Football is like a pyramid and Patrice Evra is determined to stay at the top, the Manchester United defender claimed yesterday.
The 31-year-old has been United’s most consistent player for the past five seasons and has cemented himself in starting line up across numerous competitions.
His status as one of the world’s best left-backs has been established after gruelling games and hours of competing against the best – and new-boy Alexander Buttner’s arrival is an added challenge that Evra reslishes.
“You have to fight for your place every day,” said the Frenchman. “Last season I played a lot of games and maybe if I play well these days people just accept that as normal.
“But it is not normal playing well for United.
“When you play a bad game people criticise you too quickly. My target is simple: Football is like a pyramid and I want to stay on the top.
“It is easy to reach the top of the pyramid but to stay there is the hardest part. I always try to stay on the top. I tried last year, I will try this year and the year after that.”
Evra arrived for £5.5million in 2006 from Monaco and has played just shy of 300 games for the Reds, and averaging 50 games a season is a regular target for the former France captain.
“I have been really happy with my form,” he said. “I am confident with myself and with my quality. I’ve been here six years and I want to be the best. That is my target every year.
“My biggest challenge is from myself, I am not being arrogant but I am my biggest challenge. People forget very quickly how I got to become United’s left-back.
“There was Gabriel Heinze and Mikael Silvestre. When I hear people say Patrice never had someone to fight him for his place I just say they have to remember I fought with two great left-backs. They have bad memories!”
And despite conquering two players to secure his position as a fresh faced youngster, the wiser and more experience Frenchman is not about to let his place slip from his grasp without a battle.
“I will keep fighting,” he admitted. “It is too easy for people to say that now we have bought another left-back ‘Patrice Evra will have to fight for his place now’.
“Patrice Evra has always fought for his place.
“It doesn’t matter if someone is there or if they’re not, I will fight because you have to respect the shirt. When you play for Manchester United that is the big challenge.”