Manchester United winger Luis Nani has reportedly been told by Sir Alex Ferguson to tone down on his freedom of expression on the pitch in order to ensure more consistency in playing time.
Nani has been crucial in United’s ascent to the top of the Premier League this season, and is widely acknowledged as one of the few creative forces in United’s existing set-up at the moment with 16 assists at the top of the league charts, followed by his fellow team mate Wayne Rooney on a somewhat distant 11.
Largely written off as a one-trick pony early in his United career, the Portuguese winger has gradually matured into one of United’s most important players but admits that the way he plays at United today is vastly different from how he used to play in his younger days, in no small part thanks to Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I grew up playing in the street with my friends, and I did not have any responsibility. It was just pleasure, fun, playing only for ourselves. Something of the street always remains, that is natural, but it is not easy to show at United because Sir Alex does not allow very much freedom. I cannot do the tricks and things I did with my friends.”
Although Ferguson has somewhat curbed his expression on the pitch, he reveals that he still tries something outlandish every now and then and enjoys being a crowd-pleaser,
“But when I can, when the game is under control, I take a risk and it makes me very happy if things work out. I receive a lot of congratulations and a lot of cards, and it is good to know the people like my style.”
Aside from his personal growth this season, Nani also has his eyes set on a treble with United with his minimum expectation being at least one piece of silverware:
“I want to win everything this season. We are well placed in the Premier League and we will do all we can in the Champions League and FA Cup.
“Last summer, in the first week of my holiday, I could not stop thinking about how Chelsea beat us to the title. Thankfully I could distract myself with the World Cup. This summer, there is no World Cup. The summer will be long, but I want to go on holiday with a big smile after winning at least one title.”
The Manchester United winger recently brushed off reports of a move to Serie A last Tuesday after posting a message on Twitter telling fans that “you will only hear the truth from me” and that he “loved MU (Manchester United)”.
Author’s note – I personally feel that Nani has been nothing short of phenomenal as he has developed a name for himself as one of the best players in Europe and although still some way short of filling Ronaldo’s goal-scoring boots, he has provided the impetus for us to push on for silverware this season.
Terence can be found on Twitter if you want to discuss football or the finer points of cloud formations!
I can understand Nani’s frustration at feeling restricted at times, especially when you consider how much freedom Ronaldo was given by the manager when he was here to go out and express himself on the pitch.
I feel you. However, I must admit I was slightly taken aback, call me a nerd but in FM you know you have the tactical sliders and can adjust the settings individually?
Well I would have thought if I was Sir Alex, I would have set Nani’s creativity much higher than the rest of the players in the squad, seeing as how most of them lack ideas on the pitch in reality at the moment
What’s FM got to do with anything?
FM = Football Manager. You would have thought it would have some measure of relevance seeing as football’s in the game development title and it’s pretty much an awesome game for football fanatics such as myself who have no access to the sport on the pitch.
You can always exercise the right to call me a nerd though if you felt I was digressing :p
I know what FM stands for, I was just trying to determine if you were mocking what I said?.
No, that wasn’t my intention, I apologize if it came across that way
I remembered in Nani’s first few seasons, almost everybody was calling for his head because he wasted chances, made stupid solo runs that went nowhere instead of passing the ball and tried numerous times to dribble past players without much success to the point where even Rooney was venting his frustration at Nani’s lack of service.
He’s so much better now that he has focused more on playing the game instead of trying to showboat and not producing anything productive for the whole team.