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Nani: Last season made us more focused

Nani has yet to agree a new deal with the club and with just one year remaining on his current contract, it is likely that he will leave in the summer.

The season before last, when United won the record breaking 19th title, Nani was voted as our player of the season by his teammates. Thanks to injuries, loss of form and not getting a regular run in the team, Nani has failed to recreate top performances on a consistent basis.

“This season has been a bit disappointing for me as I’ve had a couple of injuries,” he said. “It’s been very difficult to be at my best but I’ve come back from injury and am trying to be at my best until the finish of the season. I hope that, next season, I can do what I like to do – play my football and be at my best.”

Nani has echoed the opinion of several other players, claiming the disappointment of last season has lead to the improvement this season.

“It means a lot because I’ve been saying in the past that what you learn at this club is the mentality to always win every competition and the most important is the Premier League,” he added. “So what happened last year made us very focused on this league for this year. I think we’ve been doing a very good job to be in this position and we want to win the league and make history for this club again. It’s always like that [the pain fuelling the ambition] every season when we lose something or should do better. We just always, straight away when we’ve finished the league, try and focus on the next one and try to win, work very hard and give back to the other teams what they have done to us.”

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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98 Comments

  1. WeAreUnited says:

    @marq there could be some truth behind his words, but it’s insane not to be happy on our lead and how we have managed to make 13 comebacks already this season and say our attitude stinks or the never say die attitude is not there.

    like @king eric said, we have Late winners against big teams at City, Chelsea and late ish on at Anfield.

    so that’s why it’s amazing how dissatisfied can some be. The second half curse is amazing, but we have managed to win against chelski and city after a nightmare second half.

    anyway. I trust this team! BELIEVE

  2. wayne says:

    Here we go again all Bobby Manc knows,show me the money

    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/307766/?

  3. WeAreUnited says:

    btw i hope we get another late winner against city ahaha

    lately happened, scholesy header, rooney header, owen’s toe and rvp’s latest freekick

    amazing stuff.

  4. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Marq – you’re hardly going to win comfortably in big games without hanging on at some point, especially if it’s to a closer margin…

  5. Marq says:

    @Samuel/WeAreUnited

    Of course we should be happy with our lead. I am in the believe that I don’t care how we win, thats why I am not so critical of our players, as long the job is done. I am just saying that even with this lead, it should be noted that alot of them are struggles that we could do without. Both our games against Liverpool too, we were just hanging on. Like I said earlier, we got our results this season playing attacking football, so there was no reason to hide in our shell now like they did against Chelsea.

  6. WeAreUnited says:

    @marq

    no I understand that, I don’t either accept sometimes the way we win, cause we know the way United should win, but I am amazed how some don’t see that..

    I think, and this is only my theory, I can be dead wrong.

    But we had many youngsters last season and lost the title on goal difference and in some parts out of experience.

    This season those those youngsters have matured, and now we lead with 15points, but still in some games in the hard way.

    I think it’s a transition thing and next season, those tight games that we won with bad games and by hanging on, will turn better, with the experience and player development.

    This is why I think, it’s good that we have won with comebacks and only hanging on, because it has tought our new and “old” youngsters the United way and spirit, that we never give up / die. SO those 1-0 wins or the 4-3 comebacks, has actually made us stronger for the next season, because next season they will know how to handle it .

    a piece of thought.

  7. WeAreUnited says:

    taught us**** and many typos sorry. going to sleep.

    peace.

  8. slim says:

    WeAreUnited

    Morning fella. Out of line a bit earlier on with d shut it line.not personal

  9. WeAreUnited says:

    @slim I went and read one of your comments and I think if I had only picked that we would be good. Quote “Nothing wrong with striving to play well and win at the same time”

    and naaaah’ I got too touchy for no reason mate. You got some good ideas, and soem that I don’t agree with. For example, for you our 15 point lead is because City did not get their act together until now. what about us, for some we have not had our act together and still managed to brake records. What does that tell you? attitude, history and Manchester United.

