We are finally past our Lyon hangover, or so I would like to believe, and we can now look forward to our game against Newcastle in the weekend. We will get a preview in, prior to the match, but till then we will fill you with your daily dose of United related news, and a little commentary of our own.
Wes Brown’s contract wrangle has been going on for several months now, and the fact is that United have an offer on the table that is not acceptable to Brown. Wesley has been a fantastic servant of the club, coming through the youth ranks and it’s a pity to see him leave if this doesn’t get resolved soon. I, for one, would like to have players like him in the club because of the passion they show when they are on the pitch — which comes from so many years at the club. And he is a more than decent player to have as back up. However, if the two parties involved don’t seem to come to an agreement, then they should let him go. He has been good for us all this while, and we must be indebted to him for the way he’s filled in for Gary Neville; anyone else would have taken sometime to fit into the side. But, having said that, we must have a player lined up to be signed as a long term replacement for our injured skipper. True, we have Rafael and Fabio, but they will need more time to bed in. Or we would have to rely on Simmo suddenly becoming brilliant overnight.
Which brings us to some talk about Philip Lahm — who has been touted around by papers. He’s a right footed left back who can play right back as well. Those who saw him in the world cup know how good he looked going forward. I am sure close Bayern Munich observers also have glowing things to say about him. But as long as the price is right we must get someone in that position, as we have entirely relied on Patrice Evra to provide us with the impetus on the left wing, while the right side, despite having defensive solidity, has offered nothing going forward.
Staying with right backs and Brown, SAF reckons it’s more of an issue with his agent that’s causing trouble with his deal. I am not sure how true this is, but he said the same of Heinze initially. At the end of the day, a player can make up his mind by showing his agent the finger, but again, who said football was that easy these days.
Finally, here’s a thought for some of you to ponder over.
Nani, our new signing this season, was an expected transfer target. While his quick transfer did surprise us, most of us were partly expecting it to happen sometime — Anderson was the bigger surprise buy. Both weren’t expected to play a very prominent role in the side this season, but Nani was pressed into action, at the start, due to suspensions to Ronaldo and injury to our other winger, Park. Rooney’s injury also didn’t help much. He made about seven starts in the first ten games.
His impact however wasn’t much to boast about. He did look a bit like Ronaldo when he first arrived. A few stepovers and some indecisive play resulting in giving the ball away a little too easily. He did show a penchance for the spectacular by banging in two absolute belters (against Tottenham and Middlesborough), but that were the highlights of his season.
Recently, however, he has had some really excellent performances. Especially against Arsenal, where he toyed with their defence, and against Lyon, when his (and Tevez’s introduction) made an almost instant impact. His pace and direct approach is something that aids the United way of playing. But most striking of all his strengths is his quality of delivery.
It wouldn’t be remiss of me to be saying that since Beckham’s departure, we have struggled to find a winger who can consistently ping balls into the middle with a satisfactory level of accuracy. Nani’s corners have been top drawer, but more encouraging has been his ability to cross from open play. More importantly, it’s his ability to do so from either wing that makes the signs even more encouraging. Against Arsenal it were his crosses from the left to Fletcher that resulted in two goals while, against Lyon it was from the right.
All we need from him now is an improvement in his decision making — which should improve with experience — and we could happily thank Giggs for all his years of service to the club. More importantly, the Welshman himself would be happy to concede his place to a worthy candidate to take over his reins.
At the moment, though, it’s still early days but I have been genuinely impressed by his recent displays.
What do you think? Are you as excited by Nani from his recent displays than the earlier ones?
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