Date: 2nd June 2011 at 12:30pm
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It may seem like a silly question following his form and consistency in the past few years, but is Patrice Evra on the decline?

It’s fair to say that Evra hasn’t been at his best this season. Following his transfer to United in January 2006, Evra took time to settle into English football. We fought off fierce competition to sign the French full-back and by the following year, he looked at home. Combining shrewd defensive play with pace and skill in attack, Evra was fast becoming one of the best left-backs in Europe.

Having set such incredibly high standards, Evra has looked less assured this season. His performance in the Champions League final was below-par. His sometimes questionable positioning left Vidic and Ferdinand over exposed at times and failing to close down the world’s best player 25 yards from goal will always have dangerous consequences (although Van Der Sar may be disappointed with his part in the goal).

There have been other incidents too. Similarly to the Messi incident, Evra failed to get close to David Luiz as he volleyed in Chelsea’s winner against United at Stamford Bridge in March. Against Birmingham in December, Evra was again caught out too easily in the build-up to their 89th minute equaliser.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Evra. He does an awful lot more good than bad and I believe he will be an important player for us in the coming seasons. I just wonder whether he will be an automatic starter next year, as he has been previously. A below par season (by his standards), coupled with the emergence of Fabio in the first-team may mean Sir Alex has to think more carefully when picking his first 11 next year.

Fabio has started to make the step-up into the first team this season. He has showed he is as comfortable in our back four as his brother, Rafael, and with both full-backs going from strength to strength it seems only a matter of time before they are lining up together in United’s first team. John O’Shea can also do a good job at left-back, although he seems increasingly a last resort.

As I say, I am one of Evra’s biggest fans and I hope he comes back next season better than ever, but perhaps it is conceivable that there is a change on the horizon.


12 responses to “Youngster’s emergence means defender is no longer an Evra-Present”

  1. Jonathan says:

    been saying this to my friends for ages very good player but his positioning is starting to cause us problems.

  2. Terence says:

    It’s hard to say what could beat Barca. I hate to say this, but Evra has increasingly looked like a liability this season. He still is great going forward, but now has many lapses of concentration which have cost United in big games (cue Chelsea’s equalizer in their 2-1 win) and if you look through the season highlights the Frenchman hasn’t been nearly as consistent as compared to the past. The next part might sound even more ridiculous but I say if we get a good offer for him from Madrid or some other club we should sell him and invest in a good left-back for the future (Coentrao springs to mind, although price tag will be an issue).

    Copied from my comment at TheBusbyWay’s facebook . Cheers

  3. Justin Credible says:

    His lack of effort at getting back into position has been the case for 18 months now – hes a player that smacks of complacency. Id rather see a player in there who is hungry and places as much pride in defending as attacking. Mad Pat? Shite Pat at the moment

  4. Taylor says:

    Can’t agree more with you. He looked like lost at a lot of times with his positioning. Probably the World Cup left a huge scar on him mentally.

  5. karlomu says:

    thats true the world cup must of affected him because he has been poor by his stantards .I think the great thing about fabios emergence is that it might give him that pressure that players need he,s had that left back position nailed down for the last 3 or 4 years now ousting o shea because of his attackin threat but fabio has that also so i think if fabio gets in ahead of him a few times then we,ll get the best out of evra

  6. KevinMUFC says:

    Definitely agree with your article and all the comments above.
    Really looks a liability at times this year and I, personally would start Fabio ahead of him:

  7. d says:

    I am a huge fan of Evra so my biases will show through here. I think the twins have shown up in big games this season and I would love to see them get more starts, my only concern with those two is that they seem to get injured every time they get a start.

  8. sbmni says:

    evra’s good with the ball when attacking definitely. yes you are right, i can see him delaying during closing downs and not being much alert in defending. he’s becoming like bale perhaps? from a left back to a left midfielder?

  9. fakrul chowdhury says:

    man united should have sold evra last year…. no one going to buy him now…. unless used in a player plus cash deal…..

  10. pete says:

    We can’t sell Evra as he’s one of our senior payers, which at the moment are retiring left, right and centre. Evra is a class act and should come good next season.