    And the comment that got me riled up was when you and @slayer said that we had no never die attitude spirit when the truth is in contrast with what you say.
    Then you brought the Madrid game and it was not valid, so I had to say something. In overall the comments wasn’t headed only to you, but more for those, that complain and complain, even though the truth is, we are leading 15points, we have played bad football with results, exellent football with results and 4-5 occasions of bad football with bad/semi results.

    How can people still complain? And the complaining has only become after the Madrid game, before that no-one said a thing, and suddenly one defeat makes us weak? naaah, bra, naaah.
    I TRUST THIS TEAM!

    peace.

  10. Giles Oakley says:

    I’m glad things have calmed down a bit on this thread after some somewhat abusive exchanges. It should be possible to disagree and argue about things without getting all personal and obnoxious.

    I happen to think United have done tremendously well in the league this season, including some absolute belting performances. But it also beyond dispute that some results have been achieved despite really poor performances, as some have pointed out. It’s this that sets this season apart from earlier title-winning (I’ll bow to everyone’s insistence that we’ve really already won the title this year) . We’ve broken some records and it’s been a brilliant season in many ways, but it’s not really a matter of ‘complaining’ ungratefully to point out how the team has gone off the boil in recent weeks. I believe part of that is complacency, which can afflict any team with a huge lead, but which is absolutely not acceptable this year after what happened last year. Pointing that out, or criticisng lack-lustre performances is not somehow showing lack of ‘belief’ or being ‘nagative’, it’s calling on everyone to get behind the team for the last 8 matches, so we can help the team get back to its attacking best, to win the title by a huge margin, with more records broken. I agree about the younger players gaining experience, and now they need to learn how to sweep to victory, by not taking anything for granted until it’s truly in the bag. Surely we can all agree about that, and stay United.

  11. Marq says:

    I trust this team to get even better! Especially when we are talking about Nani here. For all the praise given to Bale, it is easily forgotten that Nani has always out performed him except this season. If only he can get a full run in a season fit & firing, we would be talking about 70m Nani

  12. wayne says:

    it’s ridiculous not to expect some poor performances throughout the course of a season it’s getting results from those games that make champions.Being negative is coming on here and constantly picking on players or the team or just writing things that are just not true
    that’s not being a fan and i don’t care what anyone thinks

  13. iced earth says:

    we should put the title to bed
    we must play the game like if we were behind shity no way we will gave theme any hope

    team against shity

    ddg
    rafa rio vida evra

    nani jones carrick young

    rooney

    rvp

  14. brett1985 says:

    “I remember last season when I warned about complacency as United improbably gained an 8 point lead City, which they promptly blew, as I feared would happen. Many people got quite angry with me for not being ‘positive’, but had nothing to say when I was proven correct.”

    I can hardly believe that you are setting yourself up on a pedestal over this. I think there was plenty of people who did not consider the title a done deal last season with an 8 point lead. One can urge caution in any situation and expect to be ‘proven correct’ a percentage of the time. Hardly the basis for riveting comment and insight, is it?

    With respect to your similar caution this season I do find it boring. The chance of surrendering a 15 point lead with 7 games to go is such a long shot that I don’t think its worth such a long post or talking about at all. Yes, the players need to be professional and finish the job and that is what they appear to be communicating.

    Sorry for not being very agreeable but the players are also proving their professionalism on the pitch with 25 wins out of 30. The boss has shown his determination to get the job done by playing strong teams in what appear to be ‘routine’ league fixtures when he could have rested players for significant cup ties. You mention us going out of two cups as an indicator of ??? but to my mind it symbolises how we have completely focused on the league as the key goal- and rightly so.

