Winning the only option for Evra
Patrice Evra feels he let Manchester United down this season because the club did not retain the Premier League trophy. The France full-back is in a minority of one given his performances would have secured his club's player-of-the-year prize at a minimum if it had not been for the outstanding contribution of Wayne Rooney. But as he raked over the coals of a campaign that ended without him being crowned a league champion for the first time since 2006, Evra could not help analysing his own contribution. By any standards, it has been impressive, a fact not lost on Sir Alex Ferguson given Evra's 51 appearances were more than anyone else in the United squad. However, the 29-year-old insists he could have done more to avoid the shattering disappointment of watching Chelsea lift the trophy he has come to think of as United's own. "I always say when we don't win the Premier League it feels like I have not done my job for the team," said Evra. "When you play for Manchester United, you must always win. "In four (full) years with Manchester United, this was the first time I have never won the league and I feel strange. "To finish second is good but it is not my mentality." Ferguson insists there is no point picking out games which could have changed the course of the season. Evra can think of a few though. That second game defeat at Burnley for a start, more latterly the home defeat to Chelsea, followed by a draw at Blackburn that ultimately proved to be terminal. Not that the season was without its highlights for the former Monaco man. Certainly the feeling of lifting the Carling Cup at Wembley after captaining United to victory against Aston Villa will live long in the memory. "I am very proud about that," he said. "I was in good form and everyone has congratulated me on my season. It is not just about playing, it is about performing and I performed for 51 games. "But every year I play for Manchester United I want to win. Here you have to be first. "This year I don't feel we have done the job very well. I congratulate Chelsea but I feel like Manchester United have given them the league." Evra's consolation comes from the fact his disappointment will not be allowed to linger for long. Later this week he will join up with his French team-mates for the start of World Cup preparations which will cause a sense of indignation in the Republic of Ireland, where they continue to nurse a grievance at Thierry Henry's handball. That injustice has not been made any easier to bear by the knowledge France received a favourable draw which, providing they play to something approaching their capabilities, will see them in line to face the winners of England's group in the quarter-finals. "The only thing that is keeping me smiling is the World Cup," said Evra. "What has happened with United is sad, so to think about the World Cup is good. "I will give my best for my country and hopefully we will play England - in the final."
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