If Nani Doesn't Start, He Can Start Packing
OK, Sir Alex assured everyone that Nani was not for sale and any club coming in for him in January would be rejected right on the spot. Thing is, the winger is yet to play a minute since his latest complaints about lack of opportunities and shattered confidence got out.
And now Fergie promised that the same players who started last Wednesday, against Besiktas, would play tonight against Tottenham Hotspur in the Carling Cup. What does that mean? Well, we lined up thus: Foster - Gary Neville, Brown, Vidic, Rafael - Obertan, Gibson, Anderson, Park - Welbeck, Macheda.
Yes, no place for Nani though he was on the bench. Giggs is preferred for the big games, for league games; Obertan, Park and even Welbeck is preferred for Carling Cup and Champions League games. Where does that leave Nani who, after a good first season, has been steadily disappointing? On the brink of an exit from United, that's where.
I voiced my opinion many times here: Nani is a huge talent but his lack of intelligence is a major handicap. He just does not seem to possess the mental attributes required at the very top so he'll probably end up back in Portugal real soon... More optimist Reds would say he's gonna grab his chance, no reason to worry.
But there is because one question must be asked: where is that chance? Nani got his chance at the start of the season (remember, he started at the Community Shield and against Arsenal!) but after some initial promise he was soon back to square one with all the frustration he usually makes us endure when he's on the pitch. And he's been moving down the pecking order ever since: at Anfield Fergie threw him on to try and save the game; at Stamford Bridge Obertan and Owen were preferred.
He did not play a minute against Besiktas even though we were behind from minute 22 and he's supposed to be one of our more experienced and more penetrative players and it looks like he's not gonna start tonight. When will he, then? It's the Carling Cup after all, there isn't a competition that we could care less about but it looks like Fergie deems him unworthy of selection even for this one.
If Nani does not start tonight, he might as well start packing - because that would clearly mean that Valencia, Giggs, Park and Obertan are all ahead of him in the pecking order. A fifth winger for two places? We do not need that, especially when said winger is unable to produce quality performances when, admittedly rarely, called upon.