He played well. He contributed two terrific goals in a game of great importance considering the Reds recent run of form with his second strike particularly memorable. Yep, that Adnan Januzaj is going to be a big player for United now.
Forgive me for not joining the clamber for our newest hot prospect to be gifted the no.7 shirt a quarter of the way through the season and automatically considered a first choice regular but shall we just calm down a bit?
He has shown great promise and the trust David Moyes has placed in him by bringing him on from the bench when United are struggling as oppose to winning comfortably is a sign of Moyes’ faith. But just as championships are not won in October, players don’t become world beaters in the same month either.
Call it the Macheda syndrome, but I’m wary of the hype suddenly circulating our no.44. He could be a great player for United, absolutely, but he won’t be great just yet. If the golden years of dominance over the past two decades of success has told us anything it is just how hard it is to step up in standard.
This isn’t an article slagging Januzaj off. I personally think he has everything needed to be a success at Old Trafford. However there is the niggling question in the back of my mind: does he look so good because the team is so average?
Let’s face it, compared to some of the woeful displays of late in that left wing position it wouldn’t have taken much to raise our spirits. This time of the season can be a funny time. Team’s are still searching for a settled side and often youngsters can be put into the side in order to give supporters a reason to get behind the team. As much as I might hate the clown at Anfield, you could see his thinking when he put his faith in Raheem Sterling in the early part of last season. Sterling did well and it wasn’t till he went out of the side that the scousers realised how poor their midfield summer signing, Joe Allen, was. The use of young players to mask deficiencies elsewhere is a common practice.
I, like everyone, hope Adnan stays at the club and gives us many reasons to sing his name at Old Trafford for years to come (however challenging it may be to create a song for him!). But just remember that the last time we stuttered this badly in the league was the 05/06 season, when a struggling United thought they’d found a full back to replace Gary Neville and would be a defensive main stay for years. Indeed, United were that bad around that time that Phil Bardsley was named man of the match in a Champions League game at Old Trafford.
We can bask in the brilliance of Januzaj’s display on Saturday. We can look forward to seeing him develop into a potentially top player, but we cannot now expect him to take up the mantle and inspire United to further success. Unfortunately in football, there can be occasions when a player you expect to go on to greatness in a red shirt fails to do so.
Cast your mind back to the joy on the whole United team’s face as they piled on top of a youngster after his debut goal had helped secure a victory at the Stadium of Light. How many of you are thinking about Adnan Januzaj and how many are remembering Giuseppe Rossi?