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Brady Back-Up For Evra

Sir Alex Ferguson has today claimed that Robbie Brady will be back up for Patrice Evra at left back, amidst rumours that Leighton Baines is joining the club.

“Brady is an outside-left but we believe there’s a possibility he will develop into a left-back,” he said. “It’s an area which we’re paying attention to as Patrice Evra has played an average of 45 games in the last few seasons. So it’s important for Fabio to get experience at QPR because, touch wood, Evra is never injured. The opportunities weren’t there for Fabio and he needed more opportunities. With him away at QPR, we’re a bit short at left-back so that’s why we’re trying Brady there. We also have Tyler Blackett with us. He’s a strong boy, tall and quick and he has time on his side. He is here for the experience.”

Brady is a 20-year-old from Dublin who spent last season out on loan at Hull, playing in over 40 games for the Championship side. He has played for Ireland at U-17, U-19 and currently U-21 level.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. WillieRedNut says:

    Passe – Which is why it’s a smokescreen. ;)

  2. Mikael says:


    I think it’ll prbably be more of an 4-2-3-1 with a lone striker (Rooney) and a midfield two to cover the back but your formation is a very optimistic and attacking one so when we need to kill off teams or against weaker opposition it could maybe work quite nice.

  3. Mikael says:

    Willie: You think we’ll get Baines (or maybe someone else)? And what would you consider being a acceptable price for him? Not counting the add-on since we’re United that is ;o)

  4. WillieRedNut says:

    Also? What was Fergie’s quotes on why Fabio was allowed to go out on loan? Did he actually say, Fabio needs experience? I say that because he’s played in a CL’s semi final and final. Fabio needs games, but I wouldn’t say he’s inexperienced.

  5. Costas says:


    I don’t think Evans with his slow pace pace or Giggs at 39 are ideal choices to deputise for Evra. It might work against a weaker side at Old Trafford, but a quick and tricky winger will cause them even more problems than they would Evra. I really hope it doesn’t come down to either one of those 2 having to play there.

    As for Powell, what is his prefered position? I was just going by what Fergie said about turning him into a CM after playing in a more advanced role with Crewe.

  6. lordrt says:

    thats why they are called wingers… need to provide support on the wings both during attack and when under pressure ;)

    Ya could be your 4-2-3-1 as well, but I prefer more an attacking formation which can defend as well instead of lying too low inviting the opposition to put the pressure instead, as this can sometimes end very badly

  7. Red Tash says:

    Hallo Red army.
    For some reason,whenever the gaffer speaks,i feel upbeat more often than not.I may not always see eye to eye with him or agree with some of his decisions but his time at United is enough prove to me that he knows more about the game than i probably will in my life.
    We are coming to get you city,we are coming to get you.
    I honestly believe that its a season where we’ve only got two choices:We either win the title,or City lose it to us.End of…..

  8. eric keane says:

    I still believe we’ll be buying a left back. Probably LB

  9. lordrt says:

    It could well be a diamond formation as well, with Carrick as CDM and Kagawa CAM with 2 strikers depending on what SAF has in mind… and yet we are still speculating here, could end up with something no one of us even imagined :P

  10. WillieRedNut says:

    Mikael – Everton are trying to squeeze more money out of United. IMO, Baine’s fee should be somewhere between 10 and 14mill. I don’t think the reported 20mill being quoted is true. That’s a media driven story. Last I heard, they wanted 15mill for him. Everton sold Arteta on deadline day last season. If United bide their time, we might be able to get Baines for a reasonable fee. If we really want him, of course. ;)

  11. Red Tash says:

    I dont think we should make Baines a priority considering our frugality in the transfer market.Ideally a midfielder in the mould of Sahin or Strootman would be a breath of fresh air.There has been a gaping hole in midfield for sometime now,and this makes me think that this could be the missing ingredient to propel Fergie to another European title before he finally calls it a day.

  12. Wakey says:


    Yes neither may be ideal but if Fabio is going to make it then he needs to have games. He is in that catch 22 situation where without more games he isn’t ready to replace Evra but while Evra’s there he won’t get those games as he is rarely injured and can play 50+ games a season with ease.

