As the Reds head into two massive fixtures, the first of the two includes an intriguing sub-plot that continues to roll on, Nemanja Vidic resumes his rivalry with nemesis Fernando Torres.
Personally I am not entirely at home to claims that Torres always gets the better of our big Serb. When Liverpool battered United 4-1 at Old Trafford in 2008 what happened that day has, in my opinion clouded better judgement. Vidic’s performance that day was so uncharacteristic of what we had been used to, booming tackles and commanding headers seemed to fade away that day and Torres did give him the run around. Vidic will however be boosted by his last two games against The Spaniard in which bar an early goal in the March 2010 clash Vidic has given him nothing since. Doubled to this Nemanja has been easily one of United’s stand out performers this year and has stepped his game up a gear after being given the Captaincy in August 2010, surely a strong candidate for player of the year. However even the best players have trouble with other players and Chelsea’s number 9 does seem to be the only player that really tests Vidic’s ability.
The press immediately jumped on Nemanja afer the weekends win at Wigan grilling the Serb about his past troubles with Torres rather than his excellent performance at the DW Stadium, Vida merely took it in his stride.
“Sometimes I read in the papers people saying I have a hard time against a particular player” Nemanja explained “But that makes me focus even more on doing my job properly. I’m just trying to do the best I can and in the end the fans and the media will form their own opinions. I can’t change these opinions by talking; I can only change them by what I do on the pitch”.
Nemanja showed a steely air of defiance much like his on the pitch persona and he has every right. He is on top form this year, enjoying arguably his best season in a United shirt whereas Torres has misfired for Liverpool all season and has continued where he left off now playing for Chelsea after a £50 million switch in January. Famous last words I hear you say, well yes, this could come back to bite me but I am really confident that Nemanja can shackle him tomorrow, even without his usual silk of Rio Ferdinand. United have so far not suffered in the absence of Rio with Chris Smalling pulling out some terrific displays, most notably in the Manchester derby giving Carlos Tevez no room to breathe which was particularly satisfying to see. Tuesday will be Smalling’s biggest test and he will need Nemanja to be at his best as his experience will help guide Chris through. United players usually thrive in the big games and I am sure that Vidic will rise to the challenge of facing his old adversary once again.
Nemanja Vidic quotes taken from