THT Heroes Special: Patrice Evra

With each passing day, the football world seems to be losing its integrity. Patience is a very rare virtue, and loyalty is conspicuous by its absence. Players possessing a large ego, some decent quality and backed by their cunning agents can regularly be seen holding their employers to ransom. So, when someone shows an undying passion for the club colors, you would be a ‘Scrooge’ if your heart doesn’t skip a beat each time you see or hear about him.

When United won the Carling cup a few days ago, it was an absolute delight and pleasure to witness Patrice Evra walking up the stairs to lift the trophy. It wasn’t one of our biggest triumphs exactly, but it was memorable; simply because I couldn’t think of a better man to be bestowed the honor of leading United to a cup victory at Wembley. Evra is my hero in a true sense.

Carling Cup Final: Aston Villa 1 v 2 Manchester United

Back in 2006, United were struggling to recapture some of their old glory. Patience was running out in some quarters and the defense looked porous, to say the least. The injury tally was on the high, and the defense needed a major overhaul. Sir Alex made a rather surprising splash in the January transfer window. The dual signing of Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra raised a few eyebrows, as the last few new recruits hadn’t hit the ground running. Evra’s first game in English football couldn’t have been any tougher. An away trip to the Eastlands to face United’s bitter neighbors is not a game which every player can handle. His first forty-five minutes in the red shirt of United were so appalling, that he had to be substituted after the first half ended. United were thrashed 3-1, and Evra’s signing looked a failure at best.

However things would turn for the better, and Pat delivered a series of impressive performances, to earn himself a starting place in the team line up. It wasn’t a piece of cake though, as he  had to fight off stiff competition from Gabriel Heinze, who had made the left back position his own since his move from PSG, a couple of seasons ago. The Frenchman’s menacing runs on United’s left flank, coupled with his link-ups with Ronaldo and Giggs, would send shivers down the opposition’s spine. In the next season,  his performances on the field earned him a place in the ‘EPL TEAM OF THE YEAR’.

Pat was settling in nicely; the British cuisine or the fickle Manchester weather didn’t look alien any more.  He was getting accustomed to the club’s traditions, and its fabulous history. The story of Manchester United and their trials and tribulations soon became his own. Evra was quoted as saying “Two years ago I started to read a book of the story of Man United and I saw a DVD of the crash at Munich and it made me realise I need to have respect for that shirt because it is a big story and Manchester United is a big family. I don’t just want to say this to look nice in the papers, because it is true – we are a big family here and we have a big story and this is why Manchester United is a club apart. It is always hard to put on that shirt because every day when you do you are putting that story on your back.”

In a turbulent period for the club, when fans have turned against the owners, the chief executive has lost his voice, and when the green and gold revolution is on the go, Evra brings a soothing calm and reassurance to the supporters. By lending support or rather acknowledging the fans plea, he makes the path to change look a bit smoother. His love for the club and fans has elevated his stature amongst the Old Trafford faithful. He has become a club icon, and personifies everything the club stands for – grit, determination and unparalleled belief. The armband is safely wound around the arm of its deserving owner, and hopefully the marriage continues till eternity.

It’s a match made in heaven, if ever there was one. The fact that he is arguably the best left-back in the world does not hurt either. There’s something about French players and United, and long it may continue.

  • Yeah, of course he is a great player, but I don’t hate anybody more than this Mank! Some needless comments a few seasons back being the reason! I am just waiting for that day when we thrash United at home and throw a piece of rotten pizza on Evra or something!

  • Evra for life

    He is undoubtedly the best left back in this world. The heart and soul of United, cut him and he bleeds United.

  • @Sounak .. he doesnt have to be loved by the rivals, that’s the beauty of it.Does he give a f**k what rivals think? NO. As far as thrashing United is concerned, beleving something doesnt make it true, just like not beleving doesnt make it false. So DREAM ON!!!!!!

  • vikram singh negi

    Evra is awesome, and you should take it as i am a Gunner.
    The best LB right now, he is defensively sound, and mind blowing attack wise.
    But i hate him, coz he always plays well against us.

  • Rahul Kondekar

    I m not a big football fan but the little I have seen of him makes me wonder how the hell he aint a first team regular for France. Take note French fans :)

  • Yup Vikram he and Cashley would be the front runners for the Best Left Back crown, atlweast all the gooners will vote for evra i would imagine :P:P, not long ago Clichy was there in the mix 2.

  • @Rahul: you are not the only 1 mate, French coach has everyone in a daze with that one.

  • Did I hear ‘Cashley’?

    Probably People should read “The Boo Boys’, to understand which left-back takes it upon himself to defeat Arsenal each time he plays them.

    But no doubt, Ashley Cole and Patrice Evra are the best left-backs in the world. But, if you ask a Barcelona fan, it will be none other than Eric Abidal. Strange, but that is what they feel. According to them, France is right in playing Abidal and Evra should warm the bench.

    PS – I am not a Barcelona fan 😛

  • @Nipun: we did thrash ’em in 2008 at The Emirates, so there! Relaxxx! More to come, hold on to your ho$#es!

  • Tanay

    @ Sounak: “thrash ’em” is an interesting phrase used by u… I guess u haven’t seen the UCL semifinal 2nd leg and also the EPL match this season payed at the emirates between these two clubs.

  • If we are looking at history, well then i’ll define thrashing for you Manchester United 6-1 Arsenal @OT , 2001. Now beat that 😉

  • Rohit

    “undying passion for the club colors” — it isn’t like United is some bottom of the table club for which Evra has battled on despite the club doing badly…nor is this his first club…He may be loyal to the club but I think that is overstated here.. His best qualities are probably more related to his football than his so called unconditional love for his team .

