Playing for Manchester United is never the easiest of tasks, it’s a role that even the most gifted of footballers can find difficult to fulfil such is the expectation placed upon them. Being a winger at Old Trafford is even harder, after all this is the club that gave us George Best, Ryan Giggs David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. United fans expect great things from our wingers and given the ones we’ve had in the past that’s hardly cause for ridicule.
The current crop of wingers at the club seem to be on an ever rotating wheel of doubt from many of the fans, first it’ll be Nani, then Antonio Valencia will be criticised, before it’s the turn of Ashley Young. The advantage the first two have of that aforementioned trio have over Young is that they’ve enjoyed somewhat prolonged successful periods of form with the club. Nani was dominant in the first three quarters of the 2010/11 season Tony V the final half of the following campaign.
Former Villa winger Young has yet to display anything more than fleeting glimpses of match winning form, the games against both North London clubs in the 2011/12 season spring to mind. It’s because of this lack of a sizeable run of impressive displays Young finds himself struggling for support amongst many Reds when it comes to the ‘which winger should David Moyes keep?’ debate.
I’ve long been a supporter of Young- well since he signed, as I’ll confess I had my doubts he was what we needed- and think he gets something of a bad rap as he’s been unfortunate with injuries and does a job tracking back which is often ignored. Yes, we don’t buy a winger for his defensive capabilities, but the same fans foaming at the mouth when Patrice Evra is left exposed seem to go quiet when Young does the job of helping him.
This season will be Young’s third at the club and it may well be his final one if he fails to convince Moyes that he’s ever going to silence his critics. Should Young fail to find a consistent run of form then a manager who doesn’t have any allegiance to the players may find the former Watford man one of the easier to let go.
My only hope is Young is given one final chance to show that he’s more than just an injury-prone flash in the pan.
Does Young deserve one final season to show his worth? Is he an asset to the side? Is it already time to cash in?
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