With the plaudits that Ashley Young has been receiving of late, you would have thought that Manchester United had the next Lionel Messi on their hands.
It would be remiss of us to suggest that his form hasn’t been decent. He is finally looking to beat defenders when he receives the ball and his distribution has improved noticeably.
But if Young is so good then why aren’t Manchester United winning games? With him in the side Manchester United have only won one game in the last five – a run which includes those three straight defeats.
Young’s ‘man of the match’ performances of late need to be put into context. He isn’t winning games for Manchester United like top wingers have done in the past. And his form is only good in the context of his entire Manchester United career – which has largely been awful. The fact that Young is regularly heralded as Manchester United’s best player simply shows how far the bar has fallen at this great club. After the Arsenal game The Manchester Evening News went with the headline:
Manchester United 1 Arsenal 1: Ashley Young shows his worth to Louis van Gaal
When Ronaldo or Giggs were in their prime, even an average Manchester United side would regularly win their games because they had that genius to call on – Giggs and Ronnie would provide match-winning moments. Young’s form may bee good, but he’s not winning games for United.
Young’s assist rate has had a mini spike of late but his form has coincided with an awful run in the league, which nearly saw Manchester United drop out of the top four in April and May. So his moments of quality aren’t frequent enough to win games.
We need to remember that, when Fergie was at Manchester United, it wasn’t about being good, it was about being the best.
The lad has been playing well but the idea that he is some kind of club saviour is a very dangerous road to go down. Young is a decent winger and no more. He isn’t going to make the difference in big games in Europe and the wisest decision would surely be to sell while the price is high – because Manchester United would have struggled to give him away a year ago.