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Friday, September 24, 2021

Ronaldo returns to Manchester United: Old Trafford united for new glory

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This recent summer transfer window has seen many big-name transfers, from Messi to Ronaldo, Ramos to Lukaku, and even a certain Jack in Grealish. It has also presided over the divorce of Messi and Barcelona, a marriage that lasted for eighteen years. Contrastingly, it officiated a remarriage between Ronaldo and Manchester United, a union that started some eighteen years ago as well. Shockingly, Messi left home. Gladly, Ronaldo returned home.

It is quite off-putting that Ramos had to leave Real Madrid, deffo nice that Lukaku returned to Chelsea, but hella shocking that Messi had to leave Barcelona and LaLiga. But the transfer of a certain hyped Jack-something from Villa Park is also scaringly shocking to say the least. But such is the case when there is enough petrodollars for flaunt. Certainly, oil money does not finish.

Nonetheless, as far as Bamba is back home, at Old Trafford, the Red Devils don’t care! To Shitty, what Rio does is beauty. Sir Alex doesn’t care if they vex. Just a phone call would make their chase dim before Ronaldo eventually tells them “I’m going back home.”

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It is beyond doubt that the Premier League has rediscovered what it has long missed. What the fans relish – that Bamba fanfare, ambience and winning spirit, that thrill of his presence in the league, that competitive mentality of his that drives his team to glory; such performances and displays that caress the heart of even Peter Drury, giving him goosebumps  with his amazing strikes and incredible jumps that attract remarks like “Oh, what a header! That was an absolute belter! Ronaldo made it look so easy, he made it look like a sitter!”

“Madeira, Manchester, Madrid, Turin & Manchester again. Reeved in red. Restored to this great gallery of the game. A walking work of art. Vintage. Beyond valuation, beyond forgery or imitation.” How about that? Peter Drury is a revelation.

This Premier League season has kicked off to a fine start, but it will seemingly turn out to be a very competitive campaign that can go down to the wire. Despite this, you probably know that Ronaldo has the ability to give his side an odds-on edge. For that, if your team should go head to head with this Manchester United side, these are some of the realities that they should also prepare to go mano a mano with:

Ronaldo’s scary winning spirit

In football, not many people boast the confidence, winning spirit and fighting level of the man in question. He is such that, he has the ability to effect matches and dictate results to his favor in the most unique of ways. Such is Bamba. A serial winner who doesn’t give up. A Fergie winning liege that dreams to win Manchester United the Premier League. A man who is aware that the Theatre of Dreams is the perfect place for dreams. A perfect place to start a journey for title number twenty-one in 2022. Glory and history. All the way, let’s celebrate this in May.

Pogba’s mastery in assisting

Paul Pogba possesses a level of creativity that is very scarce amongst midfielders in world football. Such is evident so far in his career, with club and country. You probably know what I’m talking about even if you’ve started watching football during the Euro 2020. For any side to win the EPL, they need a player who can stand up for them in the creativity department as well. The creativity that Manchester United need in that area is what Paul is offering. Even if opponents and rivals are scared, they’ll not be spared. That overhaul in midfield is what Paul is doing. And that’s what you’re seeing. Seven assists in just four EPL appearances isn’t a low feat, an achievement that no other player in history has ever managed in the league. So you have every reason to start fretting. Paul. Ball. Goal.

Undefeated away streak

Manchester United have established themselves as an exceedingly reliable side on their travels. They have now gone as many as unprecedented number of outings in the league without tasting even a single defeat, a run that stretches back as far as two campaigns ago. No EPL side has ever managed such composure and reliability away from home, not even the Invincibles of ’04. That itself is a terrifying edge over rivals, particularly archrivals.

Footballing algorithm would tell you that, if a side can go a full season without losing away, odds are high that they have an edge to win the league, especially if they have players that they can regularly count on, players that barely disappoint. If that doesn’t scare you, then you should probably try to rethink how difficult it is to play away from home, especially at Anfield and at Stamford Bridge, and  even at Turf Moor or Goodison Park.

But a dogged Manchester United side like this has a consistent invincibility that doesn’t leak any fallibility on travels. So let your side be aware of that high consistency levels. A towering strength of teamwork and stamina. Just ask Mario Lemina. It isn’t nice that he now plays in France for Nice.

Star-studded-ness

Currently, Ole has a very strong side. His team has a lot of proven and established stars in almost every department. Put aside the competition in goal. The team is now immense at the back, so forget the defence.

For the anchoring job, options are many. Amongst Matic, Fred and McTominay, it can be done by any. Pogba’s versatility in midfield allows him to connect forward with the backline. That is again true whenever he plays deep or wide up the field.

There’s regular Bruno, in-form Lingard, hungry Greenwood, optimistic Donny, ‘amna baggas’ Sancho, veteran Cavani, composed Mata, influential Martial, and a Rashford faster than Ford; all playing alongside Ronaldo. So there are ample options to pick a lethal starting XI from. That evaluates how deep the squad is. That explains how star-studded the team is.

Bruno’s vindication

Bruno is the guardian angel from Lisbon. He would penetrate even the goalkeepers that are the most stubborn. His accuracy from twelve yards even speaks volume. His firepower this season is an impressive one. Ever since he signed for Manchester United, he went on to become an instant hit. His performances got his side the reward of playing in the Champions League last campaign, making himself a regular player in the team.

It is often unfair how some people castigate him for only scoring penalties, as if penalties are so easy to convert. That pressure from just twelve yards is a huge one that many players fail to hold on to. So for  someone who perfects his spot kicks with a distinct fashion and positive target, there ought to be due respect accorded to him. Such an accuracy and composure deserve some respect. And as if he finds it disturbing, this season, he has already scored four non-penalty goals in four matches so far – boasting a goal per game ratio of one – a feat that is quite insane for a midfielder. Vindicated Bruno. They all know.

Decorated past

Success is something that isn’t new to Manchester United. This is the most successful club in the UK. It has won more EPL titles than any other side in the league. Bamba has been part of some. He spearheaded some of them. So we all know it isn’t hard to moist a soil that is familiar to moisture. Take moisture for triumph and moist for new triumph, you’d realize that this is enough. With Bamba, Old Trafford is united for new glory.

Batou Saidy holds a degree in Public and Environmental Health. Aside from his profession, he is a writer. His writing extends to current affairs, contemporary life issues, politics, sports, and health. 

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