  15. Red Robin says:

    Another game to tick off next Monday. No time for complacency. I hope Rafael and Rooney can play. My line up for that game:

    GK- DDG
    RB – Rafael/Jones
    CB – Rio
    CB – Vidic
    LB – Evra
    RW – Valencia
    CM – Carrick
    CM – Anderson/Kagawa
    LW – Nani
    FW – Rooney
    ST – RVP

    Subs: Lindy, Buttner, Smalling, Cleverley, Hernandez, Young/Giggs

    Tactical:
    If Nani indicated another off performance, just change withYoung/Giggs.
    Kagawa/Anderson to be replaced by Cleverley when their stamina is decreasing
    Hernandez to come in for any of the wingers to form striking trio in 4-3-3 formation with RVP & Rooney.

    It worked very well in my FM. : D

  16. WeAreUnited says:

    @red robin

    I think you can easily put Rafael instead of Jones. Your middle is not good, Instead of Kagawa and Ando put Cleverley, cause he has done ver ywell this season and against big teams.

    @brett

    great response mate!

  17. Goat Peticoat says:

    Team for tomorrow I hope

    DDG
    Jones Smalling Vidic Evra
    Carrick
    Cleverly Giggs
    Hernandez RVP Young

    I probably wont watch though as its a big match and they tend to be fuc#ing retarded. With said twat in black deciding the encounter because the FA > United.
    I cant watch City without wanting to North Korea is best Korea all over their fuc#ing heads.
    The end.

  18. Kings says:

    Excellent points as always Giles. That is exactly it, making sure we get the job done without assuming it is already done and dusted – this time last year I think the large majority connected with United thought exactly that after we beat QPR 2-0, coupled with City’s defeat at Arsenal. I know there is a significant difference in the points gap between this season and last, but until we cannot be caught there are still games to be won. We’ve got to this great position by playing some breath taking football, winning at places where we have struggled in the past. Win our next 3 and we are Champions. Let’s take the game to City and absolutely annihilate them.

  19. mill says:

    24 hours to go.
    I’m sure SAF will get the team
    selection right.
    Cant wait for the game now.
    Going ‘Bishop Blaize’ first to sing
    songs about city !
    Should be mental in there.

  20. WeAreUnited says:

    those that are unsatisfied

    go reflect on this, and why we have nothing to be concerned, we will not give up like on that 6-1 and 1-0 defeat

    http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/Features/2013/Apr/story-of-manchester-derby-since-city-takeover-in-2008.aspx#

    Manchester derbies since September 2008:

    United wins: 9
    City wins: 4
    Draws: 1

  21. Giles Oakley says:

    Sorry Brett, if I’ve irritated and bored you, not my intention. I’m not ‘setting myself on a pedestal’ , as you put it, merely pointing out that complacency cost us the title last year. That’s a simple statement of fact, and some of us saw it coming, others denied it. I was one of those – in a minority – who repeatedly warned against complacency and got a right pasting from many people on this site who accused me of not being ‘positive’. The same gets said now to those posters warning that the job isn’t done yet.

    Of course it’s unlikely we’ll blow a 15 point lead, but don’t you want to make sure we hold that lead or maybe increase it? It would be something of a let down to end up with, say, a six point lead at the end.I’d accept it, of course, a title is a title, but to me next season has already started. I don’t want to read Joe Hart bragging about how they narrowed the gap by, say 8 points two years running, as though United don’t have the bottle for a fight.

    The psychological battle for supremacy has already begun. I don’t want City to have any grounds at all for thinking it was some sort of bad luck that cost them the title, or that they are ‘really’ the better team.

    At present United are surrounded by hostile media constantly saying we’ve won the title, and that’s something that has to be fended off. It simply does not create the right frame of mind for players or crowd, which is why ABU writers keep saying it, along with ex-Liverpool players, all desperate for some embarrassment as United throw away at least some of that massive lead. The players need to be absolutely at their best for the rest of the season.

