Ashley Young-A Chalkboard Analysis

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Ashley Young’s transfer to Manchester United is not the big name marquee signing which many United fans were expecting.But the Ex-Villa hit man may prove to be a masterstroke by Sir Alex Ferguson,especially at set-pieces were United have struggled after Cristiano Ronaldo has left,Young may prove vital.But Young isn’t a player who is going to walk straight into the United team,he has to fight for his place.

So where does Ashley Young really play? Left winger,right winger,behind the striker or as a striker?
Zonal Marking had an interesting take on players like Young and he called them Central Wingers.In this article we look at the various positions he has played for Villa over the years using Guardian Chalkboards and where could he possibly fit in for Manchester United.

2008-09 Season
Ashley Young  in 08-09 season was primarily used as a left-winger,who could if he wants,cut inside but generally didn’t tend do that.

As the above Chalkboard shows,sometimes he tended to switch wings but very rarely did so.Also he did his defensive duties quite well,tracking back when required.

His crossing was still not perfect,and running to the touchline and pulling in crosses was certainly not his forte.
2009-10 season


James Milner’s versatility meant that they could switch wings more often,an this clearly shows in the above chalkboard as his passes from the left hand side are just a little more from the right.

But still his crossing wasn’t upto the mark as this game against Chelsea showed.Note that he is not a Valencia-type of a player,getting to the touchline and pulling back crosses,all of his crosses from the far end failed to reach its target.And he was given more license which meant his tracking back wasn’t that much as of the earlier season.

2010-11


Gerard Houlier was the one who really gave Young the license to roam,and in many games this season he played just off the striker.

As you can see here,Young was given a central role and he even dropped deep at times especially against Spurs.One important point is that his passing accuracy has improved of course this maybe due to the fact that he plays more shorter passes when in center than from wide areas.
Also one more important point is that he liked to drift right rather than left,the side which we would normally expect him to move to.As Young has grown older his defensive work has come down(SAF may not like this),although this maybe due to the fact that his role in the team has changed considerably.
These Chalkboards show that Young can play in a variety of positions,but the problem lies in the fact that in every one of these positions United have got real quality.Surely Young is not at Old Trafford just to provide backup.Maybe a 4-3-3 with Young,Nani and Rooney would look good,as all the three players can switch positions much like in the days of Ronaldo-Rooney-Tevez but this would mean Hernandez would be left out and Nani-Young aren’t certainly Ronaldo-Tevez.But the old man at Old Trafford certainly knows what he is doing and during the season we will clearly understand why Young was bought.

5 Responses

  1. I honestly think, depending on whether he plays well, he could displace Nani. Most probably we’ll see regular rotation of the wide men including Park in the first half of the season and then more regular choices in the big games towards the end of season.

    It’ll be interesting to see what Ferguson does because it adds even more in the wide areas than they already have. The thing is they all have different skills and certain ways of playing so he can use them in different situations which is only going to make United stronger.

  2. Maybe I’m missing something but what does Young bring to the table that Nani doesn’t? Nani has pace, can shoot, incredible skill and led the league in assists I believe. Young has great pace and can shoot.

    Nani carried the team offensively for the first half of the season while admittedly tailing off in the end. It would be tough for Young to do that.

  3. @Douglas
    agreed that young is the same type of player as nani,but young is more of team player than the Portuguese and also is very good at set-pieces which Nani isnt.But having both Nani and Young will be a waste of talent.

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