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Valencia: I’m Really Enjoying My United Career

Antonio Valencia has made a great start to his United career after joining us from Wigan in the summer.

He was voted by our fans as our best performing player in November and December on the club’s official website.

Valencia has today revealed he didn’t expect to get so much playing time this early on in to his United career and sees this as just the start.

“I thought I would be used sparingly at first and then more as I settled in at the club, but as a footballer you train hard so that you’re always prepared to play,” Valencia said. “Then it’s down to the manager to make the decisions, and he has given me lots of opportunities. I’m really enjoying my United career so far, and this is just the start.”

With Valencia taking over the right wing, a position occupied by Cristiano Ronaldo in much of his time at United, people pointed to his poor scoring form for Wigan and scoffed at the idea of him doing it for United. As it is, Valencia is currently our third highest scorer in the league and has more goals this season than other rated wingers like Ashley Young, Lee Milner, Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

“I’m getting into the box more than ever before in my career,” said to explain. “I’m encouraged to get forward and there are a lot of balls coming in from the left side, so I’ve been able to get to the far post and get on the end of a few crosses.”

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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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29 Comments

  1. SteniS says:

    I can’t believe he’s been on the bench the last few games. Sure, Nanis been terrific for us, but surely there has to be a way to make room for them both? Can Nani keep performing like he’s done, but on the left?

  2. kanchelskis says:

    Lee Milner? lol

    A cross between James Milner and Lee Miller?

  3. Macheda IS GOD says:

    And im really enjoying him playing
    Absoulute world class-ish in the next 2-3 years.Be our new ronaldo!

  4. stretford end king says:

    I’m sorri but as an avid supporter of nani i think he deserves tha run he gettin on tha right…If Valencia cant adapt to tha left then play him thru tha middle…Nani has been a genius on tha right & puttin him bacc on tha left wad kill him!!!

  5. kel says:

    Nani is a bit introvert. He is quite different from Ronaldo. Ronaldo is a more challenging person meaning fergie always give him a target to break at the beginning of the season and Ronaldo break every year. Nani is more introvert thus when he face a difficult, he finds it hard to overcome and become more depressed. I think we should try to encourage more and been more patient with him. So i feel we should keep playing him on the right. I think fergie knows what to do best.

  6. elvido says:

    Can Nani keep performing like he’s done, but on the left? or the right for that matter? Guess that’s the 17 mill question! It would be good to have their pace on both flanks!!

  7. mancstan says:

    Fergie himself says Nani is best playing on the right, and all this time been playing him on the left.

    Would like to see Nani now given a long run out on the right wing, but at the same time dont like to see Valencia left out. Hmmm.

    How about this for Saturday?? Valenci in the middle. It is Portsmouth, we should be able to play this. Thoughts?????

    VDS

    DASILVA EVANS/BROWN EVRA

    CARRICK FLETCH

    NANI VALENCIA OBERTAN

    ROONEY

  8. mancstan says:

    Maybe Giggs for Obertan who could make more of a middle 3 with carrick and fletch

  9. james21 says:

    I like Valencia, he works hard in attack and tackles back in defence. He’s scored some nice goals and set up a few. His crossing is good and he’s showing he can take players on without going down Ronaldo style. Not for one minute slagging Ronaldo he’s a legend but at times it got tiring watching him complaining on the floor while the opposition was racing down the pitch, Valencia gets on with it.
    Would like to know what SAF said to Nani, all the papers (I take them with a pinch of salt) reported blazing arguements and he was set to exit OT. Keep it up Nani prove your critics wrong.

  10. Strik3rr says:

    the predicament were in is that we have 3 purely right footed wingers who are all great but play poorly on the left, although valencia has been great for us, nani is in the form of his life and after infinite criticism has bounced back and deserves to be given a run on the right

  11. NBI Red Onion says:

    rafael – vid – brown – evra

    ( – carrick – )

    nani – valencia – fletcher – giggs/park

    rooney – diouf

  12. King Eric says:

    I have been really impressed with the kid. To say it is his first season some players really struggle but not Toni. Has blended right in. A very humble man . He works very hard, great pace, can beat a man, strong as a fucking ox and hits the net. The only dilemma as a few have mentioned is what to do now with him and Nani. Nani MUST start in this form otherwise it could fuck his confidence but I also think Valencia must start. Could he play on the left and cut in ? I hope so as a front three of him, Wazza and Nani would terrorise defences and they would be shitting themselves. Fergie will work summat out. I know he plays through the middle for Ecuador so this is an option but who do we sacrifice. Could he cut it in the middle at United or is he a winger? Many questions but a great predicament to be in. It is frightening really to think he is only 23-24 and in his first season. Reckon he can be huge at United. Looking forward to his second season. Top lad and a fantastic signing.

    Off topic – The Terry scandal is getting boring, HOWEVER I am looking forward to the weekends papers. By all accounts we ain’t heard nothing yet as there is so much more to come out! Was listening to Talkshite on the way home and it was so refreshing to hear Danny Kelly laying in to the cunt as previous nights we have had to endure Cundy and the bird beater siding for him. Kelly was calling him a blatant liar and a good one at that. He interviewed him some time ago and Terry was saying how his family is so important and how he has changed his life around. He said all that matters is his wife and kid. You could not make it up.
    Viva John Terry.