    This whole thread started with Nani saying that last season’s bitter experience has made the players ‘more focussed’ this time round, a point made by several other players. I’m sure that’s true, but it is all getting a bit self-congratulatory to my mind, and a bit premature. Having watched Nani’s dreadful display at Stamford Bridge on Monday (and he’s a player I really rate and want to stay at Old Trafford) I felt he was far from ‘focussed’, a view shared by Fergie, judging by his angry response to the defeat.Trudging away from the Bridge surrounded by horrible Chelsea fans exulting in beating United was a major let-down. I thought the players had not been nearly ‘hungry’ enough, allowing the Fat Spanish Waiter to put one over Fergie, much to his obvious annoyance.

    United have had a brilliant season, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been better. No team is at its best every time, so I accept there will be lows as well as highs. But it is still true that United have slumped somewhat in form, basically since the first half of the FA Cup match v Chelsea. It seems a perfectly fair point to make at this critical stage in the season. I would prefer the players to say nothing right now (It makes painful reading to see what some were saying about the Champs Lge and FA Cup a few weeks ago) and just get on with giving City a good old fashioned tonking. I want the players all fired up with the Old Trafford crowd fully behind them.

    It’s all very well saying the team has been concentrating on the league, which I agree is the priority, but to me it was a bitter disapointment to get knocked out of the Champions Lge and then the FA Cup. Fergie and the players had been talking up the prospects of winning another Treble, which has backfired.. I don’t know about others but I hate that betting advert re-playing the commentary for last year’s 4-4 draw with Everton, when we twice threw away a 2 goal lead, including conceding two goals in the last 5 minutes. I remember that match, when some idiot put up a banner saying ‘Why Always We?’ and Fergie looked all smug, just before the ceiling fell in. That was one of the worst experiences of a dismal season. I never want anything like that again.

  22. slim says:

    Really odd the”utd are favorites to beat city” thread has no single comment. Its been like a day old

  23. markg says:

    yeah there is something fucked up

  24. markg says:

    or is it a case of is ” there anybody out there”

  25. slim says:

    Feel guilty because all i want to say is : what giles said

  26. King Eric says:

    Giles. Great post as ever. Don’t even get me started on that BetFair advert or whatever it is which Sky seem to love playing and rubbing our noses in every opportunity! Hope you are well mate.

  27. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    totally agree Giles. The number one problem with this group of players more than with any other geoup we have had in the last decade is thay they tend to rest on their laurels far too much. 8 point lead blown. SEVERAL LEADS blown. they seem to think that once they’ve gone up that its over but it is not. We absolutely HAVE to ram this home tomorrow. No fucking messing around. END this title race tomorrow. Then we can start talking.

  28. belfast red. says:

    @slim. i dont thnk we can leave a comment when admin write something. well i cant anyway…

  29. FletchTHEMAN says:

    We need to stay focused?! That is what we didn’t do last year, or the first half of this year. Vidic coming back from his surgery has been a big boost, but the last month has been very very disturbing. If we loose today, we can look at this as one of the worst months in recent memory. Blowing a lead v the Chaves and not putting it to bed v the Virus, it has been a flippin horrible 30 days.

    Focus shmocus! We need to put game faces on a go get a win. Bitters will be up for it. Kompany will be beyond up for it. Are YOU up for it. It’s going to be a nervy war out there and we will soon see who came to win it. Sure hope Ronney is fit and shows up. Rooney Vidic and Rio could win us the game.

    COME ON YOU REDS!

  30. dazbomber says:

    I wish everone would relax ,we are 15 points clear we are the best team in the league by far ,City will be shiting the selves.A win tonight or a draw and its over so chill and get behind the team and have confidance in the lads happy Derby day

  31. WeAreUnited says:

    Giles is talking sense

    but @danny your commenting on that 8 point lost lead, you’re saying it with no reason, the past is the past mate. and Just to remind you, we have 13 comebacks this season so your comment that number one problem with our group of players more than with any other geoup we have had in the last decade is thay they tend to rest on their laurels far too much.” is not valid.

