Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has admitted he and Wayne Rooney had a sneaky conversation questioning whether Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic were good enough for the club. Evra and Vidic both moved to Old Trafford back in January 2006. And they overcame rocky starts to emerge as vital assets for the club during the years Sir Alex Ferguson ruled the roost.
Evra helped Monaco reach the Champions League final in 2004, where they were beaten by Jose Mourinho’s Porto 3-0.
He moved to United as a backup to Gabriel Heinze and struggled at first, enduring a rough afternoon as they fell to a 4-0 defeat to Manchester City.
Vidic, meanwhile, moved to United from Spartak Moscow in January 2006 as well.
And, like Evra, he endured a rocky beginning to his Old Trafford career.
Both players were able to overcome their critics, however, winning a combined 10 Premier League titles throughout their stints at the Theatre of Dreams.
And Ferdinand, speaking to United’s official website, has admitted he and Rooney had a conversation about whether the duo were good enough.
“I had a conversation with Wayne Rooney – a couple of times, actually – about both Vidic and Patrice Evra, who had joined at the same time,” he said.
LATEST LIVE SPORT TV DEALS
Get Sky Sports for just £25 per month for 3 months
Get BT Sport for HALF PRICE
“We were both basically saying: ‘Wow, how have we signed these two?’ Wayne was playing against Vida in training and he was quite clear on Vida’s issues: he wasn’t strong enough, wasn’t aggressive enough, just didn’t seem like a Man United player.
“In fairness, it wasn’t the easiest time to be joining us either.
“You’ve got to remember the turmoil we had with Roy Keane leaving a couple of months before Vida arrived.
“That’s a big personality who’s left the training ground and in that period there was a little sense among the players of: right, where are we going now?
“What’s the direction? Who leads the changing room? Who’s the manager building the team around? The team had been built around Roy for many years, he was one of the main cogs in the machine that ran the place, so who was going to fill those shoes?
“Michael Carrick came in a few months later, but in the immediate aftermath of Roy’s departure you had to consider: are we looking for a like-for-like replacement? Do we need a personality like Roy to be successful?
“A lot of questions needed answering during that period when Vida joined, so it wasn’t a great time to come in.”
Man Utd have perfect player to offer Borussia Dortmund in Jadon Sancho transfer talks
Man Utd star Paul Pogba wants to stay at Old Trafford – EXCLUSIVE
Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have signed the next Nani
Ferdinand then went on to label Vidic as ‘formidable’ with the duo arguably the best centre-back pairing the Premier League has ever seen.
“The best word to describe the player Vida became is… formidable,” he said.
“You could see strikers going up with him, thinking: ‘Oh god, he’s gonna smash me.’
“You could see fear in strikers. You could see strikers play away from him sometimes, wouldn’t go near him sometimes and that’s through reputation for what he’s done.
“He was someone who was horrible to play against for a striker. These days I’m doing punditry so I see a lot of the old guys who played against us, and when they speak about us and specifically talk about Vida, they say he was horrible to play against.
“He’d go to head the ball and head you. Vida had the most bloody noses I’ve seen out of anybody I’ve ever played with – even in his last game for United he walked off the pitch with a bloody nose and that just epitomised him!
THINK YOU KNOW FOOTBALL? Football quiz questions and answers: 15 questions and answers for your home pub quiz
“He was just fearless. He saw the ball, nothing else.
“If you compare him to me, I never broke my nose in football, ever. I might have a big nose but I never broke it because I made sure I protected myself.
“Going up for the ball, I’d protect myself in such a way that I might hurt someone, but I’d protect myself. Vida, on the other hand, would see the ball and BANG, if he hurt someone, he hurt someone. If I get hurt, I get hurt.
“And you need that in your team. You need players who are prepared to hurt themselves at any given time to get yourselves over that white line.
“Vida had a determination and drive to be the best. He wouldn’t tell you this or probably admit it to anyone, but he was definitely competitive in that he wanted to be the best defender at the club.
“There would have been a competitive edge between me and him because I wanted to be considered the best and so did he. He wanted to be better than me and I wanted to be better than him, but I think the great thing about us as a pair was that we would probably both rather that our partnership would be considered the best.”
THINK YOU KNOW SPORT? Test your sporting knowledge with our tricky quiz
This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently, see more details here
Source: Read Full Article