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Antonio Valencia - Is his time up at Manchester United?

Quick, strong, powerful, loves to cross the ball, all fantastic attributes for a winger and all possessed at one point by Valencia. Well he still does possess a lot of these aspects but on evidence of his play over the past couple of years something isn’t right.

After Ronaldo’s departure at the end of 2008/2009 season, someone needed to step up. Which Rooney did, he had a fantastic season but with that he took the majority of the plaudits. Although he did deserve plenty of praise, Valencia deserved a huge chuck of it, dishing up assist after assist for Wayne throughout the campaign. The Ecuadorian ended with 7 goals and 13 assists in a fantastic season and probably would have won United’s player of year if not for Rooney. Unfortunately his awful ankle injury at the start of the 2010/2011 season ended a fantastic year of form and killed of his momentum from his brilliant season before. But he came back after the career threatening injury and 2 Seasons ago he did win the prestigious United player of the season award. Which suggests that anyone thinking the injury has taken away some of physical aspects have been proved wrong.

So what is Valencia’s problem over the past couple of seasons if not repercussions of his awful injury? Could it be his lack of form, but considering he’s been poor for nearly 2 years it’s probably not that. I guess most will say he’s low on confidence and that’s probably true but he’s been struggling for a while now.


The home and away games against Leverkusen probably remain the only two games I can remember this season where Valencia looked more like his old self. If he can’t regain this type of form on a more consistent basis then I don’t see any reason for keeping him.

When Valencia plays like he has been he hurts our play and slows us down when attacking. Watch anytime when were on the attack down the right, now that Valencia doesn’t seem to be able to beat any fullback he ends up just turning round and playing it back to Rafael or Carrick and the move has completely slowed down. At times you can see cogs wiring away, where he just can’t seem to work out what to next. A trait he seems to share with someone like Walcott or Kyle Walker, probably due their complete inability to use their left foots.

Before Valencia used to bully his way past full backs using his strength and electric pace. But now as defenders can easily predict what he’s going to do and Valencia’s inability to beat his man he just gets nowhere.Frustratingly as well Valencia’s crossing has become very inconsistent, when he actually gets to the by-line very rarely does he find anyone in the box. He now resorts to some awful smash type shot/cross thing which hasn’t worked once since he’s started trying it.


Defensively many feel Valencia offers much more cover to full backs when he plays and also being able to play full back is an extra positive. Although when Valencia has played at right back this season he has been at fault, his positional sense when defending isn’t good enough and has cost us a few goals.

I’ve talked plenty about Valencia’s negatives but he’s still got plenty of positives. Firstly his strength, Valencia is a bull of a winger and has packed on plenty of muscle in the gym over the past few years. This helps immensely when coming up against full backs and even against some centre backs. We all remember Leighton Baines’s funny attempt at shoving Valencia of the ball. Then there’s his speed which he still possess, something that the United side severely lack at the moment.Also as mentioned earlier he does give his full back good protection compared to likes of Mata, or Januzaj.

Antonio Valencia celebrates scoring against Blackburn Rovers

So would it be time for Valencia to move on or can he still offer something to the United side? I guess many see him as a squad player and not a starter, also add to the fact that many new players could be arriving this summer. Zaha will also be coming back from on loan and he will surely be given a decent chance to prove himself in the side.  I’m slightly split on whether to keep or sell him, if he does leave that’s just another position that will need to be filled in the summer. But then again if the Ecuadorian can’t regain his past form and continuous to play like he has, then maybe it could be time to let TonyV go.

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5 replies on “Antonio Valencia - Is his time up at Manchester United?”

valencia is still a good player just nid to played else where. di maria is now in central midfield at Madrid n hes playing very well. Philip lahm is now playing central midfield at munich n hes playing very well. a gud coach should know how to use his players effectively. with valencia ‘s strength,power n speed he can surely play in central midfield n do some possession and connecting the defence and attacks. moyes shd know how to use the material he has well

I cnt just understand what united board is doing by keeping moyes. Dt guy deserves boot in d ass. Failure in 12yrs @ everton. Not even a plastic cup as trophy, and now u xpect him 2 win united trophies. How cn he give wt he dznt have

It’s difficult to really judge what players such as Valencia have left to give to United whilst Moyes remains as manager.

Moyes appears to have an uncanny ability to get the worst out of even the best of players.

Well where do we go from here! Staunch supporter of Moyes at the start but oh dear he has not got a scooby do! Please! Please do the descent thing and get out of our club before serious damage is inflicted on Man U’s future. We are running about like headless Chickens, so sad to watch. UNITED till I die.

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