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Valencia: Luck changed after ditching 7 for 25

Antonio-Valencia7Antonio Valencia was voted United’s best performing player in the 2011-2012 season, so it seemed like the right decision to move to the #7 shirt from #25 when Michael Owen left the club that summer.

Valencia struggled for form and confidence all season and quickly reverted back to his old shirt. Since then, our right winger has been steadily improving, which is believes is something to do with the shirt change.

“It was more to do with the fact that 25 was the number I had when I first came to the club and I played well wearing that,” said Valencia. “So I thought ‘why don’t I go back to 25?’ I had good times and good fortune in that shirt. There is no negative reason as to why I changed. I don’t want people to think I wasn’t doing my job for the team because of any added pressure of wearing the No.7 shirt. I suppose I set the bar high in 2012, and then I had a niggling problem with my back, which didn’t allow me to train properly. There is no sign of that now. I feel great, and have been able to train to my maximum and put in 100 per cent. That has been paying dividends in games, and I feel my fortune has changed going back to the 25 shirt.”

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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  1. Andrew.MUNZ says:

    kinda liked seeing TonyV in the number 7 shirt.. glad his form has picked up though he is crucial! keep it up Tony!!

  2. sir matt martin says:

    As much as people would love to see Barkley donning the red shirt, a move does not seem overly realistic, especially with Everton punching above their weight and contending for Europe. So maybe we should be street smart and look elsewhere. Enter Nick Powell. Like Barkley last season, Powell is currently learning his trade in the Championship. Unlike Barkley, who seemingly struggled at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds, Powell is flourishing at Wigan. With Wigan’s European adventure in the Europa League, Powell will benefit from exposure against such opponents and has been getting on the score-sheet in recent weeks, including this belter against rivals Bolton Wanderers. Upon signing Powell, Sir Alex Ferguson earmarked the youngster as Paul Scholes’ successor. However, he has shown his talents playing further forward. In his brief outings in his first season, he did well playing in behind the striker, where he made his name at Crewe scoring a bucket load of goals. And at Wigan this year, he has featured in that No.10 role or indeed as the focal point.
    Barkley has been staring for Everton just in behind Romelu Lukaku, which makes you wonder how he would get a gig in our side. Not even Shinji Kagawa has managed to dislodge Wayne Rooney from the No.10 position where he has been running the show. Barkley may be an option in the future, but it seems very unlikely right now. Once Powell has been recalled from his loan spell at Wigan, he could have just as devastating effect as Barkley has so far. In the process, he will save us paying what will be a potentially ludicrous sum of money for Barkley, considering our infamous discussions about Baines and Fellaini in the summer. Everton know they hold the cards and will tout crazy money with them knowing how we dithered and buggered up our summer dealings. So Barkley is not the immediate solution, he is the future. But so is Nick Powell. He deserves and will get the chance to show us that we already have a Barkley-esque player among our ranks.

  3. Marq says:

    He must not think he is doing ok now, because he clearly has much much more to give, and we expect more as well. We are still waiting for a good cross from him instead of his usual low hard kick into the box or cut back. His style is already limited as it is, why he limits himself more by putting in the same type of cross every time, I do not understand. He is perfectly capable of putting in good traditional crosses, as he has shown during his first 2 years with us

  4. wayne barker says:

    i love Tony V and so far has had a solid season very important player,read last week Moyes is very keen to get him signed to a new contract.Although takes a lot of stick from some fans managers love him

  5. domunited says:

    tbh, i never thought of him as a United #7 and am glad that he feels the pressure is off. guess we can give it to C. Ronaldo when he comes back.

    [hey, it's chrimbo....]

  6. Tommy says:

    Always rated Valencia from his time at Wigan, hopefully he can keep up his good form, nightmare for full backs to deal with him going at full tilt

  7. AlwaysBeClosing says:

    Is this some kind of joke? What form? He’s been consistently one of the shittest wingers in the league this season. He didn’t do much better last season.

    Now he can barely make a cross – always drilling it across the ground and can’t reach a man – less than ten percent of the time he reaches a United player. His shooting has been shocking and he still refuses to use his left foot. Utter shite and deserves to be sold along with another five players next month.


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