The Evolution Of Nani

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Nani has received a lot of (deserved) praise in last 18 months for stepping up his game and maturing as a player. United’s player of the year last season, the creator of THAT goal against Arsenal, the Playstation-esque chip against Tottenham, and a fistful of crucial goals that have sometimes been forgotten (like his goal against City last season right before Rooney scored his ‘goal’).

ManUtd.com carries an excellent interview with Nani, where he talks about the transformations in the squad over the summer, his left foot and the constant comparisons with Ronaldo.

 

The one thing Nani is coy about in the interview, or perhaps something that wasn’t asked to him directly, was his future at United. His agent has made noises in the transfer window for the last two years and that’s why the added responsibilities placed on Nani are so important – they will help make him a more integral part of the team and hopefully help his growth. He’s said he wants to be the best player in the world, but that trophies are more important. He’s likely to get the latter at United, although he has a long way to go in terms of his decision-making and impact on the game.

It’s also unfair to compare Nani to Ronaldo for many reasons, but in terms of their growth at the club they are fairly similar – Nani and Ronaldo both came into the United team at different times and vastly differing situations. Ronaldo was brought to United in 2003, the start of our three year run where we didn’t win the league title. It was his fourth season at the club, 2006/2007, that he started maturing as a player.

Nani arrived in 2008, after the first title had been won and United were splurging on youth to protect their future. With increased pressure to win, Anderson and Nani got limited chances. Where the likes of Darren Fletcher and Ronaldo (and Rooney, who arrived in 2004) had been given time to bed in, the stakes were higher for the duo. As such, to have Nani and Anderson maturing in their third and fourth seasons simply means that, like Ronaldo and Rooney, they needed time to develop and like the star duo before them, they benefited from senior players leaving and having more responsibility and playing time after a few years of hard work.

Looking Ahead To Stoke

Traveling to the Britannia to watch the game? You can get your Stoke v Manchester United tickets from TicketBis.

United’s next game (after a wholly-satisfying 3-0 win at Elland Road which ended with Berbatov playing at center back) is away to Stoke, who are undefeated at home this season, holding Chelsea to a draw in their season opener, beating Liverpool 1-0 and beating Tottenham on penalties in the Carling Cup yesterday. Their positive start to the season – 8 points after 5 games and a heady 5th place in the Premier League table – is underlined by a strong mental attitude and worth ethic instilled by Tony Pulis and that has kept them going despite being very poor in front of goal.

With Hernandez deemed unavailable, Fergie will pair one of Owen, Berbatov and Welbeck (who played last night as well) with Rooney up front and United are unlikely to be as profligate or forgiving as other visiting teams to the Brittannia. You can expect the press to keep pressing the De Gea angle w.r.t. Stoke’s physical game, but having seen Stoke play earlier this season they’re not going to get anywhere relying just on set pieces. How they cope with United’s pace will be a much greater concern during the game and United, thankfully, do not have an OAP playing at right-back this time around.

United have a stretch of 3 relatively comfortable games before the next international break – Basle and Norwich at home after the Stoke game – before the fun starts again with Liverpool, Galati, City and Everton back to back opponents. It’s a chance for United to put the points on the table and also give their squad players games to ensure they are in good form when called upon later in the season. Fergie will resort to the tried and tested for Stoke but it’ll be interesting to see who he picks for the next two games.

Most of all, it’ll be interesting to see when Berbatov next starts a Premier League game for United. And whether Michael Owen gets there first…

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89 Comments

  1. Its was nice to see Mikey get a couple of goals…But what left me really chuffed was to see Berbatov at centre back Absolutely Brilliant.Anyways hope to see mikey partnering rooney at stoke.*Fingers crossed*

    • OWEN just HAS to start, TWO GOALS LAST night so what more does he need to do, get in there son!!!

      • I agree he always scores goals in chunks, when he is hot he is hot. The most underrated player at the club, should start ahread of Berba and certainly Welbeck who I still struggle to get. He knows Rooney well and they do have a good understanding, give them a go please.

        • what are your hang ups about Welbeck? I love him in our side. He is one of the playrs who makes our attack more more fluid and unpredictable.

        • That is was I am unsure about with him, he is too unpredictable simply because I am not sure if he knows what he is doing. He reminds me of Paulo Wanchope, all arms and legs and difficult to fit into a system.