    The only thing valid on that quote is that, yes sometimes when we lead, we tend to get a bit sloppy, but have lost the game by being that sloppy maybe only against chelski on the fa-cup, if I can recall.
    And also, this season our 8 point lead has not been reduced but we have made it into 15 points, I don’t see no reason to be that critical towards our team.

    I said it in one of my comments, that last year we lost on goal difference and the new lads or the youngsters didn’t know how to handle the situation and that’s why we lost it.
    This season it has been the opposite, we have made combacks and won even after almost blowing the lead.
    Imagine next season!?! we will have no problem :) be positive, and see the good things, we haven’t blown our 8 point lead mate anymore, but made4 it into 15 points!

    This is my opinion, not saying it’s the right one, but I see no reason to complain, but trust our players, that they are learning more and next season it will be even more different and stronger for those sloppy occasions.

  32. Marq says:

    @WeAreUnited

    Well, past performance does not guarantee future achievements. our 13 comebacks this season means nothing for our next game, that is why we lost the lead against Chelsea.

    I have to disagree about having nothing to worry for next season. We have been so successful for so long because we never sit down and relax, we seek to improve relentlessly, regardless of what we have won. If we have a 15 points lead, we should seek a 18 point lead, and maybe 21 or even 24. Look at Bayern, they just made history, we can too, so let do it! And did you see Conte on his expectation on Juve although they are leading quite abit, he wants his players to run until foam is coming out of their mouths!

  33. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Anyone feel the need to comment on the new AON deal.

    1. £15m/year for 8 years (=120m)
    2. They get naming rights of Carrington which will be called the AOL training center for the next 8 years.
    3. They will replace DHL on the training kit before all League and CL fixtures.
    4. They will be sponsors of the summer preseason tour of asia.

    Good money £15m. DHL was a £10m 4 year deal.
    Some lads are miffed at the naming rights issue but Carrington is just a township and City also have their training ground there, so not much in it.

    http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/Club-News/2013/Apr/aon-to-sponsor-manchester-united-training-kit-and-training-ground.aspx

  34. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Sorry AON Ofcourse!

  35. parryheid says:

    Guy’s in church meditating and hears Mark Mark,startled he looks round the empty church then hears his name being called again Mark Mark.Is that you Lord he asks/ And again he hears Mark Mark seemingly from the Pulpit so he gets off his knees and goes to the Pulpit and looks over , there is a dog with a Hare lip going Mark Mark.

  36. AlphaRS says:

    @FletchTHEMAN
    I don’t like this constantly selling ourselves out to every single company that wants to be associated to Manchester United. I suppose thats modern football for you though.
    Anyhow I hope all this money raised is going towards paying off the debt at United and not in to the pockets of the Glazers as is their right to do I may add. I wonder whether they will continue to run United as a loss enabling them to continue taking advantage of paying little or no tax.

  37. WeAreUnited says:

    @Marq

    that is what I am trying to say. It works both ways. People complain about us losing the 8 point lead last year and are scared this year. The truth is, we had a 8 point lead this year and made it into 15 point lead.
    Why peope doubt us after 1 game against Chelski when the truht is. we have a 18 game unbeaten run and we are seeking to make the 15 point to 18. Nothing is guaranteed, we know that, but hell I explained all what you need to know.

    Do you understand what I am trying to say. And when I talk about comebacks, I am trying to tell you guys, that when you say that our problem has been relaxing, it’s like you people forget we are leading, and comebacks tells you that we have the spirit to comeback and that the mistakes we made last season haven’t been made this season, wins against all big teams tells you that apart Tottenham tells you that.

    So how can people be scared, like Bayern Munich, We are Manchester United we will not sit down and be scared for the next season, it’s the opposite and this season proves you that and next season it will be even better with some tweaks, but all you people do is be scared and complain about last season. peace .

  38. WeAreUnited says:

    as for Conte, I bet SAF had foam in his mouth after last season, and in every game this season, because this season he has shown his spirit by coming to the byline and giving instructuions.

