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Discussion Starter #1
Haven't seen a thread on Rafael's performance yet, so I thought I'd start one.

When the team sheets were shown before the match, the biggest surprise must have been the inclusion of Rafal da Silva.

My mates and I were saying before the match how we could use some of Gazza's bone-crunching tackles to give Robinho a warm welcome to Manchester derbies, so it was very surprising to see Rafael in the first XI.

Several thought crossed my mind.
What if he were to have a first half like against Celtic?
Would he get himself into trouble by throwing himself into tackles, which he did in his earlier games?
Would his love for going forward see him getting caught out of position?
Would we see him getting skinned by Robinho, one of the best footballers on the planet?


None of that happened and my fears were put to ease as Rafael repaid Fergie's faith with a sterling performance only outshone by Patrice Evra on the opposite flank.

One of my favourite moments was when Robinho put both hands on Rafael's shoulders and tried to barge him out of the way, but the young fullback did not move an inch.

He stood his ground, out-muscled Robinho and ran away with the ball before passing it to a team mate. NICE!

Going forward he offered assured ball control, nice penetrating runs which stretched the defence and several tantalizing crosses.


Someone stop me, if I'm getting carried away, but you compare this performance against other right backs from other teams and against Danny Simpson for example.

How good was Rafael da Silva yesterday?

Antdevil78 made a very good shout by saying that we might possibly be looking at the Young Player of the Year and I don't see why I shouldn't agree.

There are other good young players out there and these awards often go to attacking players, but Rafael gets forward often enough to catch the eye, so he should stand a good chance.

Any thoughts?
 

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He did a great game besides that last thing....:D

But he must be Evra-ish before we bring out the big words.

Im impressed over what he's done so far.
 

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I would think he is the most impactful amongst our youngsters in the first team this season with his immense skills, talents, courage, temperament, willingness to shoot at sight, unfazed in big occasions and putting in pretty decent crosses too. So I do reckon he must be in the driving seat for the award.

Agree that one major concern for him though is whether he could be caught out in his forays. And of course, reading the game and positioning sense can only improve with time.

But he has to cement his right back spot for good first - like Evra and some others did for their respective positions.
 

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He's going to be a star. I have no doubts about that.

For Fergie to start him in the Manchester derby shows how much faith he has in him. The majority of his performances have been excellent. With Evra and Rafael bombing forward it really adds to our attack but I'm still a bit wary of his positional play and tackling but this will improve over time.

I really hope Fabio gets a chance soon because I want to see how good he is.
 

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Hes been great so far this season, and hes only going to get better.

Of course, he isn't near to be World Class atm. But I think he will become Wrld Class. Hs got fantastic potential, and hes at the right club to turn that potential into the finished product. But of course, it depends on his attitude as well and by the look of things, he has a good attitude but we can't really judge that for ourselves.

And as reddwarf says, his positional play and tackling aren't fantastic (his tackling is great at times though.) But hes only 18, and in time they will improve. And remember, Evra was pretty poor defensively when he first came, but look at him now. And, he was about 6 years older than Rafael when he came, so it looks good for the future.

As for Young Player of the Year, that will entirely depend on how many games he gets. But if he gets quite a lot, I think he may well be a contender.
 

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I thought this was the match where he announced to us all that he can be a big player THIS season.

I was always gonna interesting (and scary) seeing him face a top team while being on yellow card for over an hour. SWP and Robinho are two of the most tricky players out there and they'll get many accomplished defenders booked this season, so I was very, very nervous after Rafael's first booking.

But he showed great discipline down the right. We all know about his attacking talents, but we haven't really had a chance to see him defensively, but yesterday he was good IMO.

I'm sure most will agree with me when I say Rafael has 2 major weaknesses at the moment;

Positioning
recklessness.

He showed yesterday that he is able to defend well without jumping 50 mph into every tackle. Hos positioning was very good, probably better than its been in most other matches IMO. I can't recall many, if any at all, times where he left our right hand side open. Granted he had Park there to help him, but he still did very well IMO.

He's only 18 and just 10 games into his career with us, but already he has us all talking about him. He's definately the most exciting player we have right now IMO.

I loved it when he stood over the ball on a Robinho free kick and Robinho tried to get Rafael a second yellowe by kicking the ball at him, but he missed and we got the ball back straight away.

I'd love to see how Fabio feels. He has always been the one who has had the most praise and the brother who was expected to make the bigger impact, but now its roles reversed. Rafael has established himself firmly as a member if the 1st team squad, and is making it harder and harder for for the manager to leave him out.

Most people mention his age, but I also thinks its amazing that a kid who has played just 10 games (approx) has made such great strides. I remember seeing the teamsheet vs Perterborough in pre season and thinking "Oh Rafael is playing, hopefully he isn't a total flop" as I was always under the impression we just bought Rafael to accompany his more talented brother, Fabio. But ever since that game he has continued to suprise me. From his awesome performance vs Juventus, to his great little cameo vs Newcastle in which he was inches away from getting us a penalty, then his great performance vs Aalborg, follwed by the goal vs Arsenal which showed us he has not only the self belief, but also the confidence in his own ability after the Celtic shocker, to finally his greatest peformace IMO in the City derby.

It was probably his least dramatic performance, but to me it showed us that he can defend, which has always been the main worry.

But lets not put too much pressure on the lad. We all know how much talent and potential he has, but don't be suprised if e goes and has a total shocker in the coming weeks. Thats what kids are like, and for a defender its even more likely.
 

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TheManc said:
I thought this was the match where he announced to us all that he can be a big player THIS season.

I was always gonna interesting (and scary) seeing him face a top team while being on yellow card for over an hour. SWP and Robinho are two of the most tricky players out there and they'll get many accomplished defenders booked this season, so I was very, very nervous after Rafael's first booking.

