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Evra Ready

‘Welcome to Hell’ read the memorable banner as United arrived in Istanbul to be greeted by Galtasaray fanatics in 1993. The second leg of a European Cup tie saw Aslanlarsupporters arrive four hours before kick-off within the confines of the infamous Ali Sami Yen stadium, as the intensity soon resembled a war zone. ‘No way out’ they chanted, while another banner unfurled read ‘Manchester United RIP’. A cauldron was a holiday in contrast.

Such an atmosphere is unlikely at Anfield, regardless of the FA Cup’stendency to prompt a mini-revival of hooligans’ heady days. There’ll be no tear gas to greet United as they disembark and head to their dressing rooms, and the Anfield stewards will be under scrutiny to ensure that cups of excrement and urine aren’t tossed on to the visiting supporters in the Anfield Road’s first tier.But like the ardent 2006 atmosphere, it has the potential to be poisonous again.

Chants about Munich, Hillsborough, Heysel and Harold Shipman will possibly be exchanged as both supporters stress that irrespective of the on-pitch gulf, Liverpool-United is still English football’s number one rivalry. City can be as raucous as they like, but the East Lancs animosity is rooted as far back as the 19th century. That number again; 19…

It is also eerily similar to six years ago whereby a United player is at the centre of attention. Whereas Gary Neville celebrated a last-minute winner by clutching his badge in front of Liverpool supporters, Patrice Evra was racially abused by Luis Suárez. He will undoubtedly be booed, jeered and heckled by Scousers, ostensibly because he spoke about the Uruguayan’s sister’s genitals.

Evra’s display against Arsenal on Sunday was a throwback to his swashbuckling bravado between 2006 and 2010 for United. Although Wayne Rooney was banging in the goals and taking the plaudits two seasons ago, less impressionable observers identified Evra as United’s best and most consistent performer.

Cantona-lite is an endearing quality in M16 and Evra is many supporters’ favourite player, augmented by him commendingthem for protesting against the loathsome Glazer family. Quotable and eccentric, Potty Paddy’s forlorn form the past 18 months has arguably been distorted by followers’ fondness for him.

No one should doubt whether he has the mettle to withstand the Anfield crowd either. Football grounds can still be nefarious places, but many hardcore supporters have been priced out and/or become disenchanted with the game’s soul-selling exploits. Instead they are populated by so many tourists and bandwagon-jumping Johnny-come-latelys that nowadays, said nefarious environment is as rare as Kenny Dalglish blaming himself.

On his debut at Eastlands six years ago, Evra was substituted at half-time after a torrid 45 minutes, with City 2-0 ahead. That summer, after an inauspicious start, United We Stand’s website responded to rumours that Valencia – nicknamed ‘The Bats’ – would offer a bid for him with the headline ‘Are the Bats blind?’ His resilience, in spite of some ludicrous knee-jerking, was still admirable.

Comments about Arsenal being babies or his brush with a Chelsea groundsman haven’t been forgotten in either north or west London, yet he hasn’t gotten flustered on either patch. Not once has he been sent off since he arrived at Old Trafford, while at Anfield in October, he didn’t react despite proven provocation from Suárez. Instead he kissed the badge in front of the Kop.

Perhaps it is that spiky streak that has affected his performance level. It appears to be no coincidence that since he purportedly engineered the French mutiny at the 2010 World Cup that he suddenly switched from reliable to unreliable. If anything Evra relishes conflict too much, hence his recent regression.

The man of the match showing at the Emirates was a timely fillip in a week when speculation will continue to mount over whether he starts at L4 or not. Of course, he should. Ferguson didn’t withhold Paul Ince from the baying hordes at Upton Park, Cantona at Leeds or – until recently – Rooney at Goodison Park.

