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Rio Has Benefited From Neville Injury

Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic are one of the best defensive partnerships in Europe and are certainly one of the best Manchester United have ever seen. However, it was the strength of the Gary Pallister and Steve Bruce pairing which help bring the league title back to Old Trafford back in 1993, and Pally has offered up his opinion on Rio as a captain and a defender.

“He has grown in stature over the last year, since Gary Neville has been out injured,” said Pallister. “When he was at Leeds I thought he was the leader, bossing people about. But when he came to United, with big personalities like Neville, he became a lot quieter and left it to other people. It was interesting that once Neville got injured he took it upon himself to be the voice at the back. There are not a lot of captains in the United team and the manager likes to have a few who are vocal. He probably had a word with Rio and it has had an effect on his game. Rio has the respect of everybody around him because of what he has achieved in the game.”

Pallister has also reflected on Rio’s form last season, which was without doubt his best season in a United shirt.

“He was outstanding last season,” said Pallister. “He’s put the problems of a few years ago, his contract dispute and the missed drugs test, behind him. His partnership with Nemanja Vidic is sensational and their defensive record over the last couple of years has shown that. I know United score a lot of goals, but when you are solid at the back, it is the foundation for success. When Rio first came to United he didn’t have a regular partner and that affected his form. You need someone you can trust and work with week in, week out. The manager brought in Vidic and the pair of them have formed a great understanding. They are two different players like Steve Bruce and I were, and it has worked well.”


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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9 Comments

  1. ManU says:

    Rio should be the captain and Roney the vise captain.Gary’s days are over and also Giggs.They should be in the reserved team to groom the youngster and Scholes should be allow to play first 45mins only. John Oshea should be not be in the team and its time for him to go.He is the worst player among the team and Sir Alex must get rid of him.In fact Christ Eagles and Gerard Pique are better players than Oshea whom Sir Alex will regret selling them.

  2. Gapi says:

    How can you expect anyone to take you seriously with that username… Nev, Giggs, Scholes should play for the reserves? O’Shea useless? Piss off!

    Pally’s right. Ferdinand has become a leader on the pitch, wearing the armband or not (not something we can say for “JT”).

  3. tr says:

    fck sake i dont understand why other supporters continuously visiting a MANCHESTER UNITED blog. they dont have any blogs or whatthe? Manu i feel scouse blood in you. Eat rat pls

  4. Azubuike says:

    Oshea should be sold or better of play with reserve team. Cuz i have not seen his contributions. He’s a useless utility(my foot). Again we shouldnt build our team around one person cuz the dayz of nevile, giggs are gone. Only schoolesee should be givin chance cuz he’s mentally and physically strong

  5. Barrieville says:

    This comment by ManU here is not mature! He/She should learn to respect others and stop attacking personalities..Rio can be a captain, Rooney far from being an Assistant. Gary from Injury but still got lot underneath him. Lets forget about Giggs, He shows he’s a good player week in,week out last season. Don even talk about Scholes because he’s far from getting old. He plays a very interestin role in United squad. Teasin passes, tackles and organizin of mid-fielders. So he stands a chance of playin 90mins. Whereas O’shea is a utility player. He’s there for back-up so forget about attackin player because I don think u play football or even watch United game regularly… I guez u jus start watchin United last season..

  6. Tom F says:

    Gapi, agree mate. Some people, United fans to make it worse, really fookin annoy me with their views on O’shea.

    Can none of you understand that players like O’shea and Fletcher, who remain focussed and committed even when not in contention for places in the starting 11 each week, are the main reason Fergie has managed to build great squads that have a superb team spirit.

    It is why players stay loyal to United long term. If we sell O’shea, who would you twats replace him with? A world Class utility player? That’d work wouldn’t it.

    You are boring.

  7. jahful says:

    yea we need players like oshea n fletcher cause even if they play or not they wont ever complaint so i really agree with fergie for keeping them in the squad.and dont for get that they could be regular starter at everton,sunderland ……thats mean they are not bad players.this is atreble year for us so we need them peace

  8. OTRed says:

    Honestly do we have to open up your head(ManU) and hammer it in, before it sticks???? Man U isn’t used by Man Utd fans in reference to the club, you either say United, Man Utd, MU or just anything else you can write, just not Man U.

  9. Dave says:

    Well many people think football is an 11 man game, but unfortunately its not…u neet AT LEAST 18 players who have a good enough level to play. Oshea is certainly one of them…yeah he is not world class but like Tom F said, would u buy a world class player then make him a utility man??? this guy can play centre back, left back and midfield well, albeit not world class…but he certainly can fill in some gaps. Fletcher is a very good midfield player who unfortunately has to contend with even better players in the squad. but he is a rising star and very efficient in his job…remember he is still only 22. Whats more, i think those who criticise Fergie’s decisions must just take a look at his record…u dont teach a man who won 10 league titles and 2 champions league how to play football and run a team!!!!!

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