But he showed great discipline down the right. We all know about his attacking talents, but we haven't really had a chance to see him defensively, but yesterday he was good IMO.

I'm sure most will agree with me when I say Rafael has 2 major weaknesses at the moment;

Positioning
recklessness.


He showed yesterday that he is able to defend well without jumping 50 mph into every tackle. Hos positioning was very good, probably better than its been in most other matches IMO. I can't recall many, if any at all, times where he left our right hand side open. Granted he had Park there to help him, but he still did very well IMO.

He's only 18 and just 10 games into his career with us, but already he has us all talking about him. He's definately the most exciting player we have right now IMO.

I loved it when he stood over the ball on a Robinho free kick and Robinho tried to get Rafael a second yellowe by kicking the ball at him, but he missed and we got the ball back straight away.

I'd love to see how Fabio feels. He has always been the one who has had the most praise and the brother who was expected to make the bigger impact, but now its roles reversed. Rafael has established himself firmly as a member if the 1st team squad, and is making it harder and harder for for the manager to leave him out.

Most people mention his age, but I also thinks its amazing that a kid who has played just 10 games (approx) has made such great strides. I remember seeing the teamsheet vs Perterborough in pre season and thinking "Oh Rafael is playing, hopefully he isn't a total flop" as I was always under the impression we just bought Rafael to accompany his more talented brother, Fabio. But ever since that game he has continued to suprise me. From his awesome performance vs Juventus, to his great little cameo vs Newcastle in which he was inches away from getting us a penalty, then his great performance vs Aalborg, follwed by the goal vs Arsenal which showed us he has not only the self belief, but also the confidence in his own ability after the Celtic shocker, to finally his greatest peformace IMO in the City derby.

It was probably his least dramatic performance, but to me it showed us that he can defend, which has always been the main worry.

But lets not put too much pressure on the lad. We all know how much talent and potential he has, but don't be suprised if e goes and has a total shocker in the coming weeks. Thats what kids are like, and for a defender its even more likely.
Spot on mate,fully agree with you.He has a great tendancy to drift further and further up the pitch,which is all well and good,but it leaves Vidic covering RB/CB on many occasions.Im sure with time/experience/discipline from SAF he will sort it out.The lad could be one of the greater little gems we've uncovered in recent years.
 

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I think it would be madness not to make him our 1st choice rb. u can go on about experience but he's still miles better than O Shea.
 

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Hopefully he will get better and better he just needs his football brain to kick in and to think about what he's doing abit more.

and I hope Fabio will get his chance and show his worth aswell!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
TheManc said:
But he showed great discipline down the right. We all know about his attacking talents, but we haven't really had a chance to see him defensively, but yesterday he was good IMO.

I'm sure most will agree with me when I say Rafael has 2 major weaknesses at the moment;

Positioning
recklessness.

He showed yesterday that he is able to defend well without jumping 50 mph into every tackle. Hos positioning was very good, probably better than its been in most other matches IMO. I can't recall many, if any at all, times where he left our right hand side open. Granted he had Park there to help him, but he still did very well IMO.
........

I'd love to see how Fabio feels. He has always been the one who has had the most praise and the brother who was expected to make the bigger impact, but now its roles reversed. Rafael has established himself firmly as a member if the 1st team squad, and is making it harder and harder for for the manager to leave him out.

.........

It was probably his least dramatic performance, but to me it showed us that he can defend, which has always been the main worry.

But lets not put too much pressure on the lad. We all know how much talent and potential he has, but don't be suprised if e goes and has a total shocker in the coming weeks. Thats what kids are like, and for a defender its even more likely.

Great post!

I enjoyed reading that. You should post more often! :)

It was nice to see him defend while staying on his feet yesterday and his positioning was very good. He left his post at the right times to get forward and made sure he was back to defend. It was a mature & accomplished performance by anyone's standards.

Nobody else is mentioning it, but the boy can cross too which I find very encouraging.You;re right that his performance was less dramatic yesterday, but it was great NOT to see him having to dive into desperate tackles or getting skinned by Robinho.

As for Fabio, I can only imagine that he's raring to go. I just hope he doesn't suffer from Tevez-try-to-hard-syndrome!

I think your call for calmness is great and I sure hope people go easy on him, when he has a bad game.
 

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I'm sure I heard that Neville doesn't or didn't see much in Rafael because he attacks too much, but I have to disagree. The game demands attacking full-backs nowerdays, especially when we don't really have any players that stay wide. Park and Ronaldo both drift in. His positioning isn't great as someone mentioned but that comes with experience.

Him with Evans and maybe Fabio, and that's our future defence it would seem.
 

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spellbound said:
He did a great game besides that last thing....:D

But he must be Evra-ish before we bring out the big words.

Im impressed over what he's done so far.
aint he evra-ish like???. gotta remember...HE IS ONLY JUST 18 and is its only his first season.

The last player to come into team at this age and impact so quickly like this is now 35 and forever a Red Devil legend
 

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antdevil78 said:
aint he evra-ish like???. gotta remember...HE IS ONLY JUST 18 and is its only his first season.

The last player to come into team at this age and impact so quickly like this is now 35 and forever a Red Devil legend
Just because his age he's not Evra-ish. He got to put up a few more games like the one last night. Nine games dont make a star and he still have a few things to learn. But this lad got the talant to be up there.
 

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Pz
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Impressed with him. He looks like a kid too as in he shows no fear and he eyes light up with excitement so to speak when he is on the park.

I hope and have trust that fergie will use him correct because he still is only 18 and cannot be expected nor should be playing everygame at this stage in his career to help his development and make sure he continues to improve. Cannot wait to see more of him ofcourse but i have faith in fergie to use him right.

Pz!
 
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