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2022-23 Performances


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lex talionis

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You're bonkers if you actually think Varane is Rio's level or that even Vidic was Rio's level. Rio was much better than both of them and I love Vidic. He was world class, but Rio at his peak for me was a top 3 CB in history.
It's bonkers to deny that Varane is in the class of Rio or Vidic.

Was Varane well off his peak last season when he joined United? Yes. He suffered from injuries and the squad -- and the club from top to bottom -- was in turmoil if not outright disgrace. It was arguably Varane's worst season since he joined Real in 2011. But before last season he was truly immense, easily in the class of Rio and Vidic and in truth above it. But that was then. This season is still young and judgments will have to be put on hold until we see how Varane copes with everything that's coming his way, but you'd have to say so far, so very good. But it's completely bonkers to suggest that Varane at his peak (he's still only 29 I believe) was nowhere close -- you used the words "much better" -- to Rio.

Rio was world class without any question, but the United manager knew who to give the armband to and there was no dispute at the time when Vidic was named Player of the Season twice.
 

Adam-Utd

Part of first caf team to complete Destiny raid
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he’s playing how I expected when we bought him.

He’s clearly enjoying the extra responsibilities and taking on a leadership role. He and Martinez work so well together.
 

Dominos

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He seems to get injured playing for France every time there's an international break. Please let him break the curse this time round.

Our season really rests on him staying fit.
 

JPRouve

can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate
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He seems to get injured playing for France every time there's an international break. Please let him break the curse this time round.

Our season really rests on him staying fit.
That's exactly what I was thinking. Smirking at the thought of naive souls not realizing that his fate had already been decided.
 

Sviken

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It's bonkers to deny that Varane is in the class of Rio or Vidic.

Was Varane well off his peak last season when he joined United? Yes. He suffered from injuries and the squad -- and the club from top to bottom -- was in turmoil if not outright disgrace. It was arguably Varane's worst season since he joined Real in 2011. But before last season he was truly immense, easily in the class of Rio and Vidic and in truth above it. But that was then. This season is still young and judgments will have to be put on hold until we see how Varane copes with everything that's coming his way, but you'd have to say so far, so very good. But it's completely bonkers to suggest that Varane at his peak (he's still only 29 I believe) was nowhere close -- you used the words "much better" -- to Rio.

Rio was world class without any question, but the United manager knew who to give the armband to and there was no dispute at the time when Vidic was named Player of the Season twice.
Maybe I went a little hyperbole but in my mind, and in most United fans, Rio was indeed better than Vidic. Vidic was more pleasing on the eyes as a defender since he'll always do the last bit impressive tackle or some showmanship, but Rio was a wall. He was always at the right place at the right time and didn't need any of that. He was also hugely athletic despite his size. At his peak a goal against us would basically have to be some sort of a fluke to get in. That's how "safe" I felt as a United fan with him VDS, Evra and Vidic at the bhackline. When I said "much better", I should have probably addressed Varane since Varane is not yet at Rio's level, lets' be real. I've only watched him in the CL with Madrid and now United, but albeit good and arguably world class this season, he hasn't exactly left his mark yet.

A lot of it is down to injuries. He's always performed reasonably well when called upon, but this season is the one where he is truly shining, but again - its' still early days. He's played like what? 5-6 matches? I hope he becomes as good as Rio because that will at least guarantee us one league title with him, but 5-6 games is way too of a small sample size to compare them. And when I watched him with Madrid in the CL he looked class, but again - wouldn't put him above Rio with those performances either.
 

NinjaZombie

Punched the air when Liverpool beat City
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he’s playing how I expected when we bought him.

He’s clearly enjoying the extra responsibilities and taking on a leadership role. He and Martinez work so well together.
I thought it was interesting that Ten Hag mentioned this is in the post match interview.

With Rapha Varane there as the leader, he puts everyone in the right position, he fits really good together with Licha Martinez....
I think this is probably it for Maguire. Bar injuries, of course.
 

