Do you think that if Nani was on solid ground at Manchester United he would still be getting the angry finger and weight of the blame from Alex Ferguson? Probably not. After all of the troubles and rifts between the player and the club, it’s comfortable turning to him to explain the 5-4 League Cup loss to Chelsea.
Wasn’t Nani the player who scored a goal in the 59th minute to give United the 3-2 lead? You remember what you want to, and Ferguson, who can’t keep talking about how his defense keeps conceding goals, had to shift the blame elsewhere. Not himself, of course, because Sir Alex does no wrong. It’s his defense, not his tactics and selections; Or the referee, but that’s an excuse that can’t be used too often. Too many referees don’t get Manchester Untied matches afterwards.
So he took it out on Nani, who didn’t waste time near the corner flag like Ferguson would have liked, and tried to have a go at yet another Chelsea player, turned the ball over which resulted in a penalty kick, an Eden Hazard goal and extra time, in which Chelsea dominated and won, getting an inferior revenge for their loss in the league match on Sunday.
We gave the ball away for the third goal having been in complete control of the match at that point. All we needed to do was see the game out with good possession. Nani is experienced but he’s a player who wants to beat men and I often discourage him from that. In that situation, if we’d kept the ball at the corner flag, the game’s over.
They had a lot of attacks and nothing came of them, and our counter-attack was very good, but if you’re winning 3-2 in the final seconds of the game then you should see it out. We’ve only got ourselves to blame really. They’re at home, you’d expect them to attack and they did. The way we approach games is always wanting to win, so you were always going to get an open game.
Nani’s future at United isn’t exactly clear. After a disappointing second half to the season last year, he still came out with ridiculous demands during the contract negotiations, and his performances on the pitch added with his behavior off of it haven’t added to the desire and Ferguson and the club to reward him with a long-term deal. Nani seems to be on his way out at a certain point, so there’s no problem throwing direct personal blame at him.