previous campaigns and has produced several admirable performances at the heart of United’s defence, most recently during last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham at White Hart Lane alongside long-term partner Nemanja Vidic.
As Sir Alex explains, this level of performance and quality is no fluke and can be attributed to the careful plan that is mapped out to bring the best out of Rio, taking care to attribute game time in appropriate matches as the Reds chase glory in three separate competitions this term.
“Rio has had a great season,” the boss stated.” Obviously, he doesn’t play every game and we prepare him for certain situations. He didn’t play last Wednesday against West Ham. He was nice and fresh to play against Tottenham and of course as we expected he did really well.
“I read that (Andre) Villas-Boas said they (Tottenham)played great football. They didn’t, actually. They missed out their midfield in the second half, they just kept playing it into the penalty box. In that situation Rio and Vida were right down their alley. They (Tottenham) played right into their (Ferdinand and Vidic's) hands I thought.
“I didn’t see any great danger to be honest with you. Rio and Vida swallowed up everything that came in their way. They had a couple of shots blocked but nothing that caused us a great deal of damage. The biggest threat was Lennon. When he got the ball, he was Tottenham's best player.”