Gerard Houllier never started Nick Barmby at Goodison after his transfer across Stanley Park to the red side, and any similar strategy from Ferguson highlights a chink in the armour. Not only in his man-management, but the Reds’ occasionally porous defence which is, ultimately, vastly superior with Evra at left-back rather than Fabio da Silva. Welcome to Hell? It could feasibly be more like Hull.

———
Follow Samuel Luckhurst on Twitter and read the Football Fix blog.


 

349 Comments

  1. smartalex says:

    It’s in my blood – Hello buddy! You’re right, I was elsewhere occupied!

    Thanks for actually reading my comments, and noticing that i wasn’t judging the chant.

    It’s actually a complex issue, and despite the clear feelings on show, I feel that this thread hasn’t even touched on the complexities. Let’s hope it never does. I think that perhaps both sides can see each other’s view, and no progress is likely to be made.

    I’m busy, so never meant to get involved in the thread, that’s why I’ve limited my input to a few posts and a little research on a side topic. Keeps me interested without ensnaring me. Well that’s the idea anyway!

    Big game at Anfield. Sir Alex is planning our win, and his press-gang-shenanigans for tomorrow’s pre-match conference. Big sleeves he has, there must be a trick or two up there.

  2. It's in my blood says:

    WRN

    Mate, i confess, i too eat shaven raven.
    You seem to prefer trimmed bristle.
    Maybe it’s a bit like kosher/halal and not kosher.
    Do those that eat dog, prefer shaven or just trimmed?
    I suppose we better not ask what colour pussy is preferable, if any.
    Nah, lets not go there.

  3. Robbo says:

    Iced Earth

    Rooney and Jones both out injured. Rio stil in doubt. No word on Carrick, so that is a bonus. Nani obviously out as well.

    Good news, Clevs and Young both should be OK for Che$ki.

  4. smartalex says:

    Lodi3000

    You seem to be circling your prey, looking for an opening.

    There is no soft underbelly here.

    Let’s leave it alone, for there’s not much general interest anymore. I don’t think that either of us have much of a valid view yet, so either we address this elsewhere, and adopt a more formal, co-operative research approach; or we move on regardless. Another day perhaps?

  5. Robbo says:

    Maybe

    Lindy

    Raph Smalling Evans Evra

    Valencia Scholes Ando Park

    Berba
    Wellbeck

    or maybe not!

  6. WillieRedNut says:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/fa-league-cups/rooney-doubtful-for-massive-anfield-cup-tie-6295317.html?

    Rooney doubtful. Nani out too, but the club don’t think he’s broken his toe.

    @It’s in my blood.

    This convo is seedier than a big juicy water melon! Too right we save it……and keep it for later lol.

  7. It's in my blood says:

    WRN

    Seedier than a big juicy water melon, haha!
    You’re right, another time.
    Zebedee has spoken, goodnight all.

  8. iced earth says:

    rooney is doubtfull,nani out for a month,rio no date return,even a shit team like pool can surprise us with the amount of injuries we have,i never heard before that a team have 11 to 12 of there senior player injured,for sure sir alex will not bring new faces,how we can solve problem like that,hope for victory this week,i think the fa cup is ours this year,maybe the double,if the curse of injuries is over,it will be amazing to win the double

  9. iced earth says:

    robbo
    agree with you the most probable team,exept lindy,i think sir alex,will play de gea in the cup,last time david did well at anfiled

  10. billabongbob says:

    I think that some of you on here really need to educate your self on what the true defenition of being racist really is.

  11. King Eric says:

    Well done reserves. Beating teams for fun. Some serious talent in that side. No coincidence most of them were in youth cup side. Keane brothers are quality but its so good seeing Petrucci back to his best after his torrid injuries. A fucking class act. That lad is a player.

  12. smartalex says:

    Hey King Eric! Petrucci played very well. His interview was well handled as well.
    He seems very mature.

    Here is his goal from last night – 30 second video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a8SqZZYn7U

  13. King Eric says:

    Fuck me. I think we have exhausted the Park debate. Yawn.

