Monday, 11 May 2015
Ashley Young is flying again.
Among those, was possibly Ashley Young who had endured a torrid season under David Moyes as had most of the team.
Having been brought to United three years previously in 2011 by Alex Ferguson his career started well enough that season with some encouraging performances and eye-catching goals. He was outstanding in the 8-2 demolition of Arsenal at the start of his Old Trafford career contributing with a double.
Although he chipped in with goals in the remainder of the season he wasn't quite the same player as when he had arrived.
In Ferguson's last season as manager, 2012-13 Young made a total of 18 appearances and didn't find the net once. His season was blighted by accusations from all parties about his unsportsmanlike diving in the oppositions area for penalties. It became a regular event and certainly didn't bring him any sympathy from the United fans.
Januzaj made more appearances than Young that season and chipped in with one more goal than him. To rub it in the teenager even replaced Young as a substitute to make his league debut.
It was frustrating to watch Young play as he clearly had so much talent, but he seemed to be struggling with his form and even the diving question raised its ugly head and once again blighted his reputation.
However, here we are coming to the end of the season in which United look to have claimed a priceless fourth place in the Premier League thanks in no small part to the performances week in week out of Ashley Young.
Originally used as a left wing back in Louis van Gaal's dreaded 3-5-2 formation at the beginning of the season Young never gave up or complained about how difficult he was finding it and how frustrating it was to play in that position.
He was cautioned for diving against Sunderland back in August which van Gaal must have reacted strictly to as there has been thankfully no repeat of it since.
Once the manager saw sense and realised that his side wouldn't win anything with that setup and reverted to a more traditional four at the back and wingers Young was off and flying.
Like his teammate Fellaini who had also endured a tough season under Moyes, Young has been rejuvenated under van Gaal and is finally repaying the loyal supporters with some sterling displays.
His work rate down the left against Crystal Palace in United's latest victory summed up his transformation and earned the win and a valuable three points. It could also see him recalled to the England squad. He deserves nothing less.
If so, how the tables have turned.
Update: Ashley signed a new 3 year contract at United on August 7th 2015.
Thanks for reading.