Date:Saturday January 23 2010
Nani was given a second league start in 2010 against Hull City and he did not disappoint. Poor performances have become par for the course for him but not this time: he had a hand in two goals and could have had more assists but for sub-standard finishing by Owen and Park.
He was always available, usually made the right decisions - a welcome sight, if unexpected. But what's the secret? It all came out of the blue, after all.
Well, not really: Nani had a good game against Burnley, too, he played especially well in the first 30 minutes of that game. He's lost some confidence after that but lasting the full 90 minutes clearly did him the world of good.
Besides, there's a healthy amount of desire to prove himself. He might have realised that unless he improves his performances very, very soon he'll be out of the club which is something he would not relish, I guess.
Another element must be his preference to play on the right side of midfield. His ability to cut inside and shoot makes him a valuable pick on the left as well but he is clearly more comfortable on the right but that spot has been occupied by Antonio Valencia throughout this season and as the Ecuadorian has enjoyed a good, solid debut campaign so far, Nani is unlikely to usurp him.
So, yes, this superb display might be nothing more than a little glitch in the succession of disappointments for Nani but hope springs eternal. I still have not given up on him because he has the talent. Obviously, Hull were poor and against opponents of greater quality the Portuguese might just fail again. But he managed to be terrible against teams no better than today's Hull City - and anyway, we're in no position to give up on a player who has plenty of pace and skill. Because even if we conclude that he won't be good enough for us, in the current climate we'll have to sell him for a reasonable amount of money...
Date:Saturday January 23 2010
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