Evra & Da Silva Defending ComparisonAlthough many football pundits feel that Evra has shown a spiral downwards is his defending over the past 24 months, the stats seem to suggest that the ageing veteran is still a more effective defender than the ‘upcoming’ Fabio. [caption id="attachment_25441" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Evra v Fabio Stats via the EPL Index Stats Centre[/caption] Evra is relatively less error-prone as compared to Fabio, whereas the former also have a better tackling success rate, albeit he lacks behind in the 50-50 ground duels. Even though Fabio is more involved in defensive duties as he takes part in a ground duel every 9.66 minutes (Evra-11.93 minutes) and in a tackle every 22 minutes (Evra- 36 minutes), the reason behind this are QPR’s tactics, particularly under Harry Redknapp. Out of the 840 minutes of Premier League football Fabio has played this term, about 65% (533 minutes) of that playing time has come under Redknapp. Since taking over the managerial helm at the Loftus Road, the former Tottenham Hotspur manager has deployed a relatively deep back line and his side have also “parked the bus” in several games to stop leaking in goals, a negative and dangerous trait of the R's under Mark Hughes. Fabio, in these games under Redknapp has consequently played a very defensive role and has been more ‘involved’ in his defensive tasks. The below two tactical maps of Fabio’s average position during two different games, one under Hughes and one Redknapp, produce a similar analysis (Note: Fabio is No 20). [caption id="attachment_25443" align="aligncenter" width="468"] Vs. Swansea
Credits:ESPNSoccernet[/caption] [caption id="attachment_25442" align="aligncenter" width="467"] Vs. Spurs
Credits:ESPNSoccernet[/caption] The game against Swansea City (under Hughes’) shows Fabio’s average position to be a little ahead of the halfway line. However, in the tie against Spurs (under Redknapp), Fabio’s average position is much behind the halfway-line, just some yards away from being parallel to the two centre-backs’ average position in the Swansea game. For this reason, with a submerged position, the lad is bound to participate in more defensive battles. Another avenue where Fabio has been lacking is his aerial threat. Evra is 1.73 metres tall, just 0.1 metre more than his Brazilian counterpart, yet the former Monaco star has a better success rate in aerial battles. Frankly, winning just 55% of your headers is an embarrassing stat for a defender and makes it quite evident that Fabio can’t mitigate high balls and can easily succumb under pressure when coming up against a physically astute player. Ironically, Fabio’s twin, Rafael is equally horrendous with his aerial abilities.