He might be getting the start against Tottenham, but Alex Ferguson’s patience with Nani, the self-presumed star winger of Manchester United, is running out after another incident involving the player, this time having to do with him punching another player instead of his contract demands.
It all began when reserved midfielder Davide Petrucci made a strong challenge and tackle on Nani during training, which led to the two exchanging words. Nothing more, and nothing new about it. Nani later called Petrucci over to the gym, with most thinking they were going to talk it over, but instead he landed a punch on Petrucci.
After Nani made outrageous contract demands and his form is far from satisfactory so far this season (and last season as well), Ferguson has another reason to try and find a buyer for the Portugal international, who still has two years left on his contract. Zenit were interested in him just before the end of the transfer window, but Nani made (on purpose) insane demands for wages so that the deal would collapse. It’s hard to see the angle he’s playing, but Ferguson, who has both Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia out injured, is still letting him play and even start matches.
Maybe now that Rooney is close to being fully fit, things will change, and even if it means playing Welbeck and Rooney on the wings, Nani will lose his place. Becoming a full time superstar, the same kind Nani sees himself as, hasn’t been working out. A great season in 2010-2011, which seemed to signal the change in his game and attitude – no longer dribbling fruitlessly down the wing but turning into an efficient player who comes up with the right play – assist or shot at the right time, Nani reverted back to the same problems he had for years at the Old Trafford. A self-obsessed player who doesn’t always connect with the team on and off the pitch, making matters worse for his team on his bad days.
The talent is there. The attitude? Maybe on his good days, but those have too few this season and the second half of the last one. This training ground bust up with a reserves player could be the final straw for Ferguson and United with the problematic player. I’m pretty sure Ferguson would have taken some of his precious time to comment if something like this would have happened in another club. Now it’s time for him to show, once again, that he’s more than just talk about other managers and other clubs, serving his own interests.