Nemanja Vidic; player of the year and best in 10 years
Nemanja Vidic has just walked off with the Barclays Player of the Year award for 2010/11. I am a little bemused by this decision; firstly for the fact he didn’t even win Manchester Utd’s own player of season award and secondly I question whether he is really that good?
My real issue with Nemanja Vidic and the plaudits he has been receiving recently is his inclusion in the Premier League Team of the Decade partnering John Terry at centre half. I wonder, are we right in judging the Serbian international to be one of the two best centre halves to have graced the Premier League since 2000?
Suddenly I have images of Fernando Torres making him look like a Sunday morning footballer at Old Trafford in that 4-1 win for Liverpool, that rugby tackle he performed on Steven Gerrard in the same game and also his fortune in avoiding a red card at West Ham Utd this season also springs to mind. Now I know these are fairly limited examples of Vidic not on his best day, but I fail to be convinced by him whenever I see him play.
Manchester Utd have in recent history had a number of decent players who are susceptible to making errors but are fortunate enough to be surrounded with other good footballers who are able to ‘tidy-up’ others’ mistakes and the error goes unpunished. I would include Nemanja Vidic into this category. So how can he be included in the Team of the Decade?
Nemanja Vidic joined Manchester Utd in January 2006 and has since then made 158 Premier League appearances; that’s approximately 26 league appearances per season and about two thirds of possible fixtures. That’s another issue; surely he hasn’t played enough games to warrant inclusion?
I don’t have an argument with his partner at the centre of defence in John Terry, but has Nemanja Vidic contributed more to the Premier League over the last decade than…
Jamie Carragher (forget Liverpool’s recent poor campaign),
Rio Ferdinand (who since his signing from Leeds Utd in 2002 established himself as one of the best centre halves in the game at one point),
Sol Campbell (forget how he has rather poorly tried to hang on to his career since leaving Portsmouth in 2009)
… Nemanja Vidic player of the year and team of the decade? I really don’t think so. Although I think Manchester Utd may win on Saturday against Barcelona in the Champions’ League Final; I think that will be more about Sir Alex Ferguson’s management skills than Vidic keeping Messi, Villa, Xavi, Iniesta et al at bay.