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Don’t Write Off Evra Just Yet!

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Over-the-hill, past it, not good enough. These are all terms that have been lashed upon Patrice Evra’s form over not just this season but over the last 18 months.

A large majority of Manchester United fans have suggested that Evra has never recovered fully from France’s calamitous World Cup campaign.

Others think that the left-back has not been the same since he was run ragged by Aaron Lennon in the 2009 Carling Cup Final.

However, Evra has been written of countless times in his career. First whilst in France it was felt he wasn’t strong or tall enough to be a top-flight footballer, then English fans felt he wasn’t good defensively enough to play in England.

Adapting to other leagues quickly is far from easy even for great players in the prime of their careers and it took Evra time to get to grips with the physicality and intensity of Premier League football, which has helped make him a better player.

Antonio Valencia may have grabbed the headlines in United’s victory at the Emirates over Arsenal on Sunday, but Sky Sports rightfully gave Evra their man-of-the-match award, for his gallant performance on the day.

It was typical Evra. Rampaging runs from the back linking up with the winger, brave in the tackle, all whilst leading by example all whilst not being afraid to get stuck in and get hurt. It was his best performance in years.

Yes at times he got run ragged by Arsenal’s latest wonderkid Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (like many defenders have this season) but he kept battling on and did not look like making a mistake which was key. It was a captain’s performance.

He showed confidence at the back and when Arsenal were on the front-foot just before their equaliser and before full-time, marshalled his young defence well as United held onto a thoroughly deserved win.

Evra may well be past his prime, but he is by no mean’s finished as a first team starter/regular and at 30 years of age, still probably has a year or two left at the top before Sir Alex Ferguson will bring in a new left-back to replace him.

By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87