  2. team against stoke-hopefully
    de gea
    jones smalling rio evra
    nani fletch ando young
    rooney
    owen

  3. Surley we are not going to have another Nani love in! This has been going for days now! 😀 😀 😆 :mrgreen:

    • i DON’T THINK YOU NEED TO WORRY YOUR HEAD ABOUT THAT MATE – comments on Nani in this thread alone is 1 count and that wasn’t positive. Nevertheless as you said another debate about the lad is unnecessary! He won’t be playing at Stoke – so Leave it be I say. I am biggest Nani fan, but even I am bored of Nani discussion now. So SOZ Admin – no offence to you mate! Appreciate your write up.

    • I love Nani. After Craig adopts him I am going to ask for permission to marry him so he can be mine forever. Then all day long it will be NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI
      NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI NANI

    • If you really think Welbeck is the best partner for Rooney – well your dafter than your posts when you are posting in your pretend drunk state because you are bored. 😆 😆

      • 😆 😆 😆 Agreed Micky O needs a run of games and after two goals, I know against a poor side but he looks sharp and would dove tale well with Wazza.

      • How come mate? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but when Welbeck plays our football has been very one-touchy all over the pitch. His movement is exeptional, he offers us an aerial threat and, he’s like Berba on Red Bull! I love the lad, think he should be first striker for us.

        • @eddie- I think you are right- welbeck is class and i would def consider him in direct competition with chico to be rooneys partner but i really think owen deserve a run of games and its a perfect time as chico is out and welbeck just back. Owen deserves it man and its not like is a weak point as he has tons and tons of ability

      • Welbeck is a beast of a player with a great touch, skill, bravery and pace…he sometimes looks clumsy but he has an ability to do the unorthodox (flick, backheel, clever pass) which complements Rooney very well…he is better teechnically than Chicha and Owen and he has serious pace to burn…Roowel is my first choice pick for striking partnership!

      • I personally believe Mickey Owen deser4ves a run out there as he is doing what he was bought for, and that’s scoring goals. He deserves a run out there and with Chicharito on the bench I would give both he and Berba a look see. Welbeck will have his day but these old boys need a little bit more love right now than what they’ve been getting and as for Owen, two clinical goals tell me we should be taking advantage of his form. And the replacement for Scholes has been found. Dimitar Berbatov. 😉 😉 😀 😀

  4. two things i want-
    1)owen to get more game time and i mean starts!!
    2) i just want berba to be sold, he is QUALITY but just not our cup of tea. He just doesnt fit. I mean there isnt any point of us just having him on the bench if we are not even going to use him.

    ALTHOUGH- and i have to STATE for the record- I have NEVER seen berba play in this new fast pace system of ours-he COULD be SUBLIME in the box or inter changing with rooney- I have to ADMIT he hasnt got the chance to play with this pace-WHO KNOWS- maybe I will eat my words about him being sold? 😯

    • People keep saying with Berba that we are almost holding him against his will. For me he doesn’t want to leave, he is at a club which he seems to love and he is winning trophies. Also he could leave on on a free when his contact expires which would guarantee one last big pay day. He has a good attitude and as long as he is not disruptive then who can blame him for staying and why would we want him to leave? He can also play centre half!!

      • ya your right- i just was never a fan, i was annoyed at the time that tevez had to play second fiddle and alway saw berba as a mistake, but i still want to see him play in shis system so maybe i should reserve judgement untill then 😀

        • Fergie talking to the BBC – “Owen is better than anyone!”
          Obviously Fergie – that is why you play him so often right – NOT! More than a bit hypocritical if you ask me.

          Regarding Berba – he is his own worst enemy. I mean the sitter he missed against Chelsea – whether Fergie called it a bad pass from Rooney or not, if it had been Mickey Owen receiving the Rooney pass in the position Berba was in HE WOULD HAVE SCORED. Nevertheless, as holding ball player, and hardly ever conceding possession player – Berba excels. By the way I loved how Owen, Berba and Giggsy were really leading, protecting and encouraging our young players in the game last night – a joy to watch, and no disparaging if the youngsters made mistakes or messed up – ROONEY PLEASE TAKE NOTE!

