This Is Jamie Vardy’s World And We’re All Just Living In It
Of course football existed before Sky Sports decided to show an interest in it post-Italia ’90, and of course if he was a truly great forward then he wouldn’t have waited this long to make a mark on the collective consciousness, but let’s all just revel in what Jamie Vardy has achieved, shall we?
Unfortunately, a little like we saw during the rise and rise of Harry Kane last season, it seems as though such achievements aren’t complete without sneering, as claims that Vardy isn’t good enough to consistently deliver at the highest level are everywhere.
That might eventually prove to be true, but he’s just done what no other forward who has played in the Premier League has ever managed to do and score in 11 consecutive games, and if that’s not worthy of celebration then what is?
Football is supposed to be about enjoying such moments, isn’t it?
Ashley Young Remains On Trend, Puzzlingly
With defensive injuries troubling him, Louis van Gaal decided to go with three at the back for the first time this season at the King Power Stadium, meaning that he needed a couple of wing-backs.
Matteo Darmian – although experiencing a drop-off in form from his promising start at United – was a fairly natural choice on the right, but fielding Ashley Young on the left was a confusing decision, especially as he was a disappointing presence when Van Gaal trialled the system at times last season.
Now 30, Young remains a curious figure at United, where he should be one of the senior players but frequently performs as though he’s an inexperienced rookie, as he once again trended on Twitter in the early stages of the first half – and not for anything he should be proud of.
Put simply, he’s no longer good enough for the club.
Claudio Ranieri Should Be Concerned About His Defence
Far be it from this writer to rain on the Leicester City parade, but there was more evidence here that without Vardy’s goals they would be really struggling.
The concession of the soft goal to Bastian Schweinsteiger meant that the Foxes have now shipped more goals than all of the clubs in the top 14 of the table, with only the sides from 15th-place Chelsea downwards conceding more.
If the general consensus is that Vardy’s run will have to stop somewhere, then that must be of a genuine concern for Claudio Ranieri, who is experienced enough to know that his side will face difficult days ahead.
The Wayne Rooney Bit
These recaps of Manchester United games aren’t complete without a look at the performance of Wayne Rooney, but the fact that Van Gaal – seemingly his skipper’s biggest fan – opted to cut short that performance after three-quarters of the game should speak volumes.
We all know that Rooney’s performance level has dropped in recent seasons, but here was his manager admitting that his team were better off without him on the pitch as they chased the goal which would have put them top of the table.
This is a substitution which could end up being viewed as a watershed moment in Rooney’s career.
City & Arsenal Are The Real Winners
Having beaten Southampton to return to the top of the Premier League table earlier in the day, Manchester City will have been delighted to have seen this match end in a draw, and it will have also put a spring in Arsenal’s step as they set off on that 14-minute flight to Norwich.
Indeed, the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool would also have welcomed it ahead of their own matches on Sunday as they seek to get closer to the top four, but with neither of these two expected to last the pace in the title race, we could be about to see Manuel Pellegrini and Arsene Wenger’s sides set the pace at the top.
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