    Mike. John Digweed. Saw him and a lad called Ian Ossia many a time. Top drawer.

    Ravel in squad for anfield. Ha. Course he is. Sick of hearing about him. I loved Ravel but imo looks like his days are numbered. Aint played a fucking game since about October. Would do well to take a leaf out of Davide Petrucci s book who has worked his arse off to recover from awful injuries. Fucking wake up Ravel.

    Richards tweeting. “Why do people dislike city“ erm good question Micah. Shit fans. Shit club. Council house ground. Cringeworthy chants. Arrogant. Nasri. Inflatable bananas. Blue curly wigs. Div paul calf lookalike fans. Think they are a big club. Obsessed with United. Poznan. Suave cunt Manager. Fucking oil money. Half empty ground. One trophy in thirty five year yet think they are Barca. That enough reasons Micah lad? Oh and exceedingly BITTER.

  14. YorYor says:

    Thanks smartalex, that’s one cracker of a goal!

  15. King Eric says:

    Smartalex. Hello my friend. Yes great interview. A good lad. Goodnight lads.

  16. YorYor says:

    http://www.youtube.com/v/Lm55UMHa_dE
    Is that Darren Fletcher I see at 0:10? Looks like he keeps himself involved with the Reserves…

  17. Saad says:

    Does anybody know anything about Sunderland’s 20yo striker Ryan Noble?? Is he any good?

  18. RedHound says:

    Morning ROM, here’s an Update on the dribbling striker Youtube sensation United signed as a Nine-Year Old back in 2007.
    http://www.englandfootballblog.com/2011/08/22/rhain-davis-of-manchester-united-an-update/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG47FDenyXw << This was the video that caused all the ruckus.

    This was the initial report in 2007.
    #Manchester United have signed a gifted nine-year-old after his grandfather sent the Premier League champions a DVD showcasing the boy's talents which has become a YouTube sensation.

    Rhain Davis, who was born in England but has lived in Australia since the age of four, was hailed by the press on Thursday as the next Wayne Rooney after the United striker.

    The boy's dribbling and goalscoring prowess for an Under-10 side in Brisbane, Australia, feature in a four-minute YouTube clip, already viewed more than 800,000 times.

    United confirmed the signing but played down the hype around Davis, who has moved back to Cheshire with his father, near the club's training ground.

    "He's a member of our academy and we don't comment on individual members," a United spokesman told Reuters.

    He added that the club sign about 40 players of Davis's age every year and, as is standard, will decide annually whether to renew his contract or release him.

    What was so unusual in Davis's case was that his skills were brought to the attention of United's youth scouts by the DVD submission, which could inspire other hopefuls, the spokesman said.

    "We're bracing ourselves for a whole series of DVDs," he added.

  19. JC says:

    Love RoM, funniest thread convo I’ve read in awhile. Getting up early to watch the match on Sat, it’s on at freakin 6:30am here but I’ll be up with my shirt on to watch us whip the rat munchers.

  20. JC says:

    Also, do morons really throw urine and feces at opposition fans in the EPL still?? I don’t even get that as a Vikings fan at Lambeau Field… which is quite similar to being a United fan at Cesspool.

  21. Giggs12Gerrard0 says:

    Jc

    I was at anfield 2006 and a lad got a cup p shit thrown on him it was vile.

  22. Costas says:

    Just read willie’s article on Rooney possibly missing tomorrow’s game. Not the end of the world imo. It’s a good opportunity to rest him. It’s not like he’s been highly influential in Anfield games…

  23. Lodi3000 says:

    Smartalex

    I never for a moment doubted the density of your underbelly. It was never my intention to prove myself right, in the same moment as proving you wrong. You asked of me a query, and the engagement followed and i would hope you took the same satisfaction out of sharing your view as I did.

    I would caution people to never jump to a conclusion on the tone in which something is wrote. Unfortunately my partner has this tendency through text and it has gotten us into many arguments. However, just because a question is posed, or a statement made in what could be considered confrontational, remember that both sarcasm and good natured humour are sometimes there hidden in plain view.

