Manchester United's Nani Plays with Fire?

Shayan Ali TejaniContributor INovember 16, 2009

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 21: Nani of Manchester United FC in action during the UEFA Champions League group B match between CSKA Moscow and Manchester United at the Pat Luzhniki Stadium on October 21, 2009 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Dmitry Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images)
Dmitry Korotayev/Getty Images

Nani, who joined Manchester United in a £17 million deal from Sporting Lisbon in May 2007, has failed to live up to the expectation that surrounded his arrival at the club.

The 22-year-old is in his third season for the club but has failed to secure a regular place in the United lineup. He has scored 12 goals in 85 appearances and despite inconsistent performances last season he was not sold by United in the summer transfer.

However, the ex-Sporting winger has put his career at Manchester United at a risk by launching a stingy attack on manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

In an interview with a Portuguese newspaper, he has criticized the Scot for "shattering his confidence" in a season where many believe to be a final trial for the player at Old Trafford.

Despite the exit of fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo over the summer, Nani has started only half of United's Premier League games in a season where he was at long last expected to emerge from the shadow of CR7.

"People expect more from me and it's not easy," he was quoted as telling the Portuguese newspaper "I."

"I could be doing better, scoring more, but just think, I make a huge game today but the next one, I'm not even sure that I will play. Such a situation breaks the confidence.

"I know it is still early and that there are lots of games to play this season but I never got to play the big matches like Liverpool, Manchester City, or Tottenham and, if I don't play those matches, I get sadder by the day.’’

"I also played through a foot injury so we'll see if things improve from now on."

Nevertheless, the Portuguese starlet insists that he has no plans to seek an exit from Old Trafford, even though he is unhappy with how his career is being handled.

He also leaked Ferguson’s explosive management. And confessing that he has been subjected to Sir Alex’s infamous "hairdryer treatment." But also revealed that no team member is pardoned the manager's abusive wrath.

Nani also claimed that, "Ferguson is a very complicated man.’’

"He's tough. If things are all right, then they are all right. But when he thinks something is wrong, everything is screwed.

"He can go from complimenting you to just plain trashing you in a matter of minutes. Has it happened to me? Hell, yes! He'll say 'Nani, how could you miss this or this'?

"He shouts at players in front of everyone. No one escapes, everybody is the same. Giggs and Neville suffer most, because they have more experience.

Nani’s future at Old Trafford is now in peril. His public criticism of Sir Alex Ferguson may begin to signal the end of his troubled career at the Theatre of Dreams.

In the past, Roy Keane and Jaap Stam have had to pack their bags after they also had openly spoken against the aggressive manager.

Nani’s own inconsistent form may do little to save him from his looming exit. His fall-out with the boss has become apparent as he has been twice replaced by £3 million summer signing Gabriel Obertan in recent weeks and was also left out of the squad for Sunday's defeat to Chelsea.

Unfortunately, come the next transfer season, a player with bags of talent might be on his way out.