  13. Harry Hill says:

    I like Valencia but then I like Nani, but which is best?…..

    There’s only 1 way to find out…….

    FIIIIIIIIGHT!!!!

  14. King Eric says:

    Harry Hill – Nice one.

  15. Jandsdad says:

    @ King Eric

    Did you hear Cundy today trying to deflect the attention away from Mr chelski by pretty much saying that these WAGS are to blame for going out of their way to snap up a footballer.
    I was half expecting him to say that these girls that go out on the town are just “asking for it”.

  16. manchuchu says:

    Who the fuck is Lee Milner?

  17. Archie 18 says:

    @ NBI Red Onion

    I really don’t think we should play 11 out-field players. I know it’s Portsmouth but come on!

  18. McQueen says:

    Harry Hill – LOL

    NBI Red Onion – What’s up with your formation? There are too many players! What’s with the ( -Carrick- ) 12th man? Unless you are suggesting we go all out attack with no keeper?! ;)

    I guess it comes down to this: Valencia has been great, but i personally believe Nani has the potential to be the better player and whilst he is playing like he is should be kept on the right. It’s harsh on Valencia but, whilst he’s been playing well, I don’t think he’s been as effective as Nani has been in the last few games. He’s a bit one-dimensional and more predictable than Nani and I often find myself screaming at him to TAKE PEOPLE ON!!! It would be good to be able to play them both, but i don’t want Nani back on the left where he has been pretty useless and Valencia is outrageously one footed so I can’t see it working with him on the left either. It’d have to be Valencia down the middle, as in ‘Mancstan’s formation, which looks pretty good to me. I defo think it’s worth a go against Portsmouth anyway, although I can’t remember the last time I have successfully predicted a Fergie lineup!

  19. SMM says:

    Nani is supposed to be on the left wing but he’s giving his best at the right taking Valencia’s place………..
    and Valencia cant play on the left cuz he’s right footed….so i think Park and Giggs are the choices for the left wing………

  20. Red Devil says:

    Give Rooney a rest for God’s sakes against Portsmouth !
    Why not give Berbatov or Owen a chance against them….we have a tough run of away games coming up remember, 3 or 4 in a row where its most likely to be 4-5-1 with Rooney up top. Give Rooney a break I say!

  21. Corea says:

    Harry Hill – absolutely spot on! They are all humble ? They won’t hate each other, i hope :)

  22. Corea says:

    Red Devil – i will go with Berba and Owen as well, mate.

  23. Red Devil says:

    @ Corea

    Sounds good……..they did link up well in a few pre-season games didnt they. Well if Owen and berbatov cant get the job done against Portsmouth FFS (with all due respect) then how can they be expected to do the job against the Chelsea’s and Milan’s….

  24. aig alex is god says:

    @Red Devil

    Hi mate.

    i agree that Rooney should be on the bench on Saturday and should play only if needed. God forbid but if anything happens to him we will be well and truly fucked. we need to find a way to play without him otherwise we will struggle to cope up without him incase something happens to him adn will need vital games trying to figure out what our best pairing up front is without him.

  25. Red Devil says:

    @ AIG

    Hey….Good afternoon mate…

    Exactly what I was thinking…..I mean whats the point of having a squad if you’re not gonna use it. A 31 million pound striker and England’s highest goalscorer has been warming the bench for the last 4-5 games continuously without being injured!
    I cant fault the results and performances in that time, we’ve been great but it really begs the question why have them in the first place if you’re not gonna play them even against the so called smaller sides…..it must be really devastating for the confidence of Berba and Owen that they are not really trusted by the manager

  26. Sker says:

    @Red Devil + AIG,

    Try telling that to Rooney; I can’t see him rested in his current form…maybe when we are 3-0 up.

    Back to topic, Valencia is probably profiting from learning from the likes of Giggs and Evra about getting into position in attack and putting in simple effective crosses rather than trying to beat 4 defenders with the ball. Rooney thrives with early quick crosses with his speed and well-timed runs and both Valencia and Nani are capable of providing those. Just keep it simple and sweet and I don’t care who gets the nod from SAF.

  27. King Eric says:

    Morning lads. Disagree. Start Rooney whenever he is fit now. He is in great form and a disruption may spoil that. Let him bag a hat trick by half time then bring Owen or Diouf on!

  28. John Ferry says:

    The answer to the Nani/Valencia riddle is to play Valencia in the position he plays for in his National Team.

  29. chrispiano says:

    I don’t think resting Rooney would hinder his form tomorrow, he played 270 minutes of football in 8 days, he needs a rest.

    VDS
    Rafael-Vidic-Evans-Evra
    Nani-Carrick-Fletcher-Park
    Berbatov-Owen

    Bench: Kuz, Rooney, Diouf, Giggs, Scholes, Brown, Valencia

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