October 28, 2009
Fernando Torres' ultimately decisive strike in Manchester United's defeat at Liverpool has further sharpened the pencils of those wishing to proclaim the waning of Rio Ferdinand. Last week saw the man himself declare that he needed a run of ten games to pull himself back to the required levels of performance and fitness. However, the signs are that Sir Alex Ferguson's patience is fraying.
"He has one game back and picks up another injury when he really needs games," said Ferguson last month. This week saw him move on his concerns a little further. "He has to get good form. That's an important issue for the coach to pick the right team," he said on Monday. "In defence you've maybe got more options than other positions. He'll need to get his form right."
Meanwhile, Ferguson has made great recent play of his admiration for Jonny Evans, the young Ulsterman who has stepped in frequently when Ferdinand has been laid low by a series of inter-related back and muscle injuries. Ferdinand could do with reading the runes. His friend Wes Brown, another current alternative, once received the Ferguson public seal of approval after the controversial sale of Jaap Stam.