Fans are a fickle set and it is this very reason why it was correct to have expressed reservations about the way in which Memphis Depay was being initiated into Manchester United. Some would interpret this very wrongly to mean he would be thrown to the curb and dropped in an unceremonious manner. Rather, it is a recognition of the nature of the business. Memphis is a 21 year old coming from a season in the Eredevisie, a top season undoubtedly, but a season in Holland nevertheless.
This very thing happened just one season prior.
Now the tide has turned on the youngster and fans are readying their pitchforks. His attitude has not helped and is only compounding a sensitive situation. If he were part of a team with lower expectations, even Liverpool, then it would be more palatable for him to be blooded in the first eleven from the start. However, at the moment he is displacing a man in the form of his life. Ashley Young must wonder what he must do. He too has felt the ire of fans much of his own doing. There was a time he loved the feel of the grass he fell at every opportunity. They were what we call dives. No more. Young looks a rejuvenated player under Louis van Gaal just as a few other then fringe players are. Mata, Fellaini, and Young himself come to mind.
Adnan Part 2
That prior episode to which his bears similarities is the one of Adnan Januzaj. True, he impressed in his first season under Moyes. He was given full support and true by the manager and repaid him by announcing himself as one for the future. As soon as his stock rose it fell. His second season was wrought with wild shots and seemingly selfish actions with dives to top it off. He shot when a pass was a much better option. Sound familiar? He was accused of being selfish. Sound familiar? He was being touted as a top young player in the world. Sound familiar?
Adnan was rewarded with the legendary number 11 and we don’t know if that shot up in the young Belgian’s head but his play deteriorated as is expected of young players. However, it was a crisis of confidence that spiralled. He hopes to recover his first season fortunes in Dortmund.
Young vs Memphis
Ashley Young deserves to start. It’s that simple. In fact, one recalls the instant impact he had after United look drab in a first half display that was an achievement to endure without succumbing to sleep. The second half against Liverpool was a polar opposite as Young provided an assist and provided impetus that the wasteful Memphis failed to provide. In that case it was also addition by subtraction as Memphis saw too much of the ball for the lack of impact he had. He racked up six dispossessions in one half of football on 43 touches and 24 passes. Ashley Young was not disposed once, perfect for a possession based system. This is not to say Memphis should not eventually start or that he isn’t a potential star but at this time van Gaal, or any other United affiliated person cannot justify why Memphis continues to be favoured ahead of Young. Names do not play this game and the manager has always said players will start on merit.
The great Cristiano Ronaldo’s first season at United? Played 29, started 15, and subbed in 14 times. There’s no shame in that. Sir Alex eased in that man very gently and Memphis’ hype doesn’t quite match his footballing intelligence or his composure in attacking positions at the moment. The Ashley Young that looks like a new player awaits….or is it Super Ashley, some vastly superior version to the one everyone wanted out a few years ago?