Do you know who Modou Sougou is?
A Senegalese international who has been a journeyman player in Portugal for many a year who came to prominence in a brief cameo on Tuesday night where he made Patrice Evra, he of 45 international caps for France, look like a park player for the short period of time he was on the pitch.
If he had remained his performance might have changed the result as Patrice Evra didn’t quite seem to know how to deal with the former Academica winger.
As it happened he got injured and had to come off and despite the efforts of Uruguayan Matias Aguirregaray, who I have now dubbed the angriest man in football; United won as Mario Felguieras seemed to hop from a pool of tar for Van Persie’s opening shoulder finish and then find that oh-so-common place known as no-mans-land where many a short-sleeved keeper before him has found themselves whimpering as a striker cannot believe their fortune.
If he had stayed on, well Patrice could have been left begging to come off so he could go for a cup-of-tea in the house that was seemingly brand new behind the none attending end of the ground.
For all of Evra’s class and obvious past talent he hasn’t been in sterling form recently and United now seemingly have a potential replacement waiting in the wings in the form of Alexander Buttner. The tattooed Dutch international performed exceptionally on his debut, grabbing a goal against Wigan so…
…should he play against Newcastle United?
The key man in this argument is Hatem Ben Arfa, who will certainly play.
If he does you imagine he will be pit against Patrice Evra, and judging by the way he toiled against the pace of Sougou the trickery of Ben Arfa coming from the right-hand side onto that wand of a left boot will give Evra genuine cause for concern. They will also know each other’s game well through international football, so Hatem will know Patrice’s weaknesses well.
But, to play devil’s advocate, the same could be said for Patrice Evra toward Ben Arfa. The defender will know his weaknesses and part of you feels in that situation the advantage may be in fact with the defensive partner.
Throwing Buttner in at St James Park against a dangerous Newcastle side would be a risky gamble, but the Dutchman also played well against them in the League Cup. Although a different side of course, he has got a really good chance to face The Magpies this weekend.
If anyone is to take the gamble then Sir Alex is that man, Buttner or Evra, it could be time to roll the dice.
Who would you play against Newcastle? Patrice Evra or Alexander Buttner?
image: © nasmac