Football

Is criticism of Patrice Evra justified?

United full-back happy with his form despite criticism
United full-back happy with his form despite criticism.

Patrice Evra has hit back at those that have written him off, claiming they have short memories.

The French full-back has often been criticised for being caught out of position this season. Going forward, Evra has been superb, finding the net on four occasions. 

He told the Daily Star: "Maybe in the last two years people have forgotten the player that I was.

"This year I have just felt confident. I am happy in my life and work. My standard is always to try to be the best left-back in the league.

 "I have to work hard and keep going because that is the standard I want to reach when I play for Manchester United.

"You have to be the best in your position.

"It is just a privilege to play for Manchester United and to have what I have got.

"A lot of people and a lot of footballers would love to be in my place."

Never short of self-confidence, the comments from the 31-year-old are unsurprising to say the least but are they justified?

Whilst Evra has improved in the final third, becoming a key threat from set pieces, there are still big question marks over his defensive contribution.

Too often out of position, prone to lapses in concentration and susceptible when up against a traditional winger who will run at him (just ask Aaron Lennon), the Frenchman is still something of a weak link in the United back four.

Of bigger concern is the apparent lack of desire that Evra demonstrates as he jogs back to his mark leaving his teammates to pick up the slack. The perfect example coming during United's 4-4 draw with Everton in April last year when, at 4-2 up with just over 20 minutes to go, Evra hit the post with a diving header from opposite full-back Rafael's cross. Within 30 seconds Marouane Fellaini had made it 4-3 and United ultimately drew the game.

Despite his flaws, which are plentiful, Evra is known to be a key influence in the Old Trafford dressing room and is the club’s Vice-Captain, stepping up to the plate in the absence of Nemanja Vidic.

The goals have brought him some respite from the critics but in truth the Senegalese born Frenchman is a shadow of the player he was two or three seasons ago when he was defensively solid and committed to preserving his own goal.

It has been a difficult two seasons for Evra, with Sir Alex Ferguson actively looking for another left-back to boost the ranks. With Fabio out on loan, Alexander Buttner has not put much in the way of pressure on the French international. 

There are not a great deal of options in terms of experienced, quality left-backs available. Leighton Baines has been linked with a move to The Red Devils, however in truth he is no better defensively than Evra, so we can expect to see Evra at Old Trafford again next season.

Returning loanee Fabio will be hoping to take a leaf out of his brother’s book and put serious pressure on the man in possession; it will be interesting to see how Evra responds.

 

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeFootball.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeFootball.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester United
Patrice Evra

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