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Former Manchester United player recalls Nemanja Vidic’s horror show debut

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Nemanja Vidic’s debut run-out for Manchester United’s reserves was so bad that his own teammates were questioning his ability, according to former colleague Phil Marsh.

Vidic joined the club in January 2006 from Spartak Moscow alongside Patrice Evra, who notoriously had a horror-show of a debut in the first-team against Manchester City and was substituted at half-time.

But it’s less remembered that Vidic took his time to acclimatise to the Premier League and England too.

Marsh, who was playing with the United reserves at the time, has recalled an appearance against Wigan Athletic in which Vidic also featured, where the Serbian’s new teammates struggled to understand what the club had seen in him.

Speaking to ‘Talk of the Devils’ YouTube channel, Marsh said: “We played Wigan. We had a really good side in the reserves. We won the majority of the time. This one particular game Vidic was playing, no-one knew much about him.

“We got battered 4-0 and he didn’t have a great game. He had a torrid time and slipped for one of the goals… we were all scratching our head and thinking ‘who’s this guy?’”

Vidic of course went on to have a legendary career at Old Trafford winning five Premier League titles, a Champions League, three League Cups and a Club World Cup as well as being handed the captain’s armband towards the end of his tenure.

Marsh acknowledges that it was just a one-off bad game, but remembers feeling that the club might have signed another dud.

“It happens,” he added.

“He got his chance in the first team and the rest is history but I remember my first impression being ‘what’s going on here, who have we signed?’ To be fair, we did have a few of those over the years, like Kleberson and Djemba-Djemba… Vidic proved everybody wrong and everybody loved him. He went down as a hero.”

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