Tactical evolution key to mitigating United’s weaknesses

Patrice Evra

In the three seasons between 2006 and 2009 Nemanja Vidić and Rio Ferdinand formed possibly the best central defensive partnership football has ever seen. Ferdinand was no push over in the air, enabling United to play deep when necessary. Meanwhile, the pressing game with a high defensive line was no problem either because Vidić had […]

Fabio departure leaves Evra unchallenged

Fabio da Silva

Fábio da Silva’s impending departure on loan to an as yet unnamed destination is likely to remove the last challenge, if there ever genuinely was, to Patrice Evra’s supremacy in the Manchester United left-back slot. This will necessitate that Sir Alex Ferguson dips into the transfer market this summer, both for the good of his […]

Suárez and police fail to ruin Evra’s day

Patrice Evra

The day began with the Greater Manchester Police confiscating copies of Red Issue outside Old Trafford, and ended with Sir Alex Ferguson finally coming out fighting on the issue of racism. In between Patrice Evra wildly celebrated a Manchester United victory in front of the Stretford End, while Luis Suárez and Kenny Dalglish brought further […]

Poll: should Evra shake Luis Suárez’ hand?

Patrice Evra must choose whether to shake Luis Suárez’ hand this weekend after the Football Association insisted that normal matchday protocols would be in place for the Premier League fixture between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime. Suárez returned, against Tottenham Hotspur on Monday, from an eight match ban imposed by […]

Desperately seeking Patrice

Patrice Evra

Back in summer 2010 there was, for a brief period, no more hated man in France than Patrice Evra. Fingered as the ring-leader in the now infamous FIFA World Cup 2010 training ground ‘strike’, the Manchester United left-back quickly descended from persona non grata after France was knocked out of the tournament, to something much […]

Evra stands tall in the cauldron of Liverpool’s hate

Patrice Evra, Anfield

The match did not conclude well for Patrice Evra, with the Manchester United captain allowing Dirk Kuyt to run inside and score Liverpool’s winning goal at the Kop End on Saturday. Indeed, by the end of a tortuous 90 minutes Evra looked mentally and physically shattered; beaten both by his opponents and fatigue. Yet, at […]

Be witty, be loud – just don’t mention Suárez

Sir Alex Ferguson letter

It recalls that classic Fawlty Towers episode. You know the one, where Basil does everything he can to ‘not mention the war’ as a group of German tourists visit his ramshackle hotel. Except, of course, the bit about not mentioning the war. Sir Alex Ferguson appears to have heeded that particular, if farcical, lesson this […]

Liverpool loses dignity, respect and legitimacy

So the arguments are done, the verdict filed and the report offered: all 115 pages of it. And the ban – eventually – accepted by Luis Suárez and Liverpool for the Uruguay international’s racially motivated abuse of Patrice Evra on 13 October. Except they haven’t. Not really, with club and player still protesting innocence, defaming the […]

Suarez becomes Liverpool’s modern martyr

The reaction from Merseyside was predictable, even if the strength of Liverpool FC’s statement was shocking. “Twas always the way on Merseyside,” as one journalist surmised when, minutes after the Football Association handed down an eight game ban to striker Luis Suarez, pending appeal, for using abusive and racist language, the club lashed out at […]

Blatter enters, and then fuels, race debate

Sepp Blatter, FIFA a senile deluded old fool

Race, it seems, is top of the editorial agenda after (insert obligatory ‘alleged’ here) incidents involving Luis Suarez and John Terry in the past month. Each is seemingly a sad indictment of the English game, where racism it appears, still thrives. Suarez, claims Patrice Evra, called the defender a “n*gger” at “least ten times” during Manchester United’s visit to Anfield in September. Meanwhile, […]