        • Mate why do you always have to attack Rooney bro? Keane, Ince, Brue, Robbo and Rio all blast players of their mistakes, it is football!! This boys are not playing for United becuase they are shrinking violets, they are all winners…

        • ha- fergie actually said that? Thats an amazing compliment to recieve from him.
          HOPEFULLY he puts that into action and starts him against stoke.
          Now a lot of people may say that stoke are ro physical for owen to play-BUT what i realise when we play stoke we have lots of possesion but they just conjest their box and we finf it hard to make space so in my opinion owen would be perfect to SNEAK in a score a goal or two!!!! 😉

    • When Berba was with Tottenham their club played this fast paced style of football and he excelled because the manager knew how to use him. I believe Berba could succeed but he needs to be given the chance to play and given a role that brings out his best as well as his compatibility with the system.

      • there you are…just when i was about to write the same thing. We seem to forget that the Fast pace football requires 1-2 players with deft 1st touch to ensure that the wide men/forwards get the ball quickly while the opposing defense is scrambling.There’s no better than berba at that.

        If we keep Berba Roo/Owen up front and ask Young/Nani to come inside from the wing we’ll have quick attacks and plenty of penetration.
        He might struggle on counter attacks but then against Stoke i doubt we’ll need that…

  5. JUST watch owens goal again against barca earlier this season
    TOP CLASS-such composure

    • Owen should play in any Barca game – and other top games because he is a big game player who will score more often than not!

  6. Any of you get the impression that Owen is looking to get a job with the United Youth AFTER he hangs up his boots. He says his big passion is to help the young players to progress and fulfil their potential. You can tell he mans it by the way he is with the youngsters who he plays alongsideand they all love Owen too. Zake Fryers was jumping all over Owen when he scored his goals with beaming smile. Owen loves Man Utd and he is certainly the ultimate professional, he would be fantastic on United backroom staff with our youth!

  7. 😆 😆 😆 this is a Nani thread which has become all about Mickey Owen, but I don’t mind because I love Lil Mickey as much as I love Lil Man Nani. Also can’t complain as I highjacked Grog’s thread with Nani debate – but blame Trav for starting that one 😉 😆

  8. Anybody fancy us having a full team of Lil men by the way 😀 . That would be wicked FUN! Here it is, Rafael Fabio Owen Nani Cleverley Park Evra Chicharito Larnell Cole and OH NO – the Roon 😉 😆

  9. I will repost this comment i made to tonymontana in the other thread since this thread seems to be talkign about owen:

    If i were Sir Alex and I had the option of fieliding a young up and coming striker (Chicha or Welbeck) who are very effective yet still learning their trade or an old warhorse who is in the twilight of his career who can be effective as well i would go for the young guns…those lads need games to continue to improve and learn their trade. In 2 years when Owen retires and has not much more to give if the likes of Welbeck and Chicha would have not been given opportunities now United will be much the worse later…there is clearly an agreement between Fergie and owen that he knows he will be given opportunties but he won’t automatically get into the side just because of his past track record…I won’t be surprised to see Owen get some time on Sunday or in the CL next week but I like what Fergie is doing by continuing Welbeck and Chicha’s development…imagine how devastating boith those strikers will be with a full year under their belts in the current United side! Yo’ve got to look to the future and not live on sentimentality..Fergie is good at that..that is why he is the best man manager in world football…

    • You would be correct if this was the training ground or the academy but the fact is United play in the EPL and winning is at a premium. Winning is what it’s all about and although it is important to blood the youngsters, it is vital that it is done while we are still winning. Therefore, adding experience at times where experience has super value, is the most important thing. The great thing about youth is it has time to develop and to make it. Experience eventually retires so use it while you have it. That said I never want to see Park, Carrick, Evra, Fletcher and Rio again. 😉 😉 😀 😀 I still love watching Giggs, used properly and unlike many, Berba never bores me. Owen is still a delight too. All those other players with experience offer something but they truly are keeping younger and better players down who are ready. Smalling, Jones, the Twins, Cleverley, Anderson and Welbeck are ready and can perform better right now. Pogba and many of the other young kids are not. I’m torn on Welbeck as I see real improvement in him but would I ever select him over Chicharito or even Owen or Berba? No. Not because he isn’t worthy, just because I prefer the others…..right now. I give Fergie the credit for blending the new with the old in a manner that works unlike the eccentric Frenchman at Arsenal who hasn’t got a clue on how to blend nor does he have a clue on how to buy.