    It’s a gamble as Evra could get a serious injury BUT evidence suggests he won’t do and Evans/Giggs/Brady/Blackett won’t be needed for that many games. If the worst happens then it just means playing Young on the left more than Nani as Young will double up to help

    RE: Powell
    It’s certainly not as high up the pitch as he was playing at Crewe. The problem with SAF’s comment is CM is pretty vague as it can mean any central midfield position from what would be called in Football Manager an AMC all the way down to DMC. So it could be SAF just saying he won’t be played as a Forward. His ideal position though seems to be more akin to a 90′s Scholes, a conventional CM that plays higher up than a modern Scholes and gets forward to join attacks to either provide an option just outside the box or to arrive in the box late and unmarked like Scholes made a habit of

  13. wayne says:

    Assuming Utd don’t have crazy injuries the team does have a surplus of centre halfs,more than likely Jones will end up playing the defensive midfield role.

  14. WillieRedNut says:

    Red Tash – Agree, we could do with another midfielder. We also need cover for Evra. I think we’ll sign a LB, or a CM, but not both.

  15. 911_DEVIL says:

    Let’s just play valencia just behind kagawa
    He’s strong a great passer and can defend instead
    Its has been said that he can play there pretty well…
    Just imagine:
    Rafael – rio – vida – evra
    Nani – valencia – cleverley/young
    Welbeck -Rooney

  16. Red Devil says:


    How are you mate…?

    I sincerely hope you’re right and its just a smokescreen. Because I dont think I can see United paying up 15+ million on Baines in the current financial climate…who is going to be 28 in a couple of months..

    King Eric

    Hello mate….hope Ruth and Tom are doing well. Its been a long time since we talked!
    With your experience of the reserves, do you think Brady is up for it…..?

    You mention he’s a tough angry bastard, but how’s he skills-wise suited to the LB position?
    Pace, ability to deal with tricky opponents, composure….etc? Do you think he’s good enough to handle a champions league game there in case Evra/Evans aren’t available…?

    We’ve sold De Laet who could play there and Fryers has played a cunt by defecting to Tottenham…I’m sure Sir Alex was counting on Fryers to provide cover there this season….

  17. WillieRedNut says:

    Red Devil – Alright pal? Hope you’re doing well too. The Fergie smokescreen is well known around these parts. :) The fee might come down for Baines if we play the waiting game. Or, we could have someone else lined up. You never know with the boss….

  18. King Eric says:

    How many have actually seen this Strootman play to warrant wanting us buying him? He has about 40 career games to his name or summat daft.

  19. King Eric says:

    Red Devil – Hello mate. Good thanks, you? Yes Thomas sound ta pal, crawling now. In answer to your question Brady is a winger not a left back. Great shot on him, pacey, powerful a good lad.

  20. CedarsDevil says:

    King Eric

    Hi pal, loved your description of Brady ‘A tough little bastard though with a right temper on him.’ epic writing

    Red Devil

    Great seeing you here mate

  21. Mikael says:

    911_DEVIL, a player too many in there ey? Are you saying Rooney OR Welbz?

  22. parryheid says:


    Play Valencia behind Kagawa?Yeah great idea let’s fuck our right side.Don’t you think maybe it would be a better idea to get our paws into our cash fund and buy.what we need.

  23. Red Devil says:

    Willie/King Eric

    Thanks for asking mates…I’m doing fine…stressed from work but with the new season and friendlies starting in a days time, all set and looking forward to getting our title back!

    Paints a lovely picture, a young child crawling, learning to take his first steps in life…wish Thomas good health and happiness.


    Hello mate…you’ve been in top form on the blog lately.
    I just got a bit worried with this Brady playing at left back news…so came on to get the views of some of the veterans on here
    As far as I remembered seeing him for the reserves a couple of seasons back, and as confirmed by King Eric above, he is a left winger. I have my doubts whether he could sustain a full season as a deputy left back in the first team.

    Although its not the first time, we’ve converted players to different positions, but they were more thought out and planned moves – Brady was playing left back the entire season last year with Hull and not training at Left back in the reserves preparing for the new role. As willie says, Sir Alex has a track record in throwing the media dogs off the scent with his transfer mind games and I hope to hell we sign someone there especially with Fryers going.

    If Fryers was there, i would have been ok as the lad looked alright last year and I always love to see youth given a run. But Brady for a full year, I’m not so sure…Although I leave it to the Lord from Govan! :) He rarely gets these things wrong.

  24. Red Devil says:

    Brady was playing left “wing” the entire season last year with Hull- sorry for the typo!

