Patrice Evra says 'everyone failed' at Manchester United, not just David Moyes
Three teams are competing for the league because of United's absence, claims defender
Monday 05 May 2014
Patrice Evra believes this season's Premier League title run-in has only been a three-horse race because Manchester United are not involved. The 32-year-old also blames on-pitch performances rather than the sacked David Moyes for a "disaster" of a campaign, and says the club maybe did not realise how difficult it would be without Sir Alex Ferguson.
"Big frustration," Evra said after the 1-0 home defeat to Sunderland. "I think that is why the league this year is between many teams because Manchester United are not in the running. It is normally between us and [Manchester] City.
"This year we have been really poor. We deserve all the criticism. We didn't play well enough. We lose some stupid games and that is why we are in this position. I really think it's an accident.
"You always feel responsible even when David Moyes was in charge. When I spoke with him I put the players before everything because we are on the pitch.
"I never point at anyone else. If I have to say something to David Moyes I will say it to him and not in the paper. I am not that kind of man. I never hide behind something because I have so much respect for the club. This year, everyone failed."
Asked whether Ferguson's retirement had had a bigger impact than anticipated, Evra said "a lot of people know" that.
"He is a legend. You cannot replace him so quickly. We knew it would be difficult but not this difficult. We can do much better than what we have done – maybe not win the league but at least qualify for the Champions League with the players we have got. It's not about the manager... you should be there and it's a disaster this year, a season to forget."
As regards his own uncertain future, Evra insisted that he had not yet made any decision. "My agent will have a meeting with [the club] and we will see. It will be easy for me. That is my point of view. I just want to wait until the end of the season to decide what to do."
On whether he had been offered a new deal yet, Evra simply said: "Ask Manchester United, not me. Everyone knows how much I love this club. It's difficult. The reason is an important reason. And you will see."
The future of interim manager Ryan Giggs is also far from secure with the anticipated appointment of Louis van Gaal this week, and the 40-year-old hinting he may have to leave Old Trafford for managerial experience.
"It might dawn on me on Monday or Tuesday," Giggs told the BBC. "Then I might have to put myself on the bench. The perfect scenario would be me coming on and scoring but football doesn't work like that."
Giggs said he would not play for another team, but didn't rule out managing another club. "You can never say yes or no. I'm still a young man in relative terms in management."
Evra pictured after scoring against Bayern Munich earlier this season
Gus Poyet meanwhile praised the "cojones" of his Sunderland squad to get out of a "scary" situation, especially since five of his main squad are either out of contract at the end of the season or leaving after loan deals expire. Despite that, and being 20th three weeks ago, Sebastian Larsson's goal at Old Trafford put them on the brink of survival.
"Big cojones, you need it!" Poyet laughed, in reference to Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone's midweek comments.
"Everybody knows after the [League Cup] final we went on a run that was scary. It was not easy. I can tell you that it was not enjoyable at all. You need to believe, you need to make sure everyone believes and keep doing it.
"But the players, they don't want to go down. They don't want to have that on their CV, they want to fight for their lives. I think that part is something we really played on... the commitment of the players together to do something special. It is the key."
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