Tom Cleverley shouldn’t be too hard on himself this morning. Neither should we.
Much has been made of the Manchester United midfielder’s three squandered chances to be a hero against Ukraine last night.
But we should give him credit for his ability and vision to get into the right positions to expose a well-drilled defence.
Cleverley himself will feel this was an opportunity, or three (!), missed but our message to him is thisdon’t beat yourself up.
Despite his relatively limited Premier League experience, he proved his worth on the international stage against Moldova on Friday.
There was high praise indeed, justifiably so, after that performance and maybe some expected too much, too soon.
Tom is still learning his trade, and where better to do it than at Old Trafford under the watchful eye of the game’s greatest manager?
Sir Alex Ferguson has earmarked Cleverley as a successor to the legend that is Paul Scholes. I wouldn’t argue with that.
Successful and impressive loan spells with Leicester, Wigan and Watford have helped him develop and mature as both a player and a person.
Now is the time for him to step up to the plate in the famous red of Manchester Unitedand the white of England.
If Sir Alex believes, who are we to question? There’s much more to come from one of the most exciting midfield talents in the country.