7th November – Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand has been banned recently by the FA because of comments he made on Twitter and he has been judged harsher as he is seen as a role model.

Now at the age of 36 the central defender should probably know better and it is good to see that the FA have decided to take action against someone perceived as a role model, however they should probably be dealing with other things first rather than a comment on Twitter. But Ferdinand will be hoping that he can finish off this season on good form and be remembered as a great defender.

Ferdinand started his career at West Ham and made his debut on the final day of the 1995-96 season after coming on as a substitute against Sheffield Wednesday in 1-1 draw. Before breaking into the West Ham team on a regular basis he went out on loan to Bournemouth in November 1996 and made his debut in a 1-1 draw with Blackpool. He played 10 games during his spell at the club and returned to Upton Park in January 1997. He got more and more first team chances and was awarded the Hammer of the Year award at the end of the following season at the age of 19.
Ferdinand WH
He would barely miss a game for the club over the next few seasons but in November 2000 he made the move to Leeds United for a British transfer record of £18 million. Despite a tricky start, he recovered to prove that he was worth the money the club paid and helped the club reach the semi finals of the Champions League in his first season, scoring against Deportivo La Coruna in the quarter finals. In his second season at the club things got even better on a personal level as he was given the captain’s armband because of his fantastic performances but unfortunately the club began to suffer financial problems and their star players needed to be sold.
Ferdinand LU
On the 22nd July 2002 Ferdinand transferred to Manchester United and again broke the British transfer record. He got off to a good start and helped the club win the Premier League in his first season at the club but then he almost ruined his career in September 2003. After failing to attend a drugs test he was given an eight month ban and he may have never been given another chance. But he did return and on the 14th December 2005 he would go on to score his first goal for the club in a 4-0 win over Wigan Athletic and then would later become a hero by scoring a last minute winner against Liverpool and then repeated it by scoring against them in a 2-0 win in the following season.

The 2006-07 season was arguably his best season as he helped the club win the title once more and was named in the PFA Team of the Year. The next season started brilliantly as the club kept six clean sheets in a row and Ferdinand chipped in with a goal against Aston Villa. During the season he had a ups and downs as he was involved with a steward in a defeat against Chelsea but on the pitch, he would lead his team to glory in the Champions League after beating the same opponents in the final.
Ferdinand MU
Afterwards most of his time at Manchester United was disrupted by injuries but during his spell at the club he won six Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups, one Champions League and one Club World Cup so he will go down as one of the best. After being released he signed for QPR on the 17th July 2014 but he has struggled for form and the club have performed better when he has not been in the team so this looks like it will be his last season, especially if the club get relegated.

The final word can go to Harry Redknapp. “He’s a great role model. I signed him as 14-year-old, so I know him as well as anyone and I’m just so pleased to have him at the club. I spoke to Ryan Giggs to ask how much training he was doing and how fit he was and Ryan told me that, if he’d been manager at Old Trafford this season, he would’ve still been his No.1 centre-half.”

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21st October – Nemanja Vidic

Manchester United have been inconsistent so far this season and major reason for this is because they have struggled at the back and many believe that they should have kept Nemanja Vidic.

The central defender was a huge success at Old Trafford and formed an impressive partnership with Rio Ferdinand that helped the club win a lot of trophies. He turns 33 today and that is still young for a centre back, especially when pace was never one of his greatest attributes. Vidic felt it was time to leave after last season but he will still be considered a Manchester United legend.

Vidic started his career at Red Star Belgrade but had his first taste of professional football on loan at Serbian side Spartak Subotica in 2000 and had a very good goalscoring record for a defender, scoring six league goals in 26 games. This form convinced Red Star manager Zoran Filipovic to put him into the team for the 2001-02 season. In his first season he won the Yugoslav Cup and was named club captain and would help the club onto better things, winning the domestic double in 2004. After 16 goals in 95 games, the defender joined Russian side Spartak Moscow in July 2004.
Vidic RSB
He spent two years at the Russian side and his reputation grew and was being watched by other clubs and on the 5th January 2006 he joined Manchester United. He had to wait until the 26th January to make his debut in the semi final of the League Cup against Blackburn Rovers. They would go onto win the competition and Vidic came on as a substitute in the final, which meant he received a winners medal, however he gave it to Giuseppe Rossi in recognition of the Italian’s contribution.
Vidic SM
During the 2006-07 season he finally became a first team regular and played 25 times in the Premier League as the club went on to lift the title and was rewarded with a five year contract in the following campaign. The club would go onto retain the title and also won the Champions League after beating Chelsea. The 2008-09 season was arguably his best as he was shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year award as well as winning the fans and players’ Player of the Year awards. This is an even better achievement considering that the club the defence was never settled. He would also start every match in their record breaking 14 consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League.

