Date: 28th June 2011 at 9:49pm
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Where did it all go wrong son?

It is a moment that all United fans will remember forever, one which has gone down in Old Trafford folklore, and helped push Fergie’s men over the line towards title number eighteen.

Some commentators weren’t even pronouncing his name correctly at the time, but Macheda’s last gasp winner over Aston Villa in April 2009 was just vintage United.

Since then though, the Italian’s career has entered a bit of a trough, promoted from the reserves, Macheda was only ever able to score a handful of goals for the Red Devils; four in total, two in 08/09 and one last season, to go with one the season before.

This year, the arrival of Chicharito Hernandez pushed the Italian U21 international lower and lower down the pecking order, until Fergie deemed it appropriate to send him out on loan for the remainder of last season. Unfortunately, Macheda’s move to Sampdoria proved ill fated; the young striker struggled for form in a team that was eventually relegated to Serie B. Trying to fill the boots of players like Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini proved too difficult for the one time Old Trafford hero, raising doubts about his future filling in for even bigger stars like Rooney and Hernandez.

Now, Macheda has returned to Old Trafford, and delivered a message of intent, stating his desire to remain with the Red Devils. Whether or not United sign or sell a star striker this summer, Macheda will find it difficult to break into the first team, so the chances he is presented with must be pounced upon.

Ferguson is renowned for his patience, he is always willing to give players second chances at proving themselves, and Macheda will need that second chance. A couple of match winning performances two years ago forced a reputation on the lad that he wasn’t ready to live up to, a reputation which has only provoked disappointment.

Not every player is good enough to consistently perform for United, and Macheda is beginning to run out of chances to prove that he is part of that select few. His turn and shot against Aston Villa was one of the most sensational pieces of skill ever enjoyed by the Old Trafford faithful, but there have been too many missed chances and mishit passes since then; mistakes which have frustrated fans that much more due to the Italian’s early exploits.

Alongside players like Welbeck, Diouf and Obertan, Macheda is entering a last chance saloon; one final, golden opportunity to become a key part of the Manchester United squad. What comes of Macheda’s cameo showings in the opening weeks of next season could end up defining his career; he has reached a crossroads, one direction points to glory the other to mediocrity- probably in the Serie A.

As the start of the new season draws closer and closer, Macheda must begin to prepare himself for the challenges ahead, and the battle that looms if he is to force his way back into the first team. As a devoted follower of “Kiko” throughout his United career, I hope that he manages to impress, and moves alongside Zola in the pantheon of the Premier League’s Italian stars.

Will Federico Macheda play a starring role next season?

Read more by David Yaffe-Bellany at In For The Hat Trick

Follow David Yaffe-Bellany on Twitter @INFTH


6 responses to “Kiko Macheda Entering Last Chance Saloon”

  1. Rocket says:

    Welbeck, Diouf, Obertan, and Macheda.

    Do any of these names inspire confidence in anyone? Of the four, Welbeck seems to be closest to a regular place on the bench, but still…I guess I’ve been turned by his stint at Sunderland b/c he seems more Sunderland material than Utd. material.

    Diouf…remember when he showed up like 6 months too early in January of 2010, missed an open goal or two, scored a handful and generally looked like he hadn’t grown into his body? How’d he do at Blackburn? zzzzzzzzzz.

    Obertan. I really wanted to like him for some reason. And I guess I still do, but I couldn’t help wincing whenever he’d get the ball, run up the left all gangly legs and arms, try a step-over or whatnot and lose the ball. He seems like he’s got some natural talent but also seems like a perpetual 18 yr. old who may never quite make it. Was nice to see him travel with the club to Wembley by train at the end of May but wouldn’t be surprised to see him go.

    And Macheda. If his talent (or at least his consistency) was as big as his ego he’d be dangerous. No goals on loan? Bobbled one in against Chelsea in the home defeat in ’10, that beautiful one against Villa and a lot of unconvincing running around and vague possession in between. We could sell him but who’d buy him?

  2. Lionel says:

    I personally think that its time to move on from Macheda with Rooney and Chicharito as ur starting strikers and Welbeck, and Owen and even berbatov there is no room for him. If he struggled to get time in a team that was relegated then its time to just move on

  3. avidfootballfan says:

    Holy crap you people forget that Macheda is only 19!!
    Move him on? C’mon, let him go for a proper loan in the English league. Premiership or Championship.

    I personally would prefer him to go to the Championship. He may find it easier to get first team appearances and goals and boost his confidence. Not only that, he can cultivate that crucial winning mentality if he is in the top clubs in the Champs fighting for promotion than struggling against relegation in the bottom tier of EPL.

    Look at Andy Carroll. He went from unknown to 35m (disproportionate amount but u know what i mean) striker because he had a go in the Championship.
    There is also Aaron Ramsey right? before he broke his leg.

    • Jimbo says:

      I was going to write a very similar response, but you’ve done the job for me.

      How it can be the last chance for somebody who is still a teenager is beyond me. A loan to one of the newly relegated or promoted clubs would do him the world of good.

  4. Sammy says:

    rocket your a fucking idiot

  5. wahome says:

    Macheda going??????????thats a BIG NO….the others I wouldn’t talk of much but Macheda needs just a good opportunity at Premier League or may be Championship…the guy needs more exposure