One of the longest running sagas during the recent transfer window did not include a big name super signing arriving at Old Trafford but a near universal assumption that Serbian defender Nemanja Vidic was on his way to Europe with even rumors of him crossing to the blue side of Manchester taking hold. Instead, the big defender not only signed a new four year contract to remain at United but was also handed the captains armband by manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
And Vidic could not be prouder describing that decision as a “big achievement” for him. With Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand both out with injury, the Serbian captained the team in their first three league matches of the season. “It is a big achievement for me” he told the club website “no one is going to say they don’t want to be the captain of Manchester United and I am very happy with it.
“It is a major responsibility but I have always liked responsibility, I am not a player who shies away from it. Nothing has really changed in that respect” he said. Vidic knows full well that it will not be a permanent appointment “We all know the captains of the team are Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand, they are the real leaders, the other players follow how they do things.”
“They don’t have to do anything special” he explained “they just have to be themselves, to be an example for the rest of the players. When they are not on the pitch I just try to do my best and use the experience I have gained in the years I have played for United.”
Vidic lifted his first trophy last month when United saw off Chelsea in the Community Shield “Playing in this team is a great privilege. I am delighted to be able to extend my stay here. The fans and everyone at the club have been very special to me. I hope I can do my bit to bring the club even more trophies in the years ahead.”
There was a big sigh of relief around Old Trafford when the Vidic transfer rumours were finally put to bed. Despite frequent injuries and an ever changing back four he still played a key role in United’s charge towards glory last season. His influence on other defenders, most notably Jonny Evans, was also significant and will ensure United’s back four remains tight for years to come.
Should Vidic retain the captain’s armband?