Wake up the city: Jadon Sancho's double derby challenge
After he got the keys again and got back to himself thanks to his new friends from Ajax, the Manchester United star's meeting with the former Manchester City and with his friend Holland (4:00 p.m., Sport1) may unexpectedly return him to the English squad just before the World Cup
Sunday, 02 October 2022, 11:00
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Summary: Manchester United - Real Sociedad 1:0 (Sport1)
Jadon Sancho was very disappointed when he didn't get the call-up for England's last Nations League games.
It was a clear signal from national coach Gareth Southgate that his chances of flying to the World Cup in less than two months are quite small, and the player himself expressed his frustration in a post he published on Instagram near the match against Germany.
He was busy with the new FIFA game - thus Sancho apparently chose to concentrate instead of watching his friends on TV. Not sure that this was the right message to regain the trust of the boss and return to the squad after almost a year, but we don't always act according to cold logic when emotions take over us .
This, of course, also has positive aspects.
Sancho was given time to rest and prepare in industrial quiet for the great Manchester derby, and also to reflect before the meeting with the ex about the way he chose to develop his career.
After all, in the Manchester City academy there were two outstanding talents who were born in 2000 and were destined for greatness.
In the summer of 2017, both had not yet approached the senior staff - and there they parted ways.
Phil Foden remained in the blue uniform, patiently waiting for opportunities to prove himself to Pep Guardiola, and contented himself in the 2017/18 season with a number of brief appearances as a substitute.
On the other hand, Sancho left with a door slam in favor of Borussia Dortmund, and after months of acclimatization, he became one of the most talked about players in the Bundesliga with a streak of assists.
The following season, while Foden continued to warm the bench at City, Sancho was already a superstar in Germany.
So, at the end of 2018, there were no doubts about his choices, and the Manchester City board was criticized for not doing enough to convince him to stay.
is that so?
Not entirely sure, because Sancho, who was 17 at the time of his departure, was offered a contract with a weekly salary of 30,000 pounds. Sporting director Chiki Bagristein spent quite a bit of time explaining the gradual path to him. "In the end , be the player of the team", he promised, but the Englishman saw how the club bought in quantities of foreigners - Bernardo Silva, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and even Nolito. Guardiola claimed in retrospect, with an undisguised sting: "Jaydon had no desire to face this challenge ".
Finally reaping fruit.
Jadon Sancho (Photo: Reuters)
Puden had such a desire, but it is also a matter of loyalty and a childhood dream.
After all, this is a guy who was born in Stockport to a family of City fans and joined their academy even before the Sheikhs from the Emirates took over.
For him, the light blue shirt has always been the pinnacle of ambition.
Sancho, a London boy who grew up in the Watford school and sympathized with Chelsea, did not long to make his career in Manchester City.
He had no sympathy for the club, and he saw it mainly as a springboard.
When he believed that he could reach the potential faster elsewhere, he did not hesitate - and the bottom line is that it worked even beyond the most optimistic expectations.
His current problems, and the image inferiority compared to Foden, mainly stem from the problematic debut season at Manchester United.
And there were a variety of reasons for this.
Sancho, who had been pursued by the Red Devils management for a long time, arrived at Old Trafford with high expectations and a high price tag, but at an inauspicious time to say the least professionally.
It is not easy to move from the Bundesliga to the Premier League, but it is even more difficult to do so when the team is in crisis, the manager is under fire, and all the professional and tactical plans change due to the acquisition of another superstar.
For a significant period of time, Sancho played it hard to get, radiated a certain arrogance, and even demanded the number 7 shirt before signing the contract.
He didn't get it from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, then he found out that Cristiano Ronaldo was going to man it.
The arrival of the Portuguese changed everything, even if he really does not compete with Sancho for the same position.
Manchester United's game was suddenly adapted to Cristiano's needs, Sancho was sidelined, spent many games on the bench, and did not even show up when he got the long-awaited minutes.
Much has been said about Solskjaer placing him on the wrong wing, but this is a minor matter, because in Dortmund Sancho was equally effective on the right and on the left.
His shaky self-confidence had a much greater impact, and also the missed penalty in the duel in the Euro 2020 final had a certain contribution to the psychological crisis.
After everything came easily to him in Germany, mental fortitude was required in order to overcome significant difficulties - and it took time.
Fans and commentators in England have no patience, as we know - and hence the road to his becoming a scapegoat was short.
Luckily for him, he really wasn't the only one in the "wanted" role.
It is possible that the gradual turnaround began in the derby against the former in March.
United were indeed defeated 4:1, but Sancho temporarily equalized with a spectacular goal, when he easily passed Kyle Walker and Rhodri and sent a nice spinning ball into Ederson's far corner.
The fact that Ronaldo was absent from that battle was quite symbolic, because this season - when coach Erik ten Haag chose to bench the Portuguese - Sancho's status improved in a very substantial way.
He took a permanent place in the team, contributed a lot both on the right and on the left, and the excellent goal he scored in the vital victory over Liverpool, coolly against Virgil van Dijk who was frozen in place, was the kind of moment that changes the momentum.
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Will he also return to the national team?
Sancho and Southgate (Photo: Reuters)
Since then, self-confidence has been restored.
Immediately after that came the winning goal in Leicester, and the signing of Anthony from Ajax also contributed a lot in the meantime.
Now, Sancho is no longer the team's most valuable winger, and the Brazilian's position on the right allows him to define his role on the left regularly.
There is a feeling that the puzzle may finally be solved.
Before the national team break, Sancho also scored against Sheriff Tirspol in the Europa League, celebrated with the presentation of bone protectors given to him by a young fan, and the business is starting to pick up speed.
In his current form, he certainly deserves to be in the national team, and still believes that he can change Southgate's mind before the final list for the World Cup is announced.
To that end, it is highly recommended to excel in the second derby of his career as well.
This time, he will meet at Manchester City's stadium not only Foden, but also another friend with whom he enjoyed collaborating very much until recently.
The team with Arling Holland in the yellow-black uniform of Dortmund was fantastic for a year and a half, and in Germany they lost count of the situations that the Englishman arranged for the Norwegian.
It is very possible that Sancho missed Holland in his first season at Old Trafford, because there was no one there who understood him as he did.
Now, when the friend wears the uniform of the champion and the city rival, another problem arises - he demonstrates how quickly the acclimatization in the new team in the Premier League can be.
Holland only arrived at City in the summer, but already he has more goals in the media than Sancho in his entire term at United.
On the other hand, this is still a very short term, and everything is still ahead of him.
Sancho has been on the mind for a long time, and there may be a feeling that this is a relatively old player, but he is only 22 years old, and his peak is still ahead of him.
Even in the national team, his day will come, next to Foden.
At Manchester United he has a contract until 2026, and if he persists with the momentum that has now developed, the disappointing start will soon become a negligible and irrelevant memory.
In Derby, he has the opportunity to write a new chapter in the intriguing novel.
You just have to not give in to instinct and not cook as usual a goal or two for Holland.