The worst part about Manchester United’s victory over at Olympiakos in The Champions League was the yellow card which will see Patrice Evra suspended from the first leg of the next round.
Evra has had his critics this season but he is still been a virtual ever present for Manchester United and one of the better performers in what has been a very difficult season.
When you look at the alternatives for the quarters you begin to worry for Manchester United. Fabio has been sold and surely Alex Buttner is too raw to play there in what will be a mammoth fixture. But there are no other left footed defenders in the squad. So while David Moyes might look to put one of his right footers there, such as Smalling, Evans or Jones, he might decide to get a bit creative with the role. Alternatively he could play Rafael there and use Valencia, Smalling or Evans at right back.
It does of course depend on whether the first leg is at home or away as to the decision Moyes makes. Manchester United have, on occasion, deployed the god like Ryan Giggs there, to decent effect. Giggs understands the game well enough to play the offside trap but does he have the engine and strength in the tackle to deal with someone like Cristinao Ronaldo for 90 minutes? Hell, the answer is probably yes!
But we think that the best option at left full back would be the most derided player in soccersweep history. Anyone who reads this magazine on a reg will know that we have little to no time for Ashley Young as a winger. He is too cautious, doesn’t have a trick and seldom beats his man or delivers a decent cross with his left foot – he is simply not Manchester United quality as an attacking force.
But what he does have is decent pace and a really good engine. He will always put in a shift regardless of how low quality the end product is. We have long believed that, if he is to find a place in the team, it would surely be as a full back.
The biggest question here is whether, like Giggs, he would have a natural instinct for defending. Would Moyes be able to teach him how to hold the line in the space of a few weeks or would he be a liability with the offside trap?
We think that Young could be a success in this role. Professionals should have played so much football in their lives that they are familiar with every position.
If Young can do offside we actually think that he could be an above average full back. He’s right footed but has played on the left flank for much of his career. He’s full of running and would offer an outlet going forward. He’s tenacious and diligent where it comes to marking.
Overall we think that Ashley Young is the best option for the left back slot in the next round of The Chamoions League.
Manchester United fans – who would you play there?
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