Manchester United: The Return of Nemanja Vidic
When United won the league in previous years, Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have always been crucial to keeping the defence well organised. With Ferdinand’s age becoming a more pressing issue, Nemanja Vidic’s return is crucial. It was clear this past season how important Vincent Kompany was to Manchester City and even Carlos Puyol for Barcelona.
It was brilliant to see Nemanja Vidic come through the pre-season games against Valarenga and Barcelona unscathed. United lost their captain after rupturing his cruciate ligament in the 2-1 loss to FC Basel in the Champions League. Jonny Evans stepped in and preformed beyond what was expected of him, given his performances in recent seasons. Of course, you can’t replace a world class center back and so for the rest of the season it was once again musical chairs in the center of defence.
As captain, Nemanja Vidic leads by example. He has no fear and will put his body on the line to prevent a goal. Vidic has such a physical presence that attackers can be afraid of him. A tremendous header of the ball, he is an asset whilst both defending and attacking corners. His tackling is always very assured and he knows how to use his physicality within the laws of the game. Vidic’s reading of the game is good as well and when paired with a healthy Rio Ferdinand they are one of the best center back pairings in the game.
As a United supporter, is it always very comforting to see Vidic’s name in the starting XI. He is one of those players whose defensive ability can outshine brilliant attacking performances. Near the end of the past season, United struggled to create chances and/or failed to score goals when it mattered. Games like the 4-4 draw against Everton hurt more in retrospect when the league was lost on goal difference. United’s defence just capitulated at the end of the game and it was astonishing. To throw away a lead and end up with a draw like that is unacceptable and it’s hard to believe it would’ve happened had Vidic been available for selection.
With the new season rapidly approaching, it’s a real boost to United fans that Vidic could be available for the start of the season. If United are to begin a new assault to take the title back from City, then they will need their captain and best defender. He brings stability, along with Ferdinand, to the back line and that spreads throughout the team.
It’s never easy to win the league and it takes a whole team effort, but the return of United’s captain is a reason to be excited about United’s chances.
Calling all United fans: Do you agree with Alex's view? Are you looking forward to the return of Nemanja Vidic? Do you think he will come back as strong as previous seasons? Whatever your views are we'd love to hear from you.