  10. another analogy is…if you work at a company and have one employee who has been fantastic at what he does for many years but you know he is retiring in 2 years and you have another employee who is is also very good and there is no dropoff in company performance when he is given the responsibility…if you have the company’s current and future interest at heart will you relegate the younger employee to the sidelines and not give him the exposuire and responsibility to do the job he will be expected to do for the next 10 years? 😯

    • How do we know that he will retire in 2 years mate?
      Rooney is first choice and Chicharito is quite clearly Fergie’s first choice strike partner. I am not convinced that Welbeck has it at the highest level and we have already seen that Hernandez has. For me it is for Welly, Berba and Owen to take their chances and ensure they are third choice, at the moment it is Owen.

      • I just used it as an arbitrary figure..my point is he has less years left versus Chicha and Welbeck who are just starting out at united. I see him being phased out because the striker pipeline at United is bulging and I don’t see Fergie or whoever will be the manager allowing young talented striker like Welbeck, Chicha, Will Keane, John Cofie et al to move on because of the likes Owen..my point is Miki Owen is not the future of the club..the likes of Chicha and Welbeck are…

        • I agree with that, but also if the guy is in form then he needs to be played. We don’t want to copy Arsenal’s text book on the ever promise of youth, when they fail to win anything.
          Welbeck has a lot to prove, but he will get game time and that is important. It will be tough for him as Chicharito, seems to be first choice and Berba is going anywhere. Sometimes young players have to be patient, Nani was and he is now reaping the rewards.

      • Owen was bought as a squad role player to fill in as a dependable striker when needed..not to start over young equally talented strikers…he knows that and that’s why Fergie uses him the way he does.

        • I think he is happy with his bit part roll as his main interests are his horses. He prefers to serve in heavan rather than to rain in hell, but if he is in form then he should play.
          Also Welbeck is a little erratic and there are no guarantees he will make it. Fingers crossed he does but there is still a lot of work needed.

        • I agree about Welbeck being inconsistent…that is just what you get with young players..that is why Fergie intended to play the youngsters while their form held…if United keep playing well and winning I don’t see Fergie not playing Chicha or Welbeck..that said i’m sure he can see in training whose levels are high and who may have dropped off…that’s why i won’t be surprised to see Owen play on Saturday at the least in the CL next week…

        • It is very encouraging that youth are getting chances and taking them. In saying that Giggs and Owen were excellent last night and seem to be working well with the younger lads. I hope Clev gets fit as I am really excited by him and feel he is the future along with Pogba with our midfield.

        • I think Owen is changing his mind about that though Stephen, because latest interviews of his are with him saying I want to play ALL the time, every game NOW, I am 31 and still have so much great football to offer. Owen has never come out like this before, he has always said he will be available and always ready when needed. Now he is telling Fergie he would love more football. Hope he gets it, because I don’t agree that his age is an obstacle as Don said, and I don’t agree with Don that Fergie will take the option of the kids in preference to older players who are still at top of their game. You on;y have to look at Giggsy, Scholes and Red Nev – those guys decided to hang up their boots when Fergie wanted them to stay because he felt they still had so much to offer. Mickey Owen falls into that category – he is expereienced in WC, CL and big match football, and scores important goals. Welbeck et al ust starting out, and there is a place for both, but in big games Mickey Owen has proved when Fergie ever played him that he can get goals. Nani will leave OT BECAUSE 3 CL finals and Fergie left him out for players who didn’t do the business, and we didn’t win the games. Nani wants to plat in the big games and that’s why he will go IF Fergie doesn’t give him CL finals etc. But Don needs to understand that he wont be going to the Malaga’s – Inter Milan, Juventus, Real M and Barca have made enquiries in the past and that is a fact!

        • @don- Welbeck and chico have talent BUT they are NOT EQUAL to owen in that regard, they still have a lot to prove.