  25. Denton Davey says:

    lordrt @12:04: “Kagawa said in an interview he wanted SAF to play him “in the hole”, so this means Rooney will have to move upfront to form the striker pairing, which will look more like a 4-3-1-2″

    Why the continued “fascination” with 4 at the back ? In the recently-completed EuroFootie, Italy’s 3-5-2 was the stage for their best performance.

    UTD have EXACTLY the front-line personnel to make this kind of formation work:

    strong central defenders in CaptainVidic, BigManSmalling, and JonnyEvans;

    two outstanding “wing backs” in NinjaEvra and AV7 (with Rafael as back-up);

    an excellent sweeper in MIchael Carrick;

    terrific “inside forwards” in Nani and KagawaBunga (Ashley Young as back-up); and,

    two strikers from TheWayneBoy and DannyTheLad or Chicharito.

    This “formation” – like all others – highlights the importance of MIchael Carrick: who would back him up ? Rio as sweeper ? or MrJones ?

    Otherwise, a 3-5-2 would get ALL of UTD’s best attacking players on the pitch while having the flexibility to switch quickly to a 5-3-2.

    It makes sense to me but, of course, …… consider the source.

  26. CedarsDevil says:

    Red Devil

    Take it easy at work mate, after all its only a job! Do post more often, always love your insights

  27. Denton Davey says:

    WillieRedNut @ 12:14: ” it’s a smokescreen”

    Must be why I can’t see what SAF is up to !

    Also, regarding the oft-quoted Baines fee: he’s no better than Arteta and what was Arteta sold for ? I seem to recall 10 million – at least that’s what Wikipedia reports.

  28. Red Devil says:


    You’re right mate….its just a job but its a really demanding role.

    Its a strategic financial planning role at one of the largest steelmaking company’s in the world, and would you believe it is affected by the same problems of debt and excessive leverage as United because of a debt-fuelled buy-out.

    With the financial world in a right mess, countries going bust and governments doing crazy stuff and policy announcements everyday, it’s a very volatile and dangerous environment giving sleepless nights to the likes of my kind of jobs the world over.

    Its also why i can appreciate the financial side of what United are going through so much better. Its United and people like you on this blog who are the only source of ‘outlet’ from the pressures of work and family life…

    Thanks for caring mate :)

  29. 911_DEVIL says:

    Amazulu vs manchester united preview:
    The red devils set to give debut to kagawa and blackett in friendly game

    The premier league runners-up start off their pre-season schedule with a trip to durban to face the south african outfit, who finished 7th in the country’s top tier in 2011-12



    Teysie. – van heerden – nyadombo – bukasa

    Zhuwawo – johnson – Mbhele – senamela

    A. Dlamini – G. Dlamini



    Vermijl. – rio ferdy – wootton – brady

    Carrick. – scholes

    Antonio V7. – kagawa. – nick P25


    Manchester united kick-off their south african tour on wednesday night vs amazulu, and sir alex ferguson is likely to field a mixture of youth and first team experience in the friendly clash in durban

    Olympic duty has ruled out goalkeeper david de gea and full back rafael, while centre backs chris smalling nemanja vidic and jonny evans are all still recovering from injury

    Rio ferdinand, paul scholes, antonio valencia and michael carrick are all likely to start, but the red devils could also field young defenders marnick vermijl and scott wootton, while a start should come for robbie brady at left back alongside the debuts shingi kagawa and nick powell

    The hosts will likely field a strong line up with the new premier soccer league kicking-off next month, and may hand a debut to new midfielder signing dulee johnson at the moses mabida stadium.

    This is manchester united’s fourth pre-season tour to south africa, with their last visit coming in 2006 when they took on kaizer chiefs and orlando pirates

    The red devils take on neither side this time around, instead facing ajax cape town in their final game in the continent before heading east to take on didier drogba’s shang

    Manchester united’s 22-man squad for the three game tour contain just 4 regular starter from last season

    The clash take on ‘mandela day’ where people are asked to give 67mnts of their time to a charity or the local community celebration of his 94th birthday.

    Amazulu are managed by swedish coach roger pamgren, who, other than a brief spell in charge of his local club vasalunds IF in stockholm, has spent much of his career in AFRICA.

    The club finished 7th in the premier soccer league last season, and kick-off their new campaign vs kaizer chiefs.

    Amazulu fc was formed in 1932 by durban migrant workers, and were previously known as the ‘ZULU ROYALS’.

    The moses mabida stadium originally had a capacity of 62,760 for its use during the 2010 soccer world cup, but has now been reduced to 54,000.
    And its where our boys will entertain the south africans.
    Can’t wait……….GGMU

    I heard cerdars asking what it meant GGMU?
    It means: go go man utd or glory, glory MANchester UniTeD.

