The major concern for Manchester United is at left back and it has nothing to do with the controversial incident, regarding Patrice Evra and him – you know who, but it is to do with Evra’s rapid decline as a left back over the last two years.
It has to do with Evra’s inability to work hard, for the past couple of seasons – since the last World Cup – Evra has played in a more lethargic style. His work ethic has degraded and instead of being a strong player at the back, we are left with a liability who looks disinterested.
He has performed exceptionally well in some games, like Arsenal away from home where he was arguably our best player, but on more occasions this season – he has left us defensively frail, for instance, against QPR, where Jamie Mackie, who is not the best of wide men, tore Evra to shreds.
It does leave us with the most simplest of questions: Why has Sir Alex Ferguson not invested in a left back? Quality, or Manchester United standard, full backs are not that easy to find. Full backs, in general, are very hard to fine, well ones that are going to help a side, both defensively and offensively.
The likes of Jordi Alba have been linked with Manchester United. Alba has not been committal to Valencia in the press conferences he has featured in. At 22-years-old, Alba is one of the most highly rated left backs in the current game. Consistency, a factor which Evra has not mastered efficiently over the past couple of seasons, is ever-present within Alba.
Unai Emery has been partly responsible for Alba’s performances as a left back, as he essentially converted him from a winger to a left back, a transition which has benefited Spain and Valencia. In addition to Manchester United signing a left back, they are also signing a left midfielder, which could potentially help them in any competition they are competing for.
In essence, Evra is the only player in the team with no genuine competition. Fabio da Silva spends most of his times recovering from injuries. Yes, he is talented, but what is the use of all that talent if we cannot witness it on a regular basis. The substantial number of games Evra has played, since his arrival at Manchester United, is one of the main reasons his level has dipped. Complacency has entered.
Maybe, or finally, it is time to bring in a left back. All the off-field drama has not helped, but it should not be used as an excuse for the poor form Evra has beenin for a while now.
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