Tom Cleverley did not enjoy his final months at Manchester United. Struggling on the pitch and scapegoated by many fans off of it, the new Aston Villa midfielder admits to be affected by the harsh emotions coming from the stands at Old Trafford.
This is a man whose on-field missteps inspired a “Don’t put Cleverley on the England team” petition, and who may’ve been name No. 3 — behind Woodward and Moyes — mentioned when Red Devils supported wanted to single out a reason for their relative failures.
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And he certainly noticed. From Sky Sports:
Cleverley told reporters: “If any footballer gets a bit of stick off their own fans they are going to be hurt. Football is a game of opinions and you can’t please everyone.
“I am happy to get away from some of the negativity. Whenever you are not winning trophies at Man United the players are going to get some stick.
“With me being out of contract at the end of the year if I am being honest I don’t think I would play for the club again.
“In modern football it is rare that one player, like Giggsy or Scholesy, plays for one club for their career.”
Plenty of fairly obvious sentiments in those quotes. Cleverley wasn’t very good toward the end of his time at United, and clearly did enough on the practice pitch to keep getting playing time. But it’s likely for the best of both parties that Cleverley escaped Old Trafford for Villa Park.