The next important moment during his career at Manchester United was in the 2010-11 season when he was named club captain. On the 30th October 2010, Vidic scored against Tottenham Hotspur in a 2-0 win and he has the honour of scoring the 1000th Premier League goal at Old Trafford. At the end of the season he would lift another Premier League trophy and Manchester United’s record breaking 19th.
Vidic MU
The 2011-12 season was frustrating for the defender as he suffered injuries and it was ended on the 7th December after he twisted his knee in a Champions League game against Basel. He finally returned in a 1-0 defeat against Everton on the 20th August 2012 but after suffering more injuries he would only play 22 games, however he did pick up his final Premier League winners medal at the end of the season. His final year at the club was very disappointing and he announced that he would be leaving the club and after 300 appearances he joined Inter Milan. He has not had the greatest of starts as he gave away a penalty on his debut and was sent off against Torino. Then against Palermo he made an error which allowed Franco Vazquez to score in a 1-1 draw.

The final word can go to Alex Ferguson. “Nemanja is a warrior, he’s a natural defender and he loves defending. There have been few defenders like him over the years. Nemanja is so powerful and positive in everything. He has been a great signing.”

19th October – Clint Hill

QPR were very unlucky in their 3-2 defeat against Liverpool but one thing that was evident was that they need to improve defensively and Clint Hill may become a key player once again.

The 36 year old will have to battle with experienced players like Rio Ferdinand and Richard Dunne as well as Steven Caulker for a place in the starting lineup. But with the club experimenting with three centre backs there may be more opportunities to get in the side. If QPR continue to struggle then Hill is certainly a player that you want in your team as he will never shy away from a challenge.

Hill started his career at Tranmere Rovers where he made his debut against Nottingham Forest in a 2-2 draw during the 1997-98 season and quickly became a regular in the side in the next season. Hill played a key part in helping the club reach the final of the League in 2000, however he was sent off and his side lost 2-1 against Leicester City. He spent five years at the club and played 171 times for the club, scoring 20 times.
Hill TR
In 2002 he joined Oldham Athletic for £250,000 but he suffered a broken leg in December 2002 in a League Cup tie against Crystal Palace and would not play another game for the club. He only scored one goal for the club, coming against his former club Tranmere before he moved onto Stoke City.

His first season at the club was disrupted by injuries and he only made 12 appearances but he recovered from this slow start and impressed during his second season and won the club’s Player of the Year award at the end of the 2004-05 campaign. Towards the end of the season, unfortunately he damaged his anterior cruciate ligament and could not play again until late in the 2005-06 season. When he returned he rediscovered his form and formed a strong partnership with Michael Duberry.

More injuries followed in the next campaign and when he was fit he found it hard to get into the side and over the next season and a half he was seen as the second choice left back. Hill then joined Crystal Palace on loan in October 2007 and after impressing he moved to the club permanently in January. In his first half season he helped the club reach the playoffs but unfortunately they missed out on promotion and then the next two years were tough for the club as their finances worsened and despite a 10 point deduction, Hill helped the club avoid relegation during the 2009-10 season.
Hill CP
On the 1st July 2010 Hill was reunited with former Palace boss Neil Warnock at QPR and made his debut in a 4-0 win over Barnsley. Hill played in 44 Championship games that season and helped them win the title meaning that he would be playing Premier League football for the first time. However, he got off to a terrible start being sent off on the opening day in a 4-0 loss against Bolton Wanderers and it seemed like his time at the club was over when he joined Nottingham Forest on loan on the 20th September 2011. But after just five games he was recalled and after Mark Hughes became manager, he became a regular in the team and played a key role in keeping them in the Premier League, securing the fans and players Player of the Year awards.
Hill QPR
After signing a new one year contract he was in and out of the side at the start of the next season but after Harry Redknapp took over he once again returned to the team. They would not avoid relegation this time around and last season Hill captained the team back to the Premier League after winning the playoff final 1-0 against Derby County.

The final word can go to Harry Redknapp. “Clint is a great character, a good lad and a fantastic professional. He leads by example and you know what you’re going to get from Clint. He puts his body on the line and that’s what we need.”