Between the Lines

"Of all unimportant subjects, football is the most important" – Pope John Paul II

Aalborg 0 United 3: The boy is special

Posted by hakanrylander on October 1, 2008

As frequent visitors to “Between the Lines” will be well aware, I’ve found it hard to understand why Ferguson prefers Gary Neville to Wes Brown at right-back. This debate can now be put to rest. Last night’s performance by 18-year-old Rafael da Silva surely means that Wes and Gary will soon have to fight it out for a place on the bench. There were one or two occasions when Rafael got caught out defensively, but when going forward he looked an absolutely outstanding talent. Ferguson summed it up nicely: “The boy is special”.

Already ten years ago Ferguson predicted that Ryan Giggs would finish his career as a midfield playmaker, a role that he filled to perfection last night. I must admit that I didn’t think Giggs would make a major contribution this season, but on this evidence he’s probably our best playmaker. His pass to Rooney’s goal was a gem.

The result was obviously a good one, but otherwise it was a mixed evening. Scholes will be out for six to eight weeks with a knee ligament injury, and Rooney limped off after taking a knock to his ankle.


  • Van der Sar 6  Quiet evening.
  • Rafael 8  Man of the Match.
  • Ferdinand 8  Outstanding. Isn’t he always?
  • Vidic 6  Looked a bit slow occasionally.
  • Evra 7  Usual classy performance.
  • O’Shea 5  Can’t remember him.
  • Scholes  Not enough time to be rated.
  • Ronaldo 7  OK, but he can do better.
  • Rooney 7  Is gradually coming back to his best.
  • Nani 5  Against this opposition he had the space to excel. But he didn’t. Disappointing.
  • Berbatov 7  Improved in the second half. Two well-taken goals will have boosted his confidence.
  • Giggs 8  Very impressive.
  • Brown 6  Not much time.
  • Tevez 7  Could teach Berbatov a thing or two about workrate.

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