United’s win over Ajax came at a price that was arguably much more costlier than a defeat would have been. News that Antonio Valencia could be out for around four weeks following a hamstring injury picked up in his brief cameo, is about as welcome as Adrian Chiles at an open mike comedy night.
Valencia hasn’t just been ‘in fine form’ as some of our less exuberant commentators have suggested, the man’s been putting in the sort of performances that grab hold of titles and smash them firmly down in the middle of the Old Trafford trophy cabinet. The whole United side seems to have realised that giving the ball to Valencia will result in a goal scoring opportunity and the opposition despite knowing this have been completely powerless to stop it. The only time United have struggled lately is when we’ve been unable to get the ball to Valencia enough, not due to him being wasteful when he has it.
It would be wrong to say that everything good attacking wise has been the fruit of Valencia’s labours these past couple of months but that statement isn’t completely far-fetched. Yes, Michael Carrick has been awesome, Rooney has delivered and Danny Welbeck has gone from strength to strength but for sheer attacking penetration theres no denying that Valencia has been head and shoulders above anyone not just at Old Trafford but also the entire Premier League. Ask yourself an honest question would you have swapped Valencia for David Silva these past ten or so games? I know what my answer is – its the same one I give when asked if I’d like to watch an episode of The Only Way is Essex or give that John Bishop dvd a go.
Valencia is out for at least a month though- according to the initial reports and just as crying over Nemanja Vidic or Tom Cleverley’s injuries haven’t helped us, neither will lamenting the loss of the Ecuadorian. Onwards and upwards in the face of adversity is the United way. Yes, its devastating to lose yet another key player to injury just as he was in the form or his career but we should have the squad to cope. Step forward Mr Luis Carlos Almeida Da Cunha.
Now I’ll be the first to admit Nani -or ‘the Nani show’ as I like to refer to him can be the most frustrating player ever to wear the sacred Red shirt. It’s not that Nani doesn’t have talent, in fact I’d argue he’s one of the most talented players in the world, it’s just that his decision making can at times range from the puzzling to the downright shocking, plus his theatrics are often Oscar-worthy. I’ve defended Nani over the past few seasons and seemed to be in the majority leading up to the trip to Anfield last season as the winger had finally fulfilled his promise. Jamie Carragher all but ended Nani’s season, however, causing him to lose momentum that he never fully regained, not helped by the return of Tony V which pushed Nani out on to the left wing when he obviously prefers the right.
With Ashley Young and Tom Cleverley returning there’s a good chance we could see the sort of football that dazzled us at the beginning of the season, with Cleverley, Rooney, Nani, Young and Anderson- now replaced by Carrick or Scholes entertaining us in almost Barca-esque fashion.
The thing with Nani is, there’s often no half-measures, he’s either brilliant, Wolves home, Fulham away, or he’s awful Blackburn home, Newcastle away. With our most consistent winger out though and with Ashley Young still to fully prove he’s United class- despite some good performances over the season, I still feel the jury’s out, it’s now time for Nani to step up and show us what he’s made of for EVERY game over the nest month.
Rooney is going to miss Valencia’s crosses and whoever’s at right back will also miss his tracking back, so there’s two areas straight away that Nani isn’t always up to scratch on. Don’t get me wrong he’s not too shabby in the assists department but its safe to say, Tony V is much more accomplished at delivering decent crosses on a regular basis.
Nani has the chance over the next few games, which include tough away trips to White Hart Lane and Carrow Road, to show why he’s so confident in his own ability and that he is a player who can be counted on when it really matters. Can the Nani show see us through? I’ve no doubt it can and it will.
Do you agree that Nani is the key, or is he a liability -top rhyming, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Feel free to comment suggest and abuse below:
Another “masterstroke” by the very old man. Simply crazy to play a so-called strong team to attempt to become the 33rd best team in Europe? Clearly the dinosaurs of English game ( SAF, AW and soon, HR ) are being left behind by the Guardiolas, Mourinhos, Allegris, Contes and Mancinis. Valencia was a bright light apart from Rooney of course in a rather dull Utd team lately. But SAF managed to screw up that as well.
if nani can learn a lesson on how valencia turned his season completely around ie. be more positive and direct and stop pussy-footing around.he will be a far better, more productive and a vluable player for the rest of the season,and they can as dangerous wide players propel united to more success while adopting that attitude
Most people have negativeness in their minds. Probably because it brings more saga to their stories and controversies (like movies). This is probably the main cause behind forgetfulness. Not long ago as I can remember, his stats were better than C.Ronaldo given the same number of appearance. Tied at 19 goals, and 21 more assist then the mentioned. Last season, he was superb and he has been improving over the last two seasons only for injuries to damper his progress. Unfortunately for him, whenever he doesn’t play up to his standard (urmmm, I mean.. to our expectation), memories of his poor start earlier with United and here goes again, negative sensations start exploding deep inside our membranes…Overwhelming all the good that hes done not long ago so he becomes inconsistent to us. I do really think that Nani will bring us joy by delivering positive appearances as well as consistency in his play. I really think that everyone has to step up from now on if we’re want to lift the title.
Please check stats of every winger in the world per minute played last 2 season. Then you compare with Nani’s assists, goal scoring chances and goals before calling him most frustrating player to ever wear united shirt. I’m sorry but that’s ungrateful of you.
Note Valencia has 9 assists Nani 7 assists this season. How many minutes has Valencia played over Nani? And how many goals has Valencia scored than Nani? And how many scoring chances has Valencia made over Nani? Check your stats then write an article.
Check the stats of every winger in the world?! Erm no thanks, I’ll just watch United week in week out like I have been doing since before Nani arrived and make an assessment on what I’ve seen. Did you even read the article? I stated he’s one of the most talented players in the world and also “Don’t get me wrong he’s not too shabby in the assists department but its safe to say, Tony V is much more accomplished at delivering decent crosses on a regular basis.”
If you insist on stats then Valencia has 9 assists in 13 starts- with a four of them as RB while Nani has 7 in 20 starts -all from the wing.
For me Nani is too inconsistent and too selfish to retain his place in the United side.
Last night against Ajax, he couldn’t take a corner, putting the ball straight behind the goal.
He later took a shot at goal which went over and wide when Rooney was unmarked and could have scored as he liked and what has happened to his skills in beating a man?
That is to say nothing of his theatrics when anyone even breathes on him, going down as if he has been hit by a train!
He has in my view become a liability, not a 100% one but maybe 70% of one and United have no room for someone like that.
Phil Jones was more effective than Nani last night and he was playing as a right back and when Valencia came on, even for his 10 minutes cameo, his impact led to the second goal.
IF United sign Gaitan as is being strongly rumoured elsewhere, then I would sell Nani to the highest bidder asap and would have no regrets about doing so.
Nani has the ability to open defences but does not do it often enough and too many times seems totally uninterested in what is going on or aware that teammates are in better positions than he is.
He has been at OT long enough to know what is expected of him and if he cannot produce the goods then he should be on his bike!
Well said. People forget so quickly. Nani is brilliant and is one of the top wings in the game. We need United’ work ethic and never die attitude every match not only from nani but like u say, tha whole lot of our boys. Nani