    And the players have shown the same thing, I understand what you are trying to say, but I dont’ see no reason to be worried. Unless we lose (in neverland) the 15 point lead. IF we somehow do it, then I will comeback here, and raise my hands and say, @Marq you were right and if somehow we relax next year and don’t improve, I wil ldo the same thing :) it’s a promise my friend.

    Until then, enjoy the unbeaten run and being top of the league for many many many reason, we deserve the lead! peace.

  39. FletchTHEMAN says:

    @AlphaRS Cheers mate. Here you on the debt deal. I just hope the glazers take there pound of flesh from the extra income, putting all the debt and their percentages on their ability to make the business work.

    United should keep all direct income, including TV and appearance money (EPL CL etc) / Winnings /matchday/ and all other traditional income. They should pitch in whatever we need in way of players and pay all staff and training and reserves costs.

    Think we would be alright and fans would appreciate that their bob and good will was going into the team.

  40. WeAreUnited says:

    @Marq one last thing and I hope you read my comments, cause you usually talk sense haha, sometimes you just have to agree to disagree, as for losing to chelski after 2-0 up

    We have had 4 encounters against them this season. The first one we led at stamford bridge with 0-2, then they tied it up and Chicha scored THAT 3-2 goal.

    After that we played them at the carling cup which ended 5-4 for Chelski at Stamford Bridge. We led them 3 times, and they finally tied it up at the final minute with a penalty and won 5-4.
    That time around, we were at home and led 2-0 and we played our shittiest second-half in almost 20 matches and draw a 2-2.
    4th encounter was one of the boring matches in all season and one amazing assist led them to win. Games against Chelski have been crazy this season, that should be noted.

    And I expect the same thing against City once again hahaha.

    This is why I love this team, can’t wait! peace and love.

  41. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Good Read:

    Gary Neville:
    RE Power Shift in Manchester:
    “Those reports misunderstood Manchester United. Here is a manager and players who don’t understand phrases like ‘power shift’. They just make them more determined to ram such phrases back down people’s throats.

    “Everybody was heralding a new era and asking if United’s dominance was over. Fast forward to today and there’s a 15-point lead.”

    http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/Football-News/2013/Apr/gary-neville-discusses-the-manchester-derby-with-united-review.aspx

  42. WeAreUnited says:

    “Conversely, for City, it was almost as good as it could get and you have to ask: was that City’s mountain? Under Sir Alex Ferguson, United are never at the top of the mountain – there is no mountain, no end in sight, it’s just a continuous, relentless charge year after year. There’s never a feeling of ‘we’ve done it’.

    “Everybody was heralding a new era and asking if United’s dominance was over. Fast forward to today and there’s a 15-point lead.”

    I love those quotes, and it really sums this conversation we have made it here. :)

  43. FletchTHEMAN says:

    They blame it on loosing Kompany? We lost Vidic to a knee operation in September and hardly knew what a clean sheet was until He returned in December.

    Facts 25W to their 18. Put that in your bank Bobby Manc!

    Funny thing leading City by 15 points. They have no width. We have not wingers. Ha!

    Bring on the derby!

  44. Marq says:

    @WeAreUnited

    Quoting you @ 13:13

    “it’s the opposite and this season proves you that and next season it will be even better with some tweaks”

    Haha, this is the thing I have been pointing out, that we need some tweaks for next season and not just sit down and think that we will be better. So we are on the same page then.

  45. WeAreUnited says:

    @marq

    haha, yes, but my point is, last season was last season, and we tweaked it a little with kagawa and rvp and youngsters became experienced and it led us to make it a 15 point lead instead of reducing it from 8 like last season, so this season proves you( not only you) that we have learned and are better.

    anyway. I think we kinda are and are not o nthe same page :P it takes to talk like normal people to figure it out and not on the Internet haha.

    peace mate and let’s enjoy bashing City tthis evening and supporting them like we always do!

  46. domunited says:

    Title is incorrect – missing the word “My” at the front of it…

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