Solius

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He’s nailed on to get an injury playing for France isn’t he.
 

El Jefe

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Varane is a colossus of a CB. More Rio than Vidic of course, but better than Rio at his peak even now at this stage of Varane's career.
Varane now is better than peak Rio? Please tell me I've misunderstood you.

Even at his peak, Varane is not as good as Rio. Essentially Rio was Varane with much better ball playing ability.
 

Rozay

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Yes.
 

huyn

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The big difference for Varane between this season and the previous one is Maguire, and not because of football/skills reasons, but because of roles and leadership.

Varane is one of the most versatile central defenders there is. He can play LCB or RCB, he can play in a 2 or 3 men defense, he can act as a sweeper or as a more aggressive centre back. But that's just on the pitch, he's as versatile when it comes to roles. It took him a couple years after being called up as a kid in the French national team to establish himself as the defensive leader, and a couple more to become the natural leader of the team (despite Lloris keeping the armband because of seniority and being a great leader in his own way), and he has had great success in that leader role.
But he has no problem taking a seat back and being the second in command as he has shown all those years in Madrid playing alongside big leaders with huge personalities like Sergio Ramos or Pepe. And I think that was his mindset coming in last season, he was supposed to play alongside Maguire, the captain of the team, the most expensive defender of all time, the leader of the defense of the English national team, in an English club, he'd obviously be the right hand man. And while I think most of you guys are way too harsh on Maguire as a footballer, it's clear he has no defensive leadership skills (maybe he's a good locker room leader but it's another thing). So Varane found himself having to follow the orders from someone who pretty much had no idea what he was doing.

But this season with Ten Hag making it clear publically that Varane was the boss at the back, it benefited not only him but your whole defense. And I think if Lisandro were to get injured (I hope he wont for you guys, he's pretty amazing), the Varane-Maguire partnership would be very different from last season and if Maguire buys into it, it'd fix a lot of the mistakes in his game.
 

lex talionis

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He's not better than prime Rio.
Most non-English would disagree, but fair enough. That said, Rio was a colossus in his day. But it must be recalled that during Vidic's prime he was regarded as the greater defender, was named captain by his manager and was the PL Player of the Season twice. I don't recall Rio ever being so recognized even once.
 

Widow

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Most non-English would disagree, but fair enough. That said, Rio was a colossus in his day. But it must be recalled that during Vidic's prime he was regarded as the greater defender, was named captain by his manager and was the PL Player of the Season twice. I don't recall Rio ever being so recognized even once.
You've push these points many times already but they don't make Vida (a world class cb) better than Rio.

Becoming captain has nothing to do with your skill level as a player. Go and read the past winners of the player of the season and you'll find some strange winners. I believe Parker won it once whilst at Charlton getting relegated in the same season. The votes don't always represent the facts. In fact, Giggs won it after only playing around 13 games that season, if memory serves.

Rio was a better all round defender that could do the lot. Vida was a warrior but Rio pushed boundaries for defenders. How old were you when they played for United? I'm not trying to be patronising but I feel the modern generation won't get to appreciate players from watching them in old games on YouTube.
 

Skills

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Varane now is better than peak Rio? Please tell me I've misunderstood you.

Even at his peak, Varane is not as good as Rio. Essentially Rio was Varane with much better ball playing ability.
Rio's ball playing ability is so overrated.
 

El Jefe

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Rio's ball playing ability is so overrated.
I mean this is only true if you're judging Rio after 2010 where he became a bit of a hoof merchant but even that Rio is much better on the ball than current Varane.

Rio before his back started acting up was incredible on the ball. He would dribble his way out of tight situations very often and run into midfield. He could also play passes in between the lines and play the long ball too. He was excellent on the ball at his peak.

Redknapp and Hoddle say it as people who coached him first hand. Young Rio was exceptional on the ball.