          They are the future and they will actually get more game time than owen this season but OWEN deserves games to and should get alot more than last season

  11. I think Miki Owen will get the nodd and Welbek will come on as a sub as a reward for his CC performance…that said against the giants of stoke I think Welbeck with his combination of strnegth and speed would be the better option..also i think lindegaard will start to protect De gea who is not the strongest in the air and you know stoke will be hurling the ball in the penalty box… as for nani I sure hope he doesn’t do a Ronny and sulk his way to barca or madrid…he is quality but unfortunately i don’t see him eclipsing Rooney in our team and he would need to do that to be World Player of the year or whatever accolade it is he wants… i’m not saying he can’t be better than Rooney, I just don’t see him being allowed to be the top dog (like ROnaldo was) to be able to achieve his individual goals..for that reason i can see him trying to engineer a move to Italy or a Malaga where he can be head honcho…

    • @don- NANI already stated that winning trophys is more important to him than individual goals.
      NANI doesnt have the arrogance of selfishness ronaldo had and i doubt he would push for a move

      • yes but at what point will winning the premier league become boring to him? The Champions League seems elusive to us wi hte current barca nd Madrid squads..would love Nani to stay because he is quality but we would need to be winning the CL to do that…

  12. Anyone paying attention to that greedy boy, Sneijder.

    Without Sneijder:
    United have won 7 out of 8 and scored a bazillion goals.
    With Sneijder: Inter have lost 4 out of 5 and have scored 5 goals.

    SUCK IT, SNEIJDER! 😈 😈 😈 😈

      • IM so glad we didnt get him, hes overrated, slow and GREEDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

        • Sneijder is a great talent mate so you can go ahead and blind yourself to the facts but results a re team based, not the whole responsibility of one man on a pitch. And slow? I don’t think so. Perhaps you should watch Sneijder play a bit more before you throw his talents under the bus. As for greedy, well yes he is that. Still, I would have loved him on our team for European matches.

    • Sneijder is a quality player but we really didn’t need him given the type of player he is and the type of system we’re developing currently…I have watched very little of Inter this season but I wonder whether their problems are a combination of a squad in decline (losing Etoo, Pendev and not making major signings etc) and just other squads beefing up (e.g napoli, AC Milan, Juve). I saw an Inter game recently and saw some players I had never heard..nagatomo and some lad up front for example…looks like this gasperini was trying to bring through fresh blood….also don’t underestimate the ability for Mourinho to get that squad to overachieve when he was there…

      • I’ve been watching Inter quite a bit and their downfall has been a 3-4-3 formation. They just fired their coach after just 5 games, which says it all really. Hasn’t worked out defensivly, they are all over the place, and in attack they are too static. Too little imagination from Sneijder, who I can’t exactly fault. There is no movement in front of him, and every creative midfielder would suffer then. Not his fault, I feel sorry for the guy.

        • Xavi and Iniesta would be average run of the mill players if not for the running and instinctive play off the ball by Messi and Villa. The running off the ball is what makes Barca tick and is what used to make Inter tick when Mourinho was there. Sneijder is only as good as his forwards want him to be.

  13. We don’t know the full story with Sneijder. As far as I am aware we never submitted an offical transfer bid, neither did we offer the player a formal contract. We just had a lot of negotiations behind closed doors and in that situation the player is stuck between seeming loyal to his current employers and showing he is interested in a move.

    It is disrespectful to insult Sneijder when we do not know the true facts of the situation. Yes Inter are doing badly but that club has been on a decline for some time. We have seen how badly Messi plays for Argentina, another team which is a total joke. Does that make Messi overrated? Of course not. Same with Rooney for the England team. Even the greatest of the great only are able to truly shine when surrounded by good players.

    I would have liked Sneijder for the Champions League. He would have livened up the 4-5-1 Ferguson insists on playing (and SHOULD be playing against teams like Barcelona Bayern and Real Madrid). Also his experience would have been absolutely vital and just as Scholes used to would have helped us keep possession and play an effective counter. The value of Giggs in the Champions League last season just goes to show what experience intelligence and creativity can do for a team.

    Anyway I’m not going to go on about it because in truth we are good enough to win the Premiership without him and we even with him we have little hope of breaking Barcelona’s hold on the Champions League and the money saved can be put towards a holding midfielder which unless Pogba defies expectations this season, is a very real priority.

