ingredients to league success this year!

But if we had to pick our most important player at the moment, most United fans would go for exciting players like Nani who has been fantastic or club top scorer Berbatov. Rooney and Giggs might be in with a shout. One player who might be, in my book, unfairly sidelined would be Vidic.

Against Arsenal on Saturday, he was again a rock in our defence. If Berbatov has scored 19 league goals this season and Nani has created 15 and scored 9, Vidic has probably stopped a handful in every single game! Moreover, being club captain seems to have made him more confident on the pitch and that has improved his game further. Another player who will almost definitely be ignored is Edwin Van Der Sar. Forget about our versatile players, Vidic, Valencia’s impressive return or the Da Silva twins, for me, the only way we managed to beat Arsenal on Saturday was by having the world’s best goalkeeper between the posts.

At 40, he still oozes class. Utd have benefited enormously from the mega-confidence on the ball, awesome distribution skills, sharp focus and, above all, the magnificent saves of the Dutchman. This is not new news, VDS has always been amazing for us. And we often fail to appreciate how instrumental he is to Man Utd. I would even go as far as saying that Vidic and Van Der Sar are probably much more important to Man Utd than Rooney or even Giggs is!

So, on the basis of a tremendous victory against Arsenal, I find myself hard to look beyond our defence (and our world-class goalkeeper) as our main driving force between now and May as we push on for the league title No.19.

N.B: No talk of the dreaded T-word please (I mean treble). Arsenal were going for the quadruple 2 weeks ago and look what happened! I think the overwhelming priority is the league this season.


5 responses to “The driving force behind our silverware hunt”

  1. james holden says:

    Completely agree with you on vidic and vds. Vidic has been our best player for the last two season. VDS is utter class and will be sadly missed at the end of the season. I also agree and have said before our main strength at the moment has been our depth. Now I don’t believe that we need an overhaul as some have mentioned but we do need areas requiring quality. We need a goalkeeper no question. Neuer look the most likely at the moment and he has a schmeichel quality about him. If rumours are to be believed rodwell would be an excellent signing. A class creative midfielder would be needed to make our squad even better. I hope those young boys such as king, pogba, tuncliffe get chances or loaned out to get experience. We need to start bring through class youngsters like we use to.

  2. bob says:

    Lets not get carried away here,granted yesterdays performance was a step in the right direction ,however this time last week we were rocking both performance and result wise.It is obvious that the squad isnt strong enough,certainly not as good as the manager thinks it is,and major spending needed to compete in the top flight in future seasons.No one can doubt the major influence of VDS on yesterdays result, so far he is still retiring and it is up to our so called owners to give the manager funds to purchase a top class replacement, that, as we have seen in the past remains a problem.

  3. Sir Ryan Giggs says:

    Spot on. Vida is a fuckin rock, takes no prisoners and gives a 100% every time.
    As for VDS, how the hell are we gonna replace a Legend like him?? I hope he signs on for one more year coz he still has a minimum of 2 good years left in him.

  4. cm6 says:

    Should also mention Smalling. He plays so well when paired with Vidic. 🙂

    Yes, the defence has been the key to United’s success so far. However, let’s not forget offense.
    The first goal. Oh boy, what a counter-attack! Reminds me of the days of Ronaldo!
    Rooney, the Twins & Hernandez – what an effing combo! (Valencia as well!)
    More of the same please!

  5. Yosh says:

    Brown was terrible. Everything he did right was the very least he could do, considering his glittering past.