The telepathy between the pair is so good that it was difficult for me to post an article for each of them. The partnership of Rio and Vida is the cornerstone upon which our current trophy winning side is built. The pair have been a revelation to United no wonder comparisons with Garry Pallister and Steve Bruce.
Rio has had a stop start campaign given his injuries but Vida has played almost every game for United this season. That he won the Premier League Player of the Year Award--an accolade that has been won by attackers over the years--is testament to his contribution to our cause this past season. For me, he has been our player of the season, hands down! There aren't enough superlatives to describe his importance to the United back four.
Many ABUS would like to refer to the one bad game he had against Liverpool to waterdown his achievements but any manager would take 1 bad game from his defender out of 67 games!
It is also important to note that Vida has protected Jonny Evans a lot when playing alongside the rookie defender. I thought it helped Evans to develop his confidence.
Much as Vida has whatever is required of a central defender, he lacks that authority and leadership that Ferdinand will bring. Rio's importance to our backline was evident when he returned from injury in time to get us a much needed clean sheet at Porto in the Champions League. In the absence of Garry and Giggs, Rio leads and his game reading plus the abilities of Nemanja mean that we have one of the best central defence pairings in the world.
The good news coming out yesterday was that Vida will stay with us next season despite interest from Barcelona.
Unfortunately for us, this past season has gone by without us enjoying the ideal central defence partnership, largely due to Rio's back injury. Recently, a calf problem has seen him miss International duty with England so one hopes that next season he can be seen more regularly. I really hope that he, Wes and Owen are fit for us next year. That way, we can surely match and beat even the likes of Barcelona!