Much has been written about whether or not Nemanja Vidic deserved to be shown a straight red card for a lunge on Eden Hazard in Sunday’s match against Chelsea.
But even more has been written about the red card that wasn’t – Rafael’s two-footed challenge on Gary Cahill that could have seen United finish the match with nine men.
There is something to be said for Cahill’s reaction (or more specifically his non-reaction) saving the Brazilian from an early bath. But whichever side of this particular fence you sit, ex-Liverpool player Mark Lawrenson’s latest quotes will surely be of interest.
The former Red has today written a piece in the Mirror, calling for the FA to take a look at Rafael’s tackle. And while that in itself is not newsworthy, his analysis of the right-back – and some of United’s other players – certainly is.
“Rafael for me is the reason you should never buy angry defenders,” Lawrenson writes. “When things are going against him he starts throwing himself around and giving away free-kicks and penalties.”
Lawrenson then goes on to say that he expects Moyes to have already made up his mind about the 23-year-old.
Before adding, “Vidic appears to have lost it, Patrice Evra is leaving at the end of the season and is playing although he already has.
“Evra’s understudy, Alexander Buttner, is not good enough and Rio Ferdinand’s legs have gone.”
If Lawrenson is to be believed, it is not just United’s midfield that needs an overhaul, but much of their back-line as well.
United are clearly in some transition, and while the buck will ultimately stop with Moyes, he needs time to build his own side. He also needs his current players to keep their heads, and keep fighting in the right way until the very end of the season.