Are Manchester United set for a rude awakening?

Evra dismisses Manchester City

Patrice Evra claims Manchester United must spend as ‘little time’ as possible thinking about their city rivals, Manchester City. With the eagerly anticipated derby at Eastlands on Wednesday night, will Patrice Evra’s comments only inspire Manchester City to end Manchester United’s unbeaten run this season. The comments are a little disrespectful to a team filled with world class players, a team that run Manchester United to the final minutes in both league games last term and a team that dismantled Chelsea. If Manchester City needed any more inspiration it seems Patrice Evra has provided it for them.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Evra claims that Manchester United spend little time thinking about their neighbours and Premier League rivals.

“Look, I like to win against Chelsea, I love to play against Manchester City and I hate to lose against Liverpool at Anfield. That’s my mentality.” “We don’t think about Manchester City because they are not our problem.”

This declaration, Manchester City not being Manchester United’s problem again seems a little derogatory – almost as if Manchester United need not worry about them because they are nothing to worry about. Over the last two years, Manchester United have not underestimated Manchester City – and their rivals have pushed them all the way. Is this the first time that Manchester United feel that the Manchester City challenge isn’t as strong as it could be. Is Patrice Evra taunting Manchester City? Whatever the reasons for this, it is amazing how many times comments like this come back to bite. If Manchester City win against United on Wednesday there can be no doubt that threat City pose this season.

Patrice Evra may also enraged Manchester City fans by claiming that Manchester City are also-rans without skipper Carlos Tevez.

“City have spent a lot of money, but for me Carlito is easily the best player they have.

“They have other good players, but he attacks and defends.

“They couldn’t afford to lose him. He is a big player, the most important they have – and every single Manchester City player knows that.

Last season was the perfect example. In the semi final first leg of the Carling Cup, Carlos Tevez scored a brace to defeat Manchester United after derogatory comments from Gary Neville. This again could happen. The Manchester City team know how a good a player Tevez is, but they do need to show they are not a one man team. Whoever plays up front for City will be aiming to show this – having an added incentive to beat Manchester United. Patrice Evra’s comments could in fact rile a highly hostile crowd, something that will only inspire City.

This is not the first time the full back has made inflammatory comments about Manchester City. Before that semi final last season, Evra claimed in the Mail, that Manchester City were not concerned on winning a trophy, just on beating the club they loathe.

We know the City people are talking about this game,’ he said. ‘But we are playing it to go one more step closer to winning the cup, maybe they are playing it to beat us.

‘That is the difference between the two clubs. For us it is not just about beating Manchester City. Yes, it is an important game but Manchester United play a lot of big games.’

Again, speaking before the first leg – Manchester United were beaten.

A player of Evra’s experience should know better than to rile players and fans alike. The game is massive for both clubs. Manchester City need to shake the pressure off manager Roberto Mancini – and a win against United would do that. For Manchester United, a win would give the squad great confidence in challenging for the Premier League this season. Did Evra really need to make this comments?

So many times comments like this have come back to bite, and giving City an extra incentive to win is foolish. City may not need another incentive but for a player of Patrice Evra’s experience, knowing the history of this fixture, to make derogatory remarks about Manchester City may come back and haunt him and Manchester United come Wednesday night.

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