Jadon Sancho had a fantastic game today and assisted two of the five goals England put passed Andorra which more or less cemented their qualification for the World Cup. Unsurprisingly, Manchester United fans are comparing his England form with his form for Man United and some are at loss as to why he doesn't perform well for the Red Devils.
The fact remains that so far so good, Sancho is yet to shine at Manchester United. His move to Manchester United was so hyped and anticipated that a lot of fans are already disappointed that he's not lighting up the Premier League yet. In fact, Sancho has been lacklustre for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.
Amazingly, Sancho was superb for Dortmund particularly when paired with Erling Haaland. Similarly, he often dazzles for the English National team but so far so good, he has been disappointing for the Red Devils. Some say it is because of Ole's purported incompetence while others say United is simply jinxed but what are the facts behind these inconsistencies with some Man United players?
While the argument that it is Ole cannot be completely ruled out, we should recall that Alexis Sanchez that so blossomed with Arsenal was abysmal for Manchester United long before Ole arrived. Paul Pogba too was a force to reckon with for Juventus and France but he has been blowing hot and cold for Manchester United!
Furthermore, Romelu Lukaku who was super for Everton struggled somewhat for Manchester United even before Ole came. Since leaving Man United, Lukaku has been sensational for both country and club. Today, he's firing from all cylinders for Chelsea and Belgium. What then is wrong with United?
One reason why players struggle to settle in United is the spotlight and expectations. And this is not peculiar to Manchester United either. I believe this is exactly what is happening to Hazard in Real Madrid apart from injury. Hazard was sensational for Chelsea but some will say he has been a disaster for Real Madrid.
When the expectations are too high, it gets to players. This might be why Sancho is still struggling. The idea of Manchester United being jinxed is a mere superstition.
Sure, with a good coach these things don't affect a player as much. A good manager knows have to deflect pressure from his players but the fact remains that when too much is demanded of a player, it can be counterproductive.
Maybe this is one reason why Christiano Ronaldo deserved his recent Player Of The Month award for September. Pundits had predicted that the unrealistic expectations that greeted his re-signing for Manchester United would boomerang. But Ronaldo is a beast; an alien! Instead of caving in, he responded to the pressure by opening his new account for Man United with a brace! A brace on his debut! This was pure legend!
A similar pressure was put on Messi but the Argentine is settling into PSG little by little. In fact, he has been unfairly criticised for his recent goal drought but pundits are expectant that he will set PSG on fire in the process of time.
This may just be the reason why some find it a bit hard to blossom in Manchester United. It is not a matter of being jinxed nor is it about the coach (a good coach is extremely viatal). It is a matter of the pressure on the players based on expectations from the fans.
Normally, these players get to settle down and they do extremely well eventually. Thiery Henry struggled in his earliest days at Arsenal but he soon became a legend there. Sancho might just be the same.
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