Fatboy Slim: Why svelte Shaw's hunger for success is great news for United and England

Fatboy Slim: Why svelte Shaw's hunger for success is great news for United and England
Fatboy Slim: Why svelte Shaw's hunger for success is great news for United and England

Luke Shaw has been written off by Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho for being too chunky, but showed against Leicester that he can be the answer for Man United and Engkand, writes Desmond Kane.

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In the end, it was all worth the weight. After a personal sojourn to Dubai in late June when he pounded the beach in searing 45-degree heat in a bid to stop his career from being stuck in quicksand, a lean and trim Luke Shaw was a man rejuvenated and relocated at Old Trafford in early August. He was also man of the match.

On opening night at the Theatre of Dreams under Friday night lights, Shaw’s appetite was matched only by his ability to impress. On this form, it won't be long before he comes home for England.

FULL MATCH REPORT: Pogba and Shaw give United opening-day win over Leicester

A left-back derided as being too fat to succeed in a United shirt by current and former coaches, Shaw used the Premier League opener to provide food for thought.

Certainly, whatever Jose Mourinho digests from the 2-1 win over a game Leicester City, Shaw’s efforts will have sated the Portuguese’s always picky palate.

Luke Shaw of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Leicester City at Old TraffordGetty Images

With Manchester United leading courtesy of Paul Pogba’s penalty on two minutes, Shaw gave United the sweet smell of three points with a quite scrumptious finish late on. His first senior goal after 134 games was a thing of real beauty.

Shaw bounded onto a speculative ball from Juan Mata on 83 minutes before flicking the ball over the head of Ricardo Pereira and prodding it into the corner of the visiting net with Kasper Schmeichel unable to paw clear.

It was a goal of some finesse built on some fitness.

"It was my first goal and that is all that was important, it doesn't mater how I scored,” he said.

"I was meant to come inside and I managed to get in front of him and put it in. It's the best feeling I have had in my career."

It is easy to forget Shaw is still only 23 yet he has been through the wringer in his short career, most notably suffering a horrific leg break against PSV Eindhoven in a Champions League match three years ago.

But it is the mental scars of being called a big unit that has stuck with Shaw as he has tried to make his way in the cut-throat environs of Carrington.

Luke Shaw (R) celebrates with Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Juan Mata (C) andBelgian-born Brazilian midfielder Andreas Pereira scoring the team's second goal.Cool news

Louis van Gaal cruelly claimed Shaw was overweight in 2014, only months after United paid £27m to land the teenager from Southampton. While around 16 months ago, Mourinho publicly berated his commitment to the cause.

"I cannot compare the way he trains, the way he commits, the focus, the ambition. I cannot compare. He is a long way behind."

It is a different story now. Shaw covered 10.3km on the night, and was up and down the line with more relish than Ballyregan Bob.

“People can say I’m fat, but I always look big because I’m bigger built – I’ve got that Wayne Rooney type of body,” said Shaw last month.

Jose Mourino and Luke Shaw.Cool news

"The performance was very complete. He was very good defensively. He had a good pre-season. He maