Antonio Valencia. My Left Foot.

Antonio Valencia was signed by Manchester United from Wigan to help fill the void left after Ronaldo went to Real Madrid. He has done a great good in settling into the side. Wayne Rooney credited the number of goals he scored in the 2009/10 season to the number of crosses supplied by Valencia. His form after returning from an ankle injury last season kept Nani out of the side at the end of last season. So it would seem that he is well and truly a Manchester United player.

However. There is one thing that really bugs me about him. He is heavily right footed. He only ever uses his right foot. This always bugs me about any player. If you are playing at that level you should be able to use both feet. Next time you watch a Manchester United game watch Valencia’s feet, it will drive you crazy. While it may not seem like a big deal, I think his inability to use both feet really made him look like a Wigan player in last season’s Champions League final. He gave away the ball a number of times because he was trying to dribble past players only using one foot.

 Now, in United’s last home match against Norwich his poor touch nearly gave away a goal when the score was 0-0. While he may get away with mistakes with a bad touch as a winger, a poor touch in defence will see the opposition attackers punish you.  Recently Valencia has been deployed as a right back following injuries to the Da Silva twins and Chris Smalling. Here is an example of what I’m talking about.

You could argue that this same incident could have happened if he had miss controlled the ball with his left foot. However if he had let the ball travel in front of him and controlled it with his left foot, at least he would of been facing in the same direction as the ball was traveling. As long as he continues to only use his right foot Valencia will always remain a good player rather then a spectacular one.


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