Date: 22nd February 2010 at 5:11pm
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Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are available to face West Ham tomorrow. It is, without question, a big boost as our defence has been floundering for a while now.

Jonny Evans and Wes Brown kept the ship afloat and they deserve credit but on the long term they are not good enough, not consistent enough. Sooner or later our defensive frailties were going to be exposed and Everton, unfortunately, were more than happy to do the honours.

Brown is usually lost without an experienced leader alongside him and Jonny Evans simply seems exhaused, more mentally than physically. If we have to keep playing them from now on to the end of the season, we’ll surely win nothing.

But with Ferdinand and Vidic, the chance is there even though nothing is granted. Neither has been in great form when they played – although it’s hard to judge as they’ve barely played at all – but the quality is there. Now it’s a question of keeping them fit and they should get their sharpness and old stability back soon enough, especially with Edwin van der Sar providing a solid, reassuring presence just behind them.

United’s back four was the bedrock of last season’s title success. And though John O’Shea, who was actually a very important contributor, is unlikely to play again this season, a return to those days when we were dogged, mean and hard to beat would be welcome. It would help the midfielders, the attackers, the whole balance of the team. We’ve kept up so far despite problems, now it’s time to regularly put out our first choice-side. Hopefully injuries will permit that.