    • Ever thought about the possibility that if our own game improves so much we are basically unstoppable, other teams will have to change their game to fit ours instead of the other way around? 🙄 If Ando and Clev as a central midfield can stroll past every team in the Premiership, and eventually the Champions League, I can’t see why teams like Bayern and Barca will put a lot of effort into stopping us rather than just focus on attacking. It’s a game including two teams remember, we can’t do all the work!

      • like we adapted our game after losing to Barca for the second time in two finals. 😉 😉

        • I think if we played with a younger lineup against barca that had the legs to hurry them all over the field and not be prone to Messi/Pedro/Villa’s pace and quickness it would be a different game..I’m not saying we would beat barca but it would be much more a contest with our current athletes…

        • Carrick, Fabio, Giggs, Valencia and Park all started yesterday and in the Champions League final. 4 of those 5 where our midfield against the current Champions League winners, and now they are our Carling Cup team.

          Change you say?

      • I like your opitimism and I am loving the AndoClev partnership…i just feel we need some players in reserve to stamp that style in to the side..unfortunately our backups do poor imitiations..Carrick is too static and Fletecher not as technically gifted as Clev or in general to be a box-to-box that has attacking responsibilities…if we just had another pair to step in when eitehr is out of form or injured i would be as optimistic as you!

    • “It is disrespectful to insult Sneijder we do not know the true facts of the situation”
      — Who are you? President of Sneijder fan-club? 🙄
      — When do fans ever get the true facts of situation and does it matter (see: Tevez’s “Sign him Fergie” chant, Beckham’s boot, Rooney’s contract betrayal).

      I call a spade for a spade, and Sneijder sticking with a declining Inter ship is a SPADE, my dear RR friend, colver! 😈 😈

      :

  14. Nani will leave us one day. It is too much to expect a Latin player to spend his entire career in England. The culture is just completely different. Plus he has already won everything with us.

    He knows right now that we are the best club in the world for developing young talent. Once he feels he can develop no further and has peaked he will want to go to a club like Barcelona or Real Madrid while he is still good enough to get into their team. And I wouldn’t begrudge him that.

    Same deal with Chicharito. I can see him staying five years or so. He would like to win a Champions League with us I am sure and that could take some time. But once he has won a Champions League and a few Premiership trophies I am sure he too will want a new challenge.

    There is no real harm done. When Barcelona and Real Madrid have way more money than us it makes economic sense to take the occasional windfall and use the funds to strengthen the squad.

    The key is to avoid the mistake we made with Ronaldo and strengthen right away. 2007 we splashed £80 million on players and won a Champions League. 2009 we sell Ronaldo for £80 million and hardly spend any of that money and two years later Barcelona humiliate us. FINALLY this summer we spend around £60 million and you can already see the rebuilding process beginning.

    Lesson being, keep the Latin players as long as we can, but sell them for top dollar and reinvest the funds. Rinse and repeat and provided we are able to identify good talent we can stay within touching distance of the Spanish moneybags.

  15. SInce I didn’t get to watch the game yesterday because money-grabbing FOX decdied to show it exclusively on their pay-Online channel I was wondering what people thought of Zeki Fryers? All the reports I’ve read seem to be glowing but one comment I read somewhere (on here maybe) scared me…. “reminds me of Sylvestre”…really? Silly Sylvestre was one name i cringed whenever i saw him on the team sheet..a player known for gaffes and lapses in concentration… for those who saw Zeki’s first team bow would you say he would be able to challenge for the left back spot in the next couple of years?

    • If he reminded me of Silvestre it was only because he seems to have a good range of passing with his left foot, and he can play both left and centre back.

      He looked good, solid defender. Not much to say really other than him being impressive, we have a bright future when it comes to defenders at this club!

      • So sounds like a promising young player but you’re not putting him as a threat to Evra/Fabio anytime soon…

        • Yeah i thought the lad was impressive tbh. Didnt have an awful lot to do due to leeds none existant attack, but i saw enough from the few headers, tackles he won, as well as some of his passing, to say he had a good game. Didnt look fazed or nervous, wasnt constantly back passing, over hitting everything, and nearly connected with a header which would have resulted in a definite goal, so all round id say he had a good debut.
          And that was at CB, lets not forget. His natural position in LB, so all the more impressive really.
          As for his future, well i suppose right now if your a LB, thats the area your most likely to get a chance what with our lack of out and out LBs compared to the rest of the defence.
          He’ll need time, but as i say, i think what impressed me most about him last night was how confident and comfortable he looked. At a place like elland road, in a packed stadium, playing out of position, that speaks volumes about the lad. But if you want a report on his overall game and chances of making it, then you’d better ask ian. Hes the expert round here, i myself have only watched fryers a handful of times prior to last night, but have been impressed with all of his games.

