The Problem with Manchester United Wingers Nani, Young and Valencia
After watching Monday night’s somewhat fortunate victory over Reading, I was left with a keen sense of frustration at the inconsistent nature of the Manchester United wide men currently at the club. Obviously the performance of Nani exuded attacking flair and skill that was a delight to witness, but unfortunately as is the case with Nani this does not happen regularly enough. However, it is my belief that Nani at even 70% of his maximum performance is a far better alternative than Messer’s Young and Valencia at this present juncture.
In the case of Valencia, his performances this season have simply been disgraceful. How can a player training every day and paid a significant sum be only able to use his right foot? The total inept nature of his performances has seen him resemble a Sunday league player, although this would be probably harsh to a large majority of Sunday league players out there. His performances for United have regressed at an alarming rate and unfortunately I just cannot see any light at the end of the road for Valencia. The end is nigh for Antonio and how he is still getting game time is beyond me.
Moving on from the disappointment that is Valencia, leaves me with the serial underachiever that is Ashley Young, his arrival was greeted by many pundits as a masterstroke, but nearly eighteen months on from his move, what has he actually done? His much lauded final ball and ability to score goals, that marked him out as a star in the Villa team has seemingly disserted him and now we are witnessing a player that looks totally clueless when he appears on the pitch. His miss last night from two yards out epitomises the lack of quality in his game and I am at a loss in understanding how a player so revered two years ago, now resembles a shadow of his former self.
For years United has been home to some of the games finest wingers. Old Trafford has marvelled at the skills of players like Best, Coppell, Beckham, Giggs and Kanchelskis, yet now the patrons are treated to the most inconsistent trio of wide men to ever grace this wonderful arena. Obviously the impending signing of Zaha should evoke a more sustained response from United’s trio, but Nani aside the other two have thus far failed to highlight their value to a side needing all players on the top of their games if they are going to be a factor in the later stages of the Champions League.
Inconsistency is a word that is often bandied about in relation to football, but on this occasion it perfectly describes the performances of United’s three wide men this season. The unpredictability of football is such that one or perhaps even two of these players may have terrific end of season runs, but sadly their form does not suggest this will come to pass. This season has witnessed United play the diamond formation on occasion and this is simply a response to the form of the above mentioned trio. If United are to reach the later stages of the Champions League, then these players will finally have to remind people why they arrived at Old Trafford in the first place and join the pantheon of greats that have gone before.