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Goodbye, Unluckiest United Player Of The Decade

Goodbye, Unluckiest United Player Of The Decade

Louis Saha is set to join Everton, subject to passing a medical which in his case cannot be regarded as a mere formality.

I, unlike many fellow United fans, feel a deep sadness at this parting. Here is a player who was a striker of the highest calibre, I really think so. After his dream debut in January 2004 - a brace against Southampton in an exciting game we won 3-2 - he never really could live up to the expectations.

And not because of lack of talent. Whenever given an extended run in the team, Saha performed well. He was an excellent focal point of the attack when fully fit, his pace and mobility always caused serious problems.

However, fully fit he rarely was. During four and a half years he made only 124 appearances - and even this number is deceptively high as he was only a late substitute on countless occasions.

His best year, by far, was 2006: he managed to oust Ruud van Nistelrooy from the starting line-up then he was the key figure as United made a storming start to next season. This latter contribution is often forgotten as Ronaldo and Rooney both went on to outshine him during that campaign as he missed the second half of it almost entirely (yet Chelsea still blamed the title defeat on injuries...).

But we should remember that on the autumn of 2006 Ronaldo was far from the devastating form he would show during the winter and then in 2007 and 2008. Rooney was distinctly off-colour and it was Saha who was easily our most impressive attacking player since December: his goal and overall contribution against Chelsea being the standout performance.

So, I think he played a huge part in winning the title (and banishing the ghost of the previous season's Champions League exit with a sublime winner at Benfica) and I opt to remember this, not the neverending annoyance he caused with his ever recurring injury troubles.

Very few players spent as much time in the treatment room during their careers as Saha - I think even Bryan Robson can only be a close second. Some said Saha had a mental problem, that's why he could never shake these off. Personally, I think anyone believes what they want to believe: I choose to believe that Louis Saha was the unluckiest Manchester United player of this decade.

Good luck to him, hopefully he'll be able to revive his career at Everton.

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Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Friday August 29 2008
Time: 4:19PM


dont say you goodbyes yet, he needs to pass a medical :o :|
29/08/2008 16:30:00
Good luck Saha, class player who could have been so much more. With Saha, and more importantly Dong (where's his news piece!) gone, looks like we may well get another striker yet. Unless of course Fergie has faith in the injured Manucho...
29/08/2008 16:33:00
Saha was and is top quality but more sicknotes than a scouse council estate
29/08/2008 16:58:00
Why don't you write one then, Tosswink? I'm sure you could do him proud.
Man utd champions
29/08/2008 17:07:00
On Saha, I wrote in a similar piece that no one could ever doubt his talent, and if they can keep him injury-free then Everton have got a real bargain. He's often the forgotten man at Old Trafford, but he was forging a good partnership with Rooney in 2006/07 before injuries disrupted his season. This was a rather frequent pattern at his time with us, sadly. Fighting on all four fronts, we could never afford to keep him in our squad when we never know how many games he's going to play. But, all the best to him, he was never the success at Old Trafford his talent suggested he could be, but I am sad to see him go, all the same.
Man utd champions
29/08/2008 17:11:00
On another note, I can hardly see Sir Alex leaving us this open in the striking department, so does this deal free up the extra millions to put the Berbatov saga to bed? When Sir Alex says he's less optimistic, it probably means a deal is close so (hopefully) Berbatov should be on his way to Old Trafford before Monday. Or does this leave us rather short up front, especially if Rooney were to pick up another of his now frequent and untimely injuries, with just Campbell and Tevez?
Man utd champions
29/08/2008 17:14:00
I'd love to write a piece, (I actually am a writer), but will have no time to do so over the next few weeks where it will likely be old news. I may try and write something funny then, when we top the table! :)
29/08/2008 17:18:00
Looks like Saha has passed the baton of injury-proness onto Owen Hargreaves...sigh.
29/08/2008 17:23:00
Robben was made of glass as well, its not unlucky, its life. And people with glass bodies shouldn't play in England. Best of luck to him, but thats footy. And I don't think that many Chelsea fans would say that you lot were unworthy Champs in '06, we just wanted to give you a better run for the title.
29/08/2008 17:30:00
What if we dont get Berbatov? We are left with teo supporting strikers (Rooney and Tevez) and two very inexperienced strikers (Manucho and Campbell). I hope SAF has somethign up his sleeve, I doubt he would sancrtion this move until we had somethign concrete in place...or at least I hope so.
29/08/2008 17:39:00
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