The emancipation of Ashley Young

Ashley Young

The first game of the new Premier League season is history, and Manchester United fans everywhere are excited at the thought of Bastian Schweinsteiger roaring through the midfield, while Pedro reprises his attacking role from the Pep Guardiola years at Barcelona, running off the Lionel Messi incarnation-in-red that is Wayne Rooney. As expected in a […]

Data Rant: Ashley Young

Ashley Young Antonio Valencia

Louis van Gaal has transformed Ashley Young from stuttering winger to a functioning wing-back this season. The 29-year-old has not set the world alight in the new role, but his presence has served a useful purpose amid an ongoing injury crisis at Old Trafford, with new signing Luke Shaw absent for most of the campaign. If […]

Van Gaal’s ‘modern’ wing-backs

Ashley Young Antonio Valencia

Deploying a ‘wrong-footed’ winger is no longer a radical concept – in fact it is now fully mainstream. Wingers cut inside, vacate space for full-backs to run into, enabling attacking teams to get more bodies into the middle whilst retaining some width. Even lowly Sunderland regularly use inverted wingers these days. More interesting, perhaps, is a […]

Young’s corrosive shame eating at United’s centre

Ashley Young

In the furor that surrounds Ashley Young’s dive against Real Sociedad on Tuesday night there must also come a mea culpa. The confession that Manchester United has benefited from cheating; that other United players have also and will also cheat; an acknowledgement that in different circumstances the outrage might be felt for very different reasons. […]

Moyes has a key decision to make on Young’s future

Ashley Young

Despite being ultimately responsible for Manchester United’s fortunes David Moyes has been protected by fans to date; the argument being that the new manager has been proffered too little time to impose his own philosophy on the club. Fair enough, although there have been victims during the Scot’s early period at the club, including Ashley Young […]

Questions of right and left

Nani

It has not been a good week for right-wingers; not least new Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio, who has taken significant media heat for his less than conventional political views. Little wonder, given that the Italian once labelled fascist dictator Benito Mussolini a  “very principled, ethical individual” who was “deeply misunderstood”. Those who died at […]

Reds suffer through familiar tournament fall-out

Wayne Rooney

It’s no so much that the English nation likes a scapegoat – although quite clearly it does – but that there’s  fundamental requirement to ignore the deep seated problems in the national game. In the 46 years since England won it’s only international tournament blame has been apportioned liberally after repeated, and frequently embarrassing tournament […]

Welbz and Young: England’s lone rangers

Danny Welbeck, Ashley Young

With Euro 2012 well under way attention has turned, momentarily Rant suspects, from the tittle-tattle of transfer market gossip to the world’s second biggest football tournament™, which is taking place in Poland and Ukraine over the next three weeks. In between bouts of organised racism, fans from 16 countries hope to witness some high quality […]

Poll: Is Ashley Young an embarrassment to United?

Ashley Young, part-time winger, full-time diver – at least if the last two weekend’s matches are anything to go by. In each game, first against Queens Park Rangers and then former club Aston Villa, Young has ‘gone down easy’ to win Manchester United a crucial penalty. The seventh and eighth penalties Young has won this […]