    Hi ho off to work i go

  24. Lodi3000 says:

    mattbw7- please don’t ever let my wife know you thought i was tnrashing! There’d be hell to pay for me ha

  25. gaz says:

    Can i add to King Erics reasons to dislike Shitty their fucking embarrasing fucking owners with those Queer fucking Scarfs pathetic attempt to look like “fans” Guranteed if you asked them 5 years ago who Manchester City were theyd have looked at you in bemusement! And Eggy head Platt hes also a cunt.

  26. eric the king says:

    Main problem with this article, it claims evra was racially abused, this simply did not happen, angelic luis is the victim, read this article on another site, now while I do think if paddy wants to play then he should, its the scouse comments section to be toggled at the bottom that make the best reading….
    http://thefaithfulmufc.com/2012/01/26/the-evra-bomb-why-pat-should-be-nowhere-near-anfield-this-saturday/

  27. Costas says:

    Another reason for disliking City is their delusion plain and simple. Where it’s their fans getting tattoos of players that will never join them or their moronic chairman adding 3 stars on their shirt just because “other European clubs do it”. Someone forgot to tell him that stars actually symbolize trophies.

  28. gaz says:

    @Costas

    LOL! Googled why do Man Shitty have 3 stars on their shirts the result its “Purely Decorative” LOL! Fucking embarrasing shit it really is hahahha!! Never seen anything more pathetic!!

  29. smartalex says:

    Lodi3000 – hello mate.

    Again I ask you:

    “Let’s leave it alone, for there’s not much general interest anymore. I don’t think that either of us have much of a valid view yet, so either we address this elsewhere, and adopt a more formal, co-operative research approach; or we move on regardless. Another day perhaps?”

    If you must continue, we can meet on another thread. Your desire to prove yourself right is bordering on the ridiculous. Cow meat is not equal to dog meat. If it’s that important to carry on this ludicrous discussion, reply to me on:
    http://therepublikofmancunia.com/rom-reads-169/

    Thanks! Meanwhile, let’s rather talk about United.

  30. Costas says:

    @gaz

    Yeah mate and it gives the shirts a “continental feel”. As far as embarassing stuff in football goes, this tops the list for me. It’s what I’ve always hated about them. They are pretenders. About success they have never achieved and about a fanbase in Manchester that they don’t actually have.

  31. smartalex says:

    Someone mentioned that United could put 19 stars on our shirts, this we have not earned.

    We have only enough League titles to wear 1 star. Should we win our 20th this year, we may put 2 stars on our shirts. Perhaps we will.

  32. Costas says:

    @smartalex

    That’s true and I believe that’s what Juventus or Milan are doing. There are other instances (in basketball for example) where teams add one star for each European cup they’ve won). If we did that, we could actually match City’s success…I mean amount of stars…

  33. smartalex says:

    Costas – we mustn’t get above our station. To even imply that our record matches City’s stupendous achievements is silly. They are a European Superpower!

    Seriously though, we could wear 3 stars on our CL shirts. Can we wear 1 on our Europa shirt?

  34. CedarsDevil says:

    smartalex / Costas

    Hello good friends…..

    Its common knowledge that national teams wear a star on their shirts to resemble the number of times they had won the world cup. I always laugh when England line up v Brazil!

  35. gaz says:

    @costas

    Maybe dumbass Micah decided to put them there for each moral Premier League title hes won?

  36. Lodi3000 says:

    i don’t understand why there’s a need for the stars? Common knowledge amongst football fans is that United are more successful than citeh. Surely if a ‘new’ fan saw the star, wondered what it was for and researched it that’d be proper embarassing for citeh? Oh it means nothing! Ridiculous

  37. King Eric says:

    Costas and gaz – Ha. Nice one lads. The 3 stars is one of the biggest reasons. I forgot that one.

