Picture the scene, it’s the changing rooms at Old Trafford, around an hour before the derby kicks off…
Home changing rooms: Louis Van Gaal: “Yes, Angel, I realise you were voted into the FIFA team of the year and you were Real Madrid’s best midfielder last season, but I’m going with Ashley Young this afternoon.
Meanwhile in the away changing rooms: Manuel Pellegrini: “Yes, Yaya, I’m fully aware you’ve played in Champions League finals and been African player of the year, but today I need you to man-mark Marouane Fellaini and that’s final.”
The two players that epitomised everything that was wrong with the David Moyes era, are now the reason we’re all heralding Van Gaal’s genius. Fellaini looked like something from a poorly scripted comedy show about football while Ashley Young seemed as though he was serving out some form of criminal punishment by being forced to turn out for United. It was awful to see the amount of urine both Fellaini and Young boiled each week, culminating in two of the more bizarre episodes in recent Red memory. First of all, Young somehow got the blame for Shinji Kagawa not being up to scratch and Wilfried Zaha being a signing that should never have been considered, while Fellaini actually got booed and jeered by his own fans during a friendly. Bizarre, embarassing and moronic.
Fellaini and Young didn’t just score against City in Sunday’s 4-2 derby win, they dominated them, terrorising the defence, putting in perfect crosses and controlling the midfield. United looked, like the side of old, not the latter Sir Alex Ferguson years, where we over relied on the likes of Robin Van Persie, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, but the earlier times in ’94 when Andrei Kanchelskis was just as vital as Ryan Giggs, or in ’99 when David Beckham and Paul Scholes were equally undroppable.
Moyes destroyed any semblance of team spirit and machine like cohesion, but thankfully Van Gaal has restored it and Fellaini and Young are the perfect example of that as well as how many United fans were wrong to throw them under the bus. Sorry to tell you Angel and Yaya…
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