United extend Evra break
Manchester United's Patrice Evra has been given extra time off by Sir Alex Ferguson following the World Cup.
Last Updated: 06/08/10 3:58pm
Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has been given extra time off by Sir Alex Ferguson following the World Cup.
Left-back Evra captained France during their farcical campaign in South Africa this summer, and has been condemned for his part in the training strike that followed Nicolas Anelka's dismissal from the camp by coach Raymond Domenech.
United manager Ferguson has handed the 29-year-old an additional week off to allow his body to recover from the strain of a taxing season and the added demands of the World Cup.
"We decided to give Patrice more rest," confirmed Ferguson. "Over the last five years he has played an average of 55 games a year.
"This summer he has had the World Cup as well so we felt he deserved another week's rest.
"He started training yesterday and won't be available until into the season."
Ferguson was disappointed with the World Cup this summer, and admits a number of high-profile stars failed to live up to expectation.
United striker Wayne Rooney, who produced 34 goals for the Red Devils last term, was one of many big-name flops in South Africa as he was unable to find his best form and left the tournament without a goal to his name.
Fernando Torres, Nicolas Anelka, Kaka and Robin van Persie were also among those that were unable to make an impact, and Ferguson, who has made no secret of his belief that the UEFA Champions League boasts greater quality than the World Cup, was not entirely surprised to see them struggle.
"A lot of teams and a lot of players were disappointing at the World Cup," said Ferguson, who managed Scotland at the 1986 edition in Mexico.
"There is only one team who took credit and that was Spain. They kept a reasonable momentum and playing style throughout the tournament.
"The rest were spasmodic or disappointing in their form and so were some of their best players. That just went towards what was a poor tournament.
"There could be a lot of reasons for that and expectation does come into it.
"Everyone always looks forward to the World Cup as if it is going to be the greatest thing ever but you have to go back to Mexico 1986 for the last good one."