It’s almost compulsory to hate a certain diminutive midfielder who plays for England and Manchester United, in fact I think it’s part of the process when applying for tickets “do you hate Tom Cleverley?” if yes, your tickets will be mailed shortly.
I’ve gone through several stages with Cleverley, I’ve praised him, defended him, questioned him, criticised him, then repeated the cycle, right now I’m almost so bored of speaking about him I’ve taken to merely grunting and shrugging whenever his name is mentioned. While the idea of petitions to try and stop Cleverley going to the world cup, or booing when his name is called out is completely brainless I can understand why people aren’t exactly enamoured of him.
While there may be reasons to doubt his worth to United and England the collective hatred of Cleverley is over the top and it’s good to see him finally get some support from one of his former managers.
Roberto Martinez managed Cleverley when the midfielder was on loan at Wigan Athletic and the Everton boss has leapt thte defence of his former player.
“There are only a few players in this country who have had the sort of education where they look as if they could have been brought up in Holland, Spain or France,” he said. “Tom is one of them. I just don’t understand this campaign, it is not the way to encourage young players.
“Maybe he has been given a bigger role than he should have been given but even so it is ridiculous to put someone so young in the spotlight then knock him down. We as a public are to blame if we allow that to happen. You have to help young players reach a level.”
The amount of stick Cleverley gets is getting a bit boring, as despite his faults, he can hardly be blamed for United sitting in seventh and England being about as likely to win the World Cup as David Moyes is to win LMA manager of the year.
Cleverley may be a bit pants, but he’s our a bit pants player, so like Martinez many Reds may feel obliged to defend him. I’ll just stick to grunting and shrugging for now…