Following a week of criticism, then a great performance, we can put money on the captain to be shoved in front of a Sky Sports camera, asked about the turnaround, and replying: “We did our talking on the pitch.”
It irritates me.
I like the sentiment but the cliché really irritates me because you can guarantee it will get used. John Terry, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are the sorts.
So, without using that cliché, I wish our lads would shut their trap and just get on with the job in hand. Talk, talk, talk. We need to do this, we’ll do that, we’ll stop the other. Just shut the fuck up and get it done. Stop talking about mistakes of the past and stop making mistakes now.
Patrice Evra, who we all love, has had a poor season so far. He was up there with the best as our most effective and consistent performers last season. But since the shambles of France’s World Cup, Paddy just hasn’t look sharp at all, with his game riddled with mistakes.
In yesterday’s game against West Brom, he was at fault for both goals. Before I continue, this doesn’t mean I’m laying the blame at his door, but you can’t ignore the part his slackness played in the result.
For the first goal, Evra was fouled, but instead of getting on with it, he started hobbling around. Was he really injured? No. Seconds later he was running around trying to make amends. But it’s that nasty habit of players trying to win freekicks. His decision to leave the player to limp meant chubby boy Anderson was left to do the running, but couldn’t keep up, so resorted to shirt pulling, and conceding the freekick which lead to the open goal.
With Anderson and Chicharito opting to jump over the ball when the freekick was played in to the box, Evra saw the ball hit him and go in to the back of his own net.
For the second goal, Rio Ferdinand got a head on the ball to clear it to Evra on the edge of the box. Instead of booting it out or passing it to one of our players, he just rolled it across the box to a West Brom player, who then passed it to the fella who crossed to Van der Sar. No doubt it was an absolutely dreadful mistake by Edwin, probably the worst of career at United, but the situation was entirely avoidable.
Still, despite these mistakes from Paddy week after week, he is always quick to come out in the press talking about it all, and without taking the blame.
Patrice Evra – October 16th 2010
“We need to start killing games off. We need to take our chances and score more goals when we can. It’s not like we don’t have a lot of opportunities. When you are 2-0 up you should go on to win the game. If you make it three or four nil that makes it very difficult for other teams to come back. But when you keep things at the same tempo and it’s still only 2-0, the opposition only need to score one goal to make things difficult for you. Everyone must take their share of the blame, not just the defence. For it to happen once is okay, but twice… I remember talking about the same thing after we played Liverpool saying I hope we don’t give away a lead again like we did that day, but we did it again today. We have two choices – either we accept it or we don’t accept it and I think it’s the moment to not accept it. We’re still unbeaten, but, to me, five draws almost feels like we have lost games. It’s not Manchester United. We need to work hard and show our character and I’m confident we can do that.”
October 15th 2010 – Patrice Evra
“We won 1-0 in Valencia and drew 0-0 at Sunderland which were good results in terms of not conceding, but still we didn’t control the games. That is not United. We need another clean sheet against West Brom and we need to make sure we control the entire match and win. Once we start doing that, I think we’ll win many games in a row.”
September 20th 2010 – Patrice Evra
“If we keep bringing that nervousness to the situation we could finish the game with a heart attack. It wasn’t that I was worried at 2-2. I was actually very unhappy. If we had drawn that game, how could we then say we were going to win the league. We had an accident at Fulham. We had another accident at Everton. But if you do it again it is not an accident. It is simply that you do not want to win the league.”
So, my feelings on Evra are still the same. His form is poor but he’s a great player and he has United in his heart. I just would like to hear less from him. Being honest, I’d like to hear less from all the players and just see them put it in to practice on the pitch. Too many of them (not Berbatov (for a change! Arf!)) looked lethargic and disinterested. To throw away a two goal lead again and not score a single goal in the second 45 minutes, well, I don’t need to hear them talk about it, I just want to see them put it right in the next game.
We’ve thrown away too many stupid points, maybe too many stupid points to win a league title if your challengers are very strong, but we need to move forward by righting those wrongs, not endlessly talking about them.