 

A-man

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I mean this is only true if you're judging Rio after 2010 where he became a bit of a hoof merchant but even that Rio is much better on the ball than current Varane.

Rio before his back started acting up was incredible on the ball. He would dribble his way out of tight situations very often and run into midfield. He could also play passes in between the lines and play the long ball too. He was excellent on the ball at his peak.

Redknapp and Hoddle say it as people who coached him first hand. Young Rio was exceptional on the ball.

I think it’s hard to compare as demands of the ball handling skills are different in the modern game. The press is so much more intense now. If we flew back Varane to 2008 maybe he would also look great on the ball?
 

AltiUn

likes playing with swords after fantasies
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Most non-English would disagree, but fair enough. That said, Rio was a colossus in his day. But it must be recalled that during Vidic's prime he was regarded as the greater defender, was named captain by his manager and was the PL Player of the Season twice. I don't recall Rio ever being so recognized even once.
Proper cop-out response this, always is when speaking about an English player. Unquantifiable and impossible to prove.
 

Stacks

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It's bonkers to deny that Varane is in the class of Rio or Vidic.

Was Varane well off his peak last season when he joined United? Yes. He suffered from injuries and the squad -- and the club from top to bottom -- was in turmoil if not outright disgrace. It was arguably Varane's worst season since he joined Real in 2011. But before last season he was truly immense, easily in the class of Rio and Vidic and in truth above it. But that was then. This season is still young and judgments will have to be put on hold until we see how Varane copes with everything that's coming his way, but you'd have to say so far, so very good. But it's completely bonkers to suggest that Varane at his peak (he's still only 29 I believe) was nowhere close -- you used the words "much better" -- to Rio.

Rio was world class without any question, but the United manager knew who to give the armband to and there was no dispute at the time when Vidic was named Player of the Season twice.
nah he was jr to Ramos the real leader. I always found Varane a bit overrated. He is no Rio. I don't fancy him winning 1 v 1 the way Rio did. rio was part of record breaking defences. Real was more about their goals than their defence and would often have the 4th/5th best defence (or even lower) in the league with Varane.
 

OrcaFat

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Jul 29, 2013
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He’s starting to look the part.

Pretty much nobody compares to Rio the first couple of seasons after his ban so I feel Varane shouldn’t really be held to that standard. That said, he is definitely top class; it’s great to see him getting a run of games and I’m glad we’ve got him.
 

SATA

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Absolutely colossal of a defender who handles himself well. I actually don’t understand those who said Sergio Ramos babysat him at Madrid
 

InfiniteBoredom

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So, last year did Varane forget about his leadership qualities or players around him simply did not listen?
He wasn’t going to start barking orders around playing next to the captain was he?

And even then, there was a stark contrast in our record when he did and didn’t play.
 

MadDogg

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Most non-English would disagree, but fair enough. That said, Rio was a colossus in his day. But it must be recalled that during Vidic's prime he was regarded as the greater defender, was named captain by his manager and was the PL Player of the Season twice. I don't recall Rio ever being so recognized even once.
Rio was better in 06/07 and 07/08 (personally I rate the latter as perhaps the best individual season I've ever seen a defender have). Unfortunately in 08/09 he started picking up injuries, including the back injury that he never fully recovered from. From that point forward Vidic was better, and in fact that same season of 08/09 he spent a good portion of it playing even better than Rio had the previous season, but he fell away a fair bit in the last few months so wasn't as good overall.

So I would say Rio's absolute peak was better, but he was only at that level for two seasons due to that back injury. Vidic was almost as good and maintained it for four or five seasons. Ultimately we were damn lucky to have them both.
 

Marwood

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Varane now is better than peak Rio? Please tell me I've misunderstood you.

Even at his peak, Varane is not as good as Rio. Essentially Rio was Varane with much better ball playing ability.
And stronger and quicker.

It's not even close.
 
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