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“Older Players Marvel At Rafael’s Ability”

Rafael Da Silva is likely to get the nod to play against Villarreal in United’s Champions League match tonight, with both Gary Neville and Wes Brown not making the journey to Spain.

Rafael’s only appearance since his wonder goal at Arsenal has been in United’s 1-0 win over QPR in the League Cup, not getting any time in our league games against Stoke and Aston Villa.

Both Sir Alex Ferguson and Nemanja Vidic have spoken highly of the defender today, both expecting big things in his future.

“He is one of the players that excites us,” said Ferguson. “He gives us renewed faith that young players, no matter what age they are, can come into the Manchester United first team and excel. In every game he has played in this season, there has been evidence of great improvement in the boy. Even in training, the older players marvel at his enthusiasm and ability to play.”

Nemanja Vidic has also sung the young Brazilian’s praises, claiming Rafael is improving all the time.

“First of all he has shown great character,” said Vidic. “He is very young and he has been with us for less than a year, but he is improving every day and I think he has a great future for Manchester United. He has the potential to be a great player.”

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. Col says:

    I’ll bet you Fegie’s love-child John O’Shea plays tonight and on Sunday

  2. Haakon says:

    Col: John O’Shea played right back against Villa because Rafael is extremly poor at positioning. Did you even notice Ashley Young on the pitch?? That was a good move by Sir Alex as our defenders top priorities are not to let in goals. Goal vs. Celtic a perfect example of Rafels poor positioning, where Rafael was all gung-ho on a clerance, leaving the right back wide open and 1-0. Rafael is still very young and will come good in a couple of seasons, but we can’t rely on him yet.

  3. Harris the Red Devil says:

    Rafael da Silva is an amazing talent. But i would like to see Fabio too

  4. jamos9 says:

    Haakon: O’Pie couldn’t get forward thats why he was defending so deeply if he couldv’e gotten forward like full backs do these days overlapping and interchanging, ie Evra, Rafael he would have but he cant do both jobs like the afor-mentioned pair!!

  5. Failsworth Devil says:

    Gotta play Rafael on the right with CR7… love to seem them torment that twat Ball..

    Evra and Nani on the left..

    I wana see us go at teams like we know we can…

    Johnny O’Shea the good utility player he is, is not the answer for our right back slot.. neither is Gary Neville any more.. well not 1st choice.. even though he has been awesome for us over the years..

    If we use sentiment, we will drop points…

  6. bruce thomas says:

    That about covers it, Rafael is an awesome talent who eill be the best RB in the world within 2 seasons, conce he sorts out his positional play. Neville G is about two yards of the pace now and any number of games will not bring it back. If we keep him there from sentiment, we will suffer. O’Shea is a good utility sub but no more. So first choice RB at the moment is Wesley, with Rafael coming up fast on the rails. With O’Shea and Neville as fill ins. Of course, we could always buy Ramos to tide us over while Rafael matures. :) Otherwise take the risk with Rafael not Neville and give hime the games he needs.

  7. Failsworth Devil says:

    Bruce… agree with ya mate… and Ramos would be an exceptional buy for us mate..

    But.. if the reports are right that Wesley Brown will be fit by Jan, then i dont think we need to panic buy.

  8. denton davey says:

    Wesley Brown is a top-notch, no-nonsense defender. His attacking ability has also improved – wasn’t he the guy who supplied Ronaldo the cross in the CL final ? If he’s fit, he’s number one – for now. No question, though, that Raphael has provided a shot across the bow, announcing his arrival. His future might not be now, but it will be soon.

    I think that if UTD had a seriously-committed defensive midfielder – like Javier Mascherano or Claude Makalele – then SAF would be tempted to play Raphael now, knowing that there would be cover provided by the defensive midfielder. Basically, this is how BigPhilScolari has organized the RentBoyz – two attacking fullbacks with Jon Mikel Obi working as an auxiliary central defender in a system that is a variant of a 3-5-2. We might all “hate” Mikel Obi but that doesn’t mean he’s not been the key ingredient in revamping their play and making them much, much more attack-minded in comparison to what JoseTheMoaner or AverageGrant put forward. Missing out on Mikel was a big loss – he might be a Kunt but he’s their Kunt, not ours. Pity.

  9. Tom F says:

    Denton is very right, Wes is our best option for right back. Garry Neville’s best days are behind him, Rafael’s are in front of him but Wes is in the moment.

    Brown is playing his best football at his prime in his career.

    Also, Rafael does end up so far forward in matches that it is sensible, in a big league match against a team with super quick forwards, to give him a rest!

  10. Drew Vader says:

    Denton, i think it was the purchase of that Right Back that changed chelski around to a more attacking side, I cant remember his name right now, is it Bosingwa? They are still shite though, and to be honest they still have games that are the cure for insomnia. And I would take Carrick over Mikel any day of the week!

  11. Drew Vader says:

    And people giving O’Shea shit….did you notice Ashley Young do anything at all on saturday? No? Yeah, neither did I because JOS had him taken care of. He didn’t get forward very much, but I bet he was under strict orders not to. Young is a very good player who can hurt you if you give him space, so I reckon JOS was told to stick close by him and shut him down, which he did a good job of. Now, can he do the same this sunday against Robinho? That remains to be seen…but what are our other options? GNev? that scares the shit out of me to be honest. Raphael? Who knows, but i bet Robinho would be pissing himself knowing he is going up against an 18 year old. So, looks like JOS it is. And i bet he won’t do much bombing up the wing again.

  12. suhayl says:

    Haakon..drew vader…correct on

  13. King Eric says:

    Have to agree with playing JOS can t afford to get caught out of position on Sunday at full back and as much as I like Raphael his defensive play needs improving, which will obviously come with experience

  14. CJ says:

    Good Opinions everyone!!

  15. Vianey says:

    Rafael is good but I still think Brown is our best right back. He defends well and is tall & strong enough to handle any opponent. He has good positioning and if anyone can remember, most of Ronaldo’s headed goals last season were crosses from Brown. Rafael is definitely the second best. I don’t want to sound disloyal but Neville is past it; he should be a gentleman and Retire. Ole could use him as an assistant for the reserves. In my opinion, Neville lost us the Arsenal game. Neither goals would have gone in if Brown had played.

  16. Vianey says:

    Oh yeah,.. I love Sheasy (O’shea),.. he is loyal and never disappoints. Although he ain’t the best at beating men, he never has a bad day either and he can comfortably fill any back 4 position plus the any of the 2 CMF places. Having O’shea on the bench is like having three extra substitutes. And Carrick is pure class. Fletcher too.

  17. denton davey says:

    Drew Vader – comparing Carrick and Obi Mikel is “apples and oranges”. A more relevant comparison would be Mikel and Hargreaves or even Fletcherinho, except that Mikel is a much, much more defensive player.

    Yes, purchasing Bosingwa has improved the RentBoyz’ right side but even if they used Essien or Ferreira there, the method that Scolari has introduced pivots on Mikel’s ability to supplement the two central defenders and thereby free the full backs to bomb up-field.

    And, I am sure that when Raphael and Fabio come into their own that we will see something similar in the way that UTD play.


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