  16. Just an interesting fact.

    For the team that beat Chelsea 3-1 on Sunday, only three of them started our Champions League final. Those three were Evra, Rooney and Hernandez.

    Maybe even more impressive, the team that beat Arsenal 8-2 (!!) only had 2 of the Champions League finalists starting for us, again Rooney and Evra. And our team against Arsenal was exactly the same as who started against Spurs, and beat them 3-0.

    And what is for me most impressive:
    Against City in the Charity Shield, during the first half 5 of our 11 players had started the Champions League final. We were 2-0 down going into halftime.

    For the second half though, Carrick, Rio and Vida were replaced with Cleverley, Jones and Evans, making Rooney and Evra the only players who started at Wembley. We won the second half 3-0, and the game 3-2.

    I love this young United team!

      • We’ve won 2 without Evra, against Leeds and WBA, and 1 without Rooney which was yesterday.

        And we won all the games in pre-season so says it all really! 😆

        • I would throw in the opposition to the equation before I passed out the diamond studded cufflinks. Leeds is crap and a full reserve side should be able to beat them. No team in the Prem would have lost to Arsenal when we played them and many of our games have been at the best time to take advantage of problems with the opposition. Yes we’re good but we have been very fortunate up to now.
          And yes, we have had our share of injuries to overcome to so we do deserve praise and credit as well, but it should be tempered a bit.

        • I meant without BOTH Rooney+Evra and in all season they have been at Utd… I think you find a pattern.

    • Also last night, 5 of the starting line up (fabio, carrick, valencia, giggs and park) started the CL final. 4 months on and theyre playing here amongst reserves and kids, tells you how weve definitely mixed things up so far this season, and credit to fergie for that. A good shake up has been needed for a while, but better late than never.

  17. City fans chanting about Hargreaves – fergie fergie sign him up – they are so obsessed with us – they sing more about us than they do about themselves

  18. So Hargo lasts 57 minutes and scores on his debut..go figure…did heget injured or was he subbed normally? I am so torn..I don’t want to see the guy suffer but I sooo wish he had never gone to City who i feel are our main rivals this season..well when we meet them if he plays I hope we run rings around him!

  19. Man, if Hargreaves goes on a great run at City, it would really break my heart. Used to love the Curly haired one. I just saw the goal but not hte game. How was his movement and play in general for that 1 hour he was on??

    Its amazing how Fergie takes a punt on Owen for 2 years and after being so patient with Hargo, does not take up the offer of having him play for free or at lower wages for another year!!! Hard to understand!!!

  20. The situation with Hargreaves is not so difficult to understand really. There is a need for continuation with any club and our club epitomise the tradition of blooding youth. If we kept Hargreaves, we have Carrick, Fletcher, PJS and Giggs for Central Mid. How would Pogba, Cleverley, Morrison etc get any chances..

    Just look at Inter – they have great players but these players are aging. They replaced Eto’o with Forlan (who is 32 yo) – it is not one for the future.

    Hargreaves may get 1 good season and then what is next? He is 32 and with his injury history it’s hard to forsee a viable future. Saha had 1 good season with Everton and now he is nowhere in sight.

    With Hargreaves, I’ll just say good luck and that’s the end of it. We have our future to look forward to 😉

  21. I have to say as a fan of the player and as a fellow Canadian I was very happy for Owen Hargreaves today. Yes he signed with the enemy but lets not forget, we didn’t want him anymore. Nice goal he scored too.

    • a few weeks back i recall you saying he was dead to you after signing for city, you certainly have adjusted to a more positive mood of late, oh and by the way i’ve been enjoying this blog for the last 3yrs or so and have spent hours and hours reading everyone’s comments its good to see that you have a more active role within this site Grognard as ive always enjoyed reading your posts

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