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Frustration to Brilliance: Nani's story so far

Siddarth Friday, September 24, 2010
When one mentions Nani now, any United fan will say “our best winger at the moment” and one word to describe his game would be “Brilliant”, rewind to January 2010, fans might have said “Nani has potential to be good, but not the right attitude”, and one word to describe his game would have been “Frustrating”.

The transistion that Nani has made has been just amazing, he went from being the bad boy of Manchester United, to simply World class in a short period of a few months, it begun after he was injured for about a month, during which rumors started spreading about him being offered dirt cheap to every club in the world!

He returned to action against Burnley on the 17th of January 2010, his first start since October 2009, he put in a good performance, he might not have set the game alight but he did show glimpses of his ability, including a sublime overhead kick, after he chested a cross. And this turned out to be just the start, next game was against Hull at Old Trafford, and here the new Nani slowly started emerging. With great Passing and excellent crosses, he was a huge threat throughout the game, the biggest noticeable improvement was his decision making.  He went on to provide 2 assists for Rooney and also created two more good chances that Park and Owen squandered.

One could see Nani’s confidence was building, but still doubts over his consistency lingered, we all had seen Nani perform well before, but could he continue to do so?

He produced another strong performance against Manchester City in the Carling Cup Semi’s as United upturned a 2-1 deficit to go on and win 4-3 on aggregate. The expectation was building up, Nani was on a roll, it seemed like he would explode any game, and that was exactly what happened, and he couldn’t have found a better stage to do so, At the Emirates, he produced possibly the best performance of his career so far. 32 minutes into the game, Nani created a moment of magic as he squeezed past two Arsenal players before feinting past another, and then chipping it over Almunia, only for Almunia to help it into the goal as he tried to push it over the bar. And then he provided the assist for Rooney’s goal as United hit Arsenal on the classic counter attack after defending a corner, Rooney passed to Nani and he ran almost the entire length of the pitch with the ball before passing back to Rooney, who slotted it past a helpless Almunia. Nani was dominant in that game as he kept charging at Arsenal defenders; He went on to be the Man of the Match in the 3-1 victory.

This man of the match performance set the tone for the rest of the Season, as he became one our best performers in the second half of the season. Since his comeback in Jan 2010, Nani started in 18 games and played in 2 more games as a substitute, during which he scored 5 goals and provided 6 assists.  This is was the first time since he had joined United that Nani has performed so well on a consistent basis.
What was different with Nani? Well for one he seemed a much more mature player, always smiling, he was clearly enjoying his football. In terms of his playing style, his crossing was better, and he seemed to have saved the party tricks for when they were actually needed, and most importantly Nani had finally realized there is nothing wrong with putting in an early cross, it wasn’t necessary that he try to dribble past his opponents every time he got a chance. This new Nani was clearly the player United had spent all that money to get from Sporting Lisbon; he was finally realizing his true potential.

Nani has continued his great form into this season and has been excellent so far, already having provided 3 assists in 4 starts and also scoring 1 goal. His contribution is going to be even more vital now following Valencia’s horrible Injury, as he’s our only good and established winger left, with Giggsy too old to play on the wings every week.

As we continue into the season, Nani continues to improve continually and hopefully we see this new avatar of Nani continue to maraud down the wings for a long time to come!

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deviledspam said...

Indeed he was frustrating to watch @ times but a true fan of the sport could recognize the underlying quality. I support Nani wholeheartedly and expect him to go on as one of Uniteds greatest players.

Vansh said...

Luiz Nani. 1 Goal,6 Assists,1 MOTM So Far. Would Be Fool Much Talking About Him. He Is Growing Rapidly. Growing In Confidence,Maturity,Responsibility. At Times His Shot Selection Are Weird. But Thats Okaay :P Big Task After TonyV's Horror. Expect Him To Go deep.

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