  30. 911_DEVIL says:

    Yeah @mikael there’s a player, too many… :P
    I got carried away there didn’t even notice it, thanks anyways.
    To your question
    I would rather go with rooney, his much more experienced than danny…

    I think this season it will even tougher to predict sir alex’s starting eleven
    Perhaps it could be predictable once we know what system we gonna use during the season long, unless.. We are all lost
    No one seems to know as of where exactly kagawa will be deployed, whether at wing or just behind the main striker.
    Only fergie know man, only him…. :) cheers anyways

  31. 911_DEVIL says:

    No @ parryheld
    We aren’t going to fuck up our right side
    We have nani there, remember, who play to his utmost best at that side of the field, besides
    Tom clev can play there, danny aswell
    If the reshuffles works well we can really concur europe with this guys.
    But me too would prefer a new mid
    But since we seems to be limited in funds, and the who we are linked are rather unavailable or too expensive. what’s the better way??
    Just my view mate.

  32. xol says:

    United4life – Not seen the press conference yet but did the boss say that about Chicho? That pairing was the first thing I thought when I first watched Shinji’s assists and mentioned it on here. Like Mikael says above too – the pace of Hernandez will be more lethal if a quick footed, aware midfielder can supply the through-ball early enough.

  33. parryheid says:

    Why would you want the proven inferior Nani playing Right wing?And against Blacburn Rovers rather than play Valencia midfield he got right back and Rafael got midfield and aright disaster that experiment was Nil points at home.

  34. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Havn’t followed Brady for the last year but he seems to have done well on loan at Hull. 30+ games for the tigers is what we need more of in our loan deals. Played at every junior level for Rep of Ireland and believe he also won the Under21 International POTY from the RoI, so that’s impressive as well.
    But Brady was a terrific player for the reserves as well and has been with us since he was 16. Playing only as a winger but a good size at 5’10″

    United have a history of taking attacking players and molding them into midfield and transition players. Who is to say it won’t work a treat with Robbie.

    Best of luck to him.

  35. NotoriousRedDevil says:

    Not against this at all. In fact this may turn out to be a good idea. Plenty of players have broken through playing out of position and forged great careers at United. Fletcher, Sharpe, Scholes just to name a few. It may not be ideal having a player being played out of position but it gives a youngster a chance to stake his claim on the team.

    It’s what we’ve been craving for and much rather we do this then overpay for a left back who isn’t all that good anyway. Hopefully he impresses on tour.

  36. Fred says:

    Always exciting to see academy products promoted to the first team squad. All the best to Brady and Blackett. Grab that brass ring lads. :-)

  37. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Brady: Evolution of a classic fullback


    Sir Alex: “…..we’re a bit short at left-back so that’s why we’re trying Brady there.”

    Brady just wants a game. Get in there son! :cool:

  38. ClaytonBlackmoresTan says:

    The feckin Doom-mongers on here!?! Really?

    Get a fucking grip boys eh? Honestly- its like you’re talking about fucking Shrewsbury Town- oh no this, he’s not good enough that.

    Yes we need to build but surely from within with some external assistance.

    Have your opinions, I would never begrudge you that- its why we all write on here- but have a bit of faith for fucks sake.

    We need new midfielders- Shinji and Nicky came in, TC back, Ando, maybe, please god, finally- lets not get too stressed at a fuxking decent young tenacious left winger trying his hand at left back, I’m looking forward to seeing him there- plus he boy Tyler is excellent.

    How do hey improve if hey don’t play?

    C’mon you fucking Reds! Let’s ave it eh!!!

  39. StatesideAussie says:

    I don’t see the downside in sending Fabio out on loan. While he has some big match experience, he needs more of the week-to-week stuff. And if we do have an injury crisis in defense, surely players can be recalled from loan?

  40. ashwinred says:

    Rafael can be a back up if evra is injured. Right footed leftback is not a new thing with Van Bronchorst and even Paulo Ferreira doing it with good effect. We have enough cover for RB so we can use rafael.

    My main concern is Midfield. Who do we buy to replace Fletcher? What happens if carrick is injured?

  41. Vilhelm28 says:

    Makes sense since the back’s SAF wants are deep wingers and not pure defenders. Evra was a winger, Fabio was a winger and one can argue Raphael is a winger. Valencia has filled inn well as well at rb.


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