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Sunday, 5 October 2008

Rafael To Bring Down The Curtain On Wes And Nev's United Careers

There was a veiled plea to Fabio Capello from Sir Alex Ferguson yesterday to spare Wayne Rooney too many exertions in the international break ahead. But it is one of the England manager's defenders, Wes Brown, who may have most cause for concern as he faces being eclipsed at Old Trafford by Manchester United's new star.

Ferguson's appraisal of the performance in Denmark on Tuesday of right-back Rafael da Silva – one of the Brazilian twins from Fluminese – was justifiably full of praise. "The boy has an understanding of the game and a talent, that's the reason," Ferguson said, when asked why Rafael had been selected ahead of Wes Brown (who struggled at Anfield and was dropped at Stamford Bridge). "We know Wes can do it, he has been here for 14 years. But it was there for all to see in Rafael. He's an attacking player, positive with great belief."

Fergie resisted playing Rafael in the heat of a local derby at Blackburn. With Gary Neville struggling again that might mean another chance for Brown to prove something. But the Brazilian's speed and several speculative efforts in Aalborg gives United on the right flank what Patrice Evra has delivered so well on the left.

Just as the arguments were still raging on as to whether Wes or Nev should get the right back postion now Nev was fit again, we have the rather spectacular entrance of Rafael to add to the argument and in my opinion, by this time next year Rafael will be one of the first names pencilled onto the team sheet for each match. Wes and Nev have 30 years service between them at United but there comes a time when it has to end - and Rafael looks like he might bring down the curtain on these two guys !

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