In news that will surprise nobody, but in what still is a remarkable hones admission for a modern footballer, Tom Cleverley has admitted his performances this season have been extremely “average” this campaign and that the criticism he’s received this season has been justified so far.
The 24-year-old has struggled to impose himself in United’s midfield and one has to wonder whether Cleverley would be playing at all, had United the luxury to count on a number of quality options, rather than only on the mercurial Michael Carrick, the dynamism of Phil Jones and the occasional brilliance of 40-year-old Ryan Giggs.
With David Moyes reportedly willing to strengthen his midfield options, given the lack of impact produced by Marouane Fellaini’s arrival last summer, Cleverley’s spot in the starting line-up could be under threat, and the England midfielder has admitted he can only blame himself for that.
“At the moment, I feel like I’ve got more to give,” Cleverley told United Review. “I’ve had a few average games, a few more than I would prefer.
“But I felt this time last year was when I hit my best form of the season, when we were playing every few days.
“I’m the type of player who prefers that and, if I can get into a rhythm, then hopefully I can add more than just appearances to my record, I can also add some stand-out performances.”
The United midfielder, who delivered a solid performance off the bench against Shakthar Donetsk on Tuesday night, insisted that he’s developing his game under David Moyes but admitted he needs a radical improvement if he is to fulfil expectations.
“I’m definitely developing the defensive side of my game and tactically the manager is teaching me a lot of things,” explained Cleverley.
“Maybe the creative side of my game can improve a little bit too but I realise that’s not my only job in the team and sometimes I’ve got to sacrifice that part.
“I felt Chelsea at home, defensively and tactically, was a mature performance and I thought I was having a really good game at Fulham before a bang on the head gave me double vision and I had to come off.
“I’d pick those two, and the really good team performance at Swansea on the opening day, as my best so far.”
Cleverley admitted that Michael Carrick’s absence has been sorely felt so far. “Any team in the world who had Michael Carrick would feel the loss, there’s no denying that,” said Cleverley.
“But it has given a chance for other players to play and step up to the plate.”
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Tags: Manchester United News