Manchester United winger Nani couldn’t seize an opportunity to impress against Germany yesterday as the Portuguese saw their World Cup campaign get off to the worst possible start.
Pepe’s madness to gently head butt German attacker Thomas Muller left the side at a numerical disadvantage for most of the game and the United star struggled to get into the game.
It was an opportunity for Nani to impress at a tournament where Portugal could comes across the Netherlands at some point, coached by new United manager Louis van Gaal.
However, he struggled to get into the game as Germany strolled to a comfortable win, leaving Portugal with everything to do ahead of their final two group games.
|Country||Pos||Ontarget Scoring Att||Accurate Cross||Won Tackle||Interception Won||Accurate Pass||Apps||Mins|
It’s impossible for van Gaal to make cast iron judgements on his United team before he’s had a chance to work with the squad but Nani is one player who is definitely under pressure.
He made just 12 appearances in the Premier League and Champions League for United last season, playing down both flanks, in a season where the side’s struggles were well documented.
He wasn’t able to nail down a starting place when David Moyes was crying out for his more experienced individuals to grab the attack of the team by the scruff of the neck.
It was clear to see yesterday why Moyes didn’t have a lot of faith in Nani because he looked disinterested and lethargic as soon as Germany started to turn the screw following Pepe’s dismissal.
Van Gaal’s Dutch side is packed with a good blend of young and experienced players and at 27-years-old the Portuguese winger definitely falls into the second category.
If he wants to avoid being sold by United to make way for one of several signings LvG could make this summer, he needs to do more, starting with a more direct impact on Portugal’s attack at the World Cup.