Fabio Da Silva, the ‘technically better one‘ of the Brazilian twin brothers scored the fourth and final goal in a 4-0 rout against a hapless Norwich City in the league cup 4th round on the tuesday night to take Manchester United into the quarter final. Well. One could of think of the boy as to why he couldn’t solidify his position in the side, when his brother Rafael – the hardworking one has gone on from strength to strength since, having made that right back position his own. Fabio did famously make it to the starting 11 in the champions league final 2011, which we lost to FC Barcelona. But since then he didn’t get involved in the Manchester United team as much as he’d have liked to and as a result he went on loan to QPR in the 2012-13 season for more playing time.
Fabio’s statistics in the last two years with two different teams show a decent rise in form, if not spectacular. Despite the fact that a couple of calf niggles had played a part in him not involving with Manchester United much in the early years, he will certainly have to work his way through to the Manchester United’s first team, impress David Moyes in the reserve games (which he is doing lately) and a few solid performances with the first team – 8/10 performances to justify his claim.
In the 2011-12 season with Manchester United, Fabio just started 2 games and came on as a substitute in 3 others, so that makes it 5 involved in total and 246 minutes on the pitch. His tackle success rate of 70% is fair (Evra – 76% in that season) and for his height, he’s won close 45% of the aerial 50-50s he was involved in. A total of 7 interceptions in all of 246 minutes on the pitch is quite an average statistic though but it is his ability to venture forward was what he was bought for. Out of the 121 passes in open play attempted, he did get 102 of them accurate with more than half of them forward. He did create 3 chances in all the 5 games he was involved in, a stat he would not be proud of considering the involvement of wide players in Manchester United’s game.
In 2012-13, he was on loan with Queen’s Park Rangers in order to get more playing time, who would get themselves relegated at the end of the season. He started a fair amount of games though under Mark Hughes (Sacked in November) and Harry Redknapp. He played 1133 minutes in total that included 13 starts and 8 as a substitute. His tackle success rate and the already talked about aerial 50-50s have improved considerably, averaging close to 78% and 60% respectively. However it’s his passing that’s let him down a bit. A 70% pass completion rate compared to the 83% the previous season partly due to the calf injury he had to endure in the middle of the season.
Much of last season’s defensive weaknesses were masked by our strikers – especially this Dutchman Robin Van Persie. With Evra not getting any younger and Buttner not particularly impressive when it comes to defending, I feel David Moyes should give Fabio the nod, starting him in the fringe games at least, in order to shape him up for the future. As much as it’d help him regain confidence in his abilities, it’d Rafael too in focusing on his own game since both these guys care for each other.
Having had two brothers, Gary and Phil Neville, occupying both full-back positions before and with Patrice Evra’s career coming to an end, there is no reason why Rafael and Fabio cannot become our next set of marauding full-backs, if Fabio is given more opportunities to prove himself. With David Moyes looking to buy a left-back in January, that dream looks farfetched. Fabio has already hinted the Stretford end and the rest of the supporters that he is looking for a move away from the club by that “Thank you for everything” celebration.
Having been with the club since 15, having snubbed Arsenal in the process, these guys more than just epitomize the club and its never-say-die spirit. I’d love him to stay at the club, show some more patience, which he has shown already and perform when he gets the nod. Because these twins have always been together and nobody would want that bond to get disrupted for all we know.