  38. WillieRedNut says:

    Heed smartalex’s advice and leave that discussion for another blog. Big tomorrow, in case it escaped peoples minds….

  39. Paul Parker says:

    FUCK SAKE YOU LOT STILL GOING ON ABOUT DOG MEAT???

    :lol:

  40. Paul Parker says:

    ARF!!!

  41. WillieRedNut says:

    Eggplatt? Get it?

  42. Lodi3000 says:

    nope dog meat was last referenced 3 hours ago. And the well offered advice has been heeded gladly

  43. Paul Parker says:

    It was just a a joke…..

    Why did the Akita chase his own tail? He was trying to make ends meat.

  44. smartalex says:

    Patrice Evra has come a long way from Marsala to Manchester via Monaco
    by Louise Taylor:

    Patrice Evra retains vivid memories of his first day as a professional footballer. He had just joined Marsala, a Sicilian club in Italy’s third division, and was thrilled beyond all measure to dress in a brand new tracksuit and flip-flops before leaving the hotel for training. He recalls his 17-year-old self gazing at the reflection in the bedroom mirror with a sense of unprecedented pride and unconfined joy. “It was like paradise,” he has said. “To this day, it is the best feeling I’ve had in football.”

    The son of a Senegalese diplomat and a Cape Verdean mother, Evra was born in Dakar but moved to Brussels at the age of one when his father was posted to Belgium. Two years later the rapidly expanding family – Evra was one of 25 children – moved to Paris where he would grow up. It should have been a privileged upbringing but two divorces, three marriages and the arrival of a new baby virtually every year ensured Evra Sr struggled to provide for his offspring.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2012/jan/27/patrice-evra-manchester-united-liverpool

  45. MarkoWire says:

    It clear that the people going on about the chant AINT United fans are just looking to stirr trouble. The fact is as any HUMAN knows it ain’t offensive or in any way racist. This is a very popular chant. And if there was any problems with it. It would have been stamped out. Park loves United and the fans. All players know the songs the fans sing and I’m sure Park knows this one.

    Now lets get on about the dipper game and how the United Fans going to shitfield are going to get under the noses of the dippers. As we are all aware that the dippers will be loud and ready to give evra a hard time. I really how Our travelling fans have something up there sleeves.

  46. smartalex says:

    MarkoWire

    wayne is a United fan, and is not just looking to stir trouble.
    Your rude claim is rejected. Continue in that vein and you will be too.

    You’re probably right with your suggestion that if Park had expressed any problems with the chant it would have been stamped out in the UNITED terraces. Of course, it also seems likely that every other terrace in the country would then belt it out whenever we played them.
    Not really a win-win.

    One could therefore, abstractly claim that by Park grinning, he bears it far less.

    Moving on to the more interesting part of your post:
    I expect our witty and zealous traveling army will again be powerful.
    They are the feather in our cap.

  47. 1166 says:

    I have a feeling that Pat will be a fan favorite after this game lol

  48. James21 says:

    Marko Wire

    Wayne is a red mate and a good poster.
    Totally agree with your post and I made a simler comment last night that was totally ignored. I also posted a link that Park unknowingly ate Frog.
    I’ll carry on singing it anyway and it shows by the comments in favour that the vast majority know it isn’t racist.

  49. smartalex says:

    It is definitely true that the majority of people don’t find it racist. Some do.
    It seems that a lot of South Koreans do.

    I believe that my opinion as to whether or not it’s racist, is hardly relevant.
    Perhaps their opinion is.

    I think the humour derives from the risque nature of the chant, as most chants do.
    Whether the humiliation that a distant minority feels is enough to be heard, seems unlikely.
    Perhaps it too is irrelevant.

    I guess that Park is happy with his chant. I do not know.
    If he was unhappy with it, it is unlikely that he would say anything, for fear of alerting rival fans.

    It’s a bit late to stop it now.

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