Date: 9th November 2010 at 4:57pm
Written by:

On Sunday Twisted Blood wrote a piece on Bebe, it commended his character and suggested that whilst the technical side of his game may need to be worked on it is encouraging to see that the mental aspect of his game is there in that despite things not coming off for him, he was still willing to try.

The mental aspect of playing for a team as big as United and the pressure of performing is something not all players can handle and it’s good to see Bebe is coping. Having not grown up in academy football he doesn’t have the advantages other players do so it would have been easy for him to get here and then shy away but he seems intent on at least trying to be a success.

I’m firmly in the camp that nerves played a huge part in how he played, some may say well it’s a part of of playing at a big team but being affected by nerves happens at all levels of every sport. Mike Tyson could make a man freeze in fear before even landing a punch, so choking in sport is nothing new.

For others it’s not so easy, the enormousness of playing for Manchester United can be crippling as was the case with Micky Thomas.

A player Ryan Giggs thanks for helping mould him into the player he became, the left winger was class. Giggs said of him,

β€œHe was left-footed, skilful and entertaining and what was even better – he was also Welsh. From that day I wanted to be Mickey Thomas. Thank you Mickey for inspiring me to become the player I am.”

The Welsh winger was just as entertaining on the field as he is off it and after a big money move from Wrexham to United, the man who had painstakingly sent letters to clubs asking for a trial had apparently made it. For most it would mean living the dream but by his own admission his time at the club was miserable,

“I was always nervous. Although I was a Red, I felt in awe. I felt it difficult to combat the pressure of playing at home, in front of 58,000-plus. I felt if I left I would be a better player, expressing and enjoying myself more.”

Mickey said himself he wouldn’t feel up to the task of playing for the club so at times he would go missing. So for those people who feel it is all part and parcel of being in the spotlight I beg to differ. Everybody is different, some people will rise to the occasion some won’t. Some will hide from their position of responsibility and some will stand up and be counted.

What we saw from Bebe was him standing up to be counted and good on him for doing so.


8 responses to “The case of Mickey Thomas puts Bebe’s situation into perspective”

  1. jonathan says:

    Yep, terrific point and also for drawing parralels with a former United player. It would have been easy for Bebe to shrink after the first couple (terrible) crosses, yet he still put everything forward while on the pitch. He also seemed to have a good attitude when being pulled off and I’m glad many at OT showed support for him.
    At his first appearence with the reserves, he putting pretty good crosses and I don’t think his game is as raw as many feel it is. He’ll take some time to settle in, but I wouldn’t be suprised for it to happen sooner than many expect. Bear in mind we have several Portugese-speaking players all within a couple years of each other which should foster his growth quite well.

  2. Ah, Mickey Thomas. Went on to take Wrexham to the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners’ Cup.

    Lovely piece.

  3. if says:

    United fans should be as responsible for developing young talent as the coaching staff. Nothing can ravage a young player more than jeers from a home crowd. He deserves support from the fans and encouragement, not groans.

    If you want to foster young talent, support them.

  4. David Watts says:

    Played a lot of Semi pro football myself and some words of advice from a senior pro always rang true…It was a big game and he asked us to be brave, but didn’t mean to launch into a huge two footer or crash into every tackle…He said be brave and look for the ball, don’t hide, keep asking for the ball. For him Bravery was not marked by how much blood you had on your shirt, or scars on your knees, but how many times you made yourself available, even when marked tightly.

    Being Brave was trusting your ability and touch under pressure and having a go..

    On a similar theme Michael Jordan was once asked how he could hit so many last second clutch shots with time running out….His reply was he made so many because he missed so many…IE he was never afraid to be the man who took the shot and was never afraid of failure…

    Bebe has a lot to learn and is definately raw, truth be told I would have much preferred Van De Vaart for the same money…BUT he is a red now, and needs to be given time. If he has the confidence and the will to succeed then part of the battle is won

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