Not too long ago, it seemed like there’s no chance Nani will get to remain a Manchester United player. But David Moyes isn’t simply an Alex Ferguson “Yes-Man”, and he managed to change the Portuguese winger’s mind about leaving. It doesn’t mean that it’s going to turn out OK.
It’s not that Manchester United have something against Nani; he was a huge part of their 2011 Premier League title, only something went wrong for him the next season, on the field and in his behavior off of it; something he hasn’t been able to rectify since.
A lot of heat has been directed at him but especially David Moyes after the loss at Liverpool. Shinji Kagawa, a player many think has a very bright future at Old Trafford if Moyes actually gives him a chance, wasn’t even in the squad. When asked about the matter after the match, Moyes said it was a choice between him and Nani.
Whether or not Moyes has already decided he’s not going to use Kagawa in order to save his own skin remains to be determined. But actually preferring Nani for him? Moyes does like to use wingers and possibly even decided to forget about playing with an attacking midfielder behind the strikers (which is very bad news for Kagawa), but actually leaving a player of Kagawa’s quality out of the squad?
The problem and fall for Nani began when he started thinking he’s a much bigger star and player than he actually is. Crazy contract demands and selfish, diva-like behavior in the dressing room and the training grounds. Hearing all your life about the comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo, not to mention playing next to him on the national team, is never the best way to go through a career. Nani actually believed he’s similar to Ronaldo, and it seems that each time he tries to emulate his former United teammate he drifts further away from a place in which he can find consistency and succeed.
Nani is at a stage which might mean he’s going through his final chance of remaining on a top-tier team. The problem is that he’s trying to prove he deserves to stay there by playing like he did when he was 18. Dribbling on the wing incoherently, not helping on defense, and making the cut from right to middle before shooting with his left foot. It’s hard to stop, but everyone knows that trick by now.
Moyes is judged harshly, in a rushed manner and probably in an unfair one as well. But That’s what you get for taking on the job of Manchester United manager. He’s still learning, and making a lot of mistakes. Too many mistakes. One of them is not making the most of the players he has at his disposal, while believing in those that have proven more than once that it’s time to give up on them.
As tempting as it might be to be the manager who brought Nani’s career back on track, being the manager who simply made the wise decision by using Kagawa a lot more than he has done so far is the easier and smarter thing to do.