  • obviously it cant be his first club cause he aint English, and isint it even more commendable that despite not being British he has taken to the Club like his own.Respect where its due, he has his heart firmly at the cause of this football club. “Evra is God”

  • Tanay

    adding on to Hala Madrid, evra has never played dirty tricks to enhance his wages like his counterparts at Chelsea namely Terry, Lampard and the latest Joe that should be given some credit

  • Viraj

    @Nipun : You have mentioned the rise of a Hero beautifully.
    But don’t forget, people love nothing more than Fall of a Hero.

  • Rohit

    @Hala — Yup, he’s been here for so long now..4 full years ..Just about long enough to be called “God” I guess.

    @Tanay — In fact he isn’t even paid by United.. just survives on the love for his club colours.

  • @Rohit : jesus mate, since when did time stand in the way of iconic stature, ffs its the passion. FYI Eric Cantona the greatest of all United legends served the club for just 5,although amazing years (92-97). His standing at this football club is second to none. As per your God taunt mate, if you r nt aware that is what United fans have lovingly started calling him. Cheers mate, my 2 cent.

  • Tanay

    @ Rohit: I wasn’t saying that he is not being paid…but he is not demanding astronomical wages for being the best LB (Chelsea fans would say 2nd best LB) in the world. We have seen Terry playing tricks of joining City to get a pay hike, Lamps chasing Inter in order to do the same and that when both of those were already being paid over 100k pounds a week.

  • Nikhil

    Evra is indeed the best left back right now is well on the verge of becoming a UNITED legend…

  • Rohit

    @Tanay — Yes, all footballers are motivated by money to some extent including Evra. In fact that was probably one of his primary motivators when he came to United in the first place. So to say that Lampard is wrong in chasing more despite getting 100K per week is being hypocritical.

  • Rohit

    @Andy — oh is it?.. how sweet… but i really don’t think there’s any comparison in the impact Cantona had to that of Evra..

  • Tanay

    @ Rohit: The methods adopted by Lampard and Terry were not good, giving a bad name to CFC and at the same time creating anxiety in the hearts of their passionate fans.

  • @Rohit: do you by any chance support the red half of mersyside?

  • Ketan


    Evra is one of the most important player in the squad right now. He does all the work which a LB is expected to but the thing which is probably the best in him is, ‘He is a Devil’. There are very less actual Devils left in Man-Utd squad but Evra surely is the one.

    Watching him lifting the CC was a special moment. My best wishes are for him.

    Eagerly waiting for 3rd April, Evra will be on his Devil best :)

  • Rohit

    @ andy — and how was that so apparent ? :-)

  • hahhaha mate, i wasnt born yesterday!! anyways good luck with the Europa thing 😉

  • Rohit


  • EPL TITLES??ehhh

  • Tanay

    @ Rohit: and how many of those 5 have u witnessed??

  • Howard Roark

    A Liverpool fan fighting it out with a couple of Mancs, good till here BUT why in the name of SWEET BLEEDING LORD do you have to use JT, Lampard and J.Cole in your miserable discussion.

    I am sure you can find a lot of Liverpool players to support your banter. REFRAIN.

  • Howard Roark: now i will have sleepless nights on that comment .. ohh that reminds me of certain captain fantastic.

  • Howard Roark

    Sleepless nights?

    Are you a women?, sheesh I am talking to a women. Sorry lady, I did not mean to frighten you. You can go back to knitting your sweater!

    Coming to your point, you do not talk about others if you have Reo ‘have done it all’ Ferdinand in your team. Do not maintain a moral high ground. I hope you know what all he has done, lets not get so dirty here.

    This is a website for knowledgeable football fans, let them discuss FOOTBALL. You can carry on this rubbish someplace else.

    Good Luck!

  • Howard Roark


    Why do you think Abidal plays as a left-back for the french national team and not Evra? Is there any reason behind the apparent madness?

    Would like to know your view on this.

  • @Howard:I see your question and i raise you a Raymond Domenech, the guy relies on ASTROLOGY FFS to select his team. What do u expect of him?? sanity.. surely not

  • Ray knows best for his team no wonder he still manages les blues even after so many years of failures…..
    as far as I know the best left back wears the blue jersey and plays for a certain London team.

  • Rohit

    @Tanay — all.. I’m 50.

  • @Rohit: must be hard for you that at this stage of your life you have to go through 90 minutes of wigan vs liverpool. BTW, THURSDAY NIGHT, CHANNEL 5

  • Arun

    @Nipun: yes yes evra the best left back, rooney the best striker, scholes the best mid fielder, reo ferdinand the best Centre back, vader sar the best keeper.

    and last but not least “Berbatov” the best assistant.. hahaha assistent measn he one who assist in creating goals… 😀

  • Rohit

    @Fergie is God — no no no no…don’t phunk with my worship Fergie…impresive… BTW, ALMOST EVERY NIGHT, MTV

  • @Rohit: mate so you travelling to france tonite?? Big european night for you guys 😀 Roflmao!!!

  • Patience is the ability to put up with people you’d like to put down.

  • Rohit

    @Andy — 5 is still more than 3 my lady… and easy with the rolling.. oh.. you’re probably still reminiscing about the days of pretty-boy-oldo.. roll on then..

  • @Rohit mate wake up, its 2010!!! u wont be winning any more playing in the mickey mouse league. Oh wait you would probably finish 8th and not be eligible to even make it to Europa league :D.

    KRAP : keep rafa at pool

  • Thanks for writing such an fascinating post. I seem to read the same and it gets a bit old. Many thanks.

  • @Kennith: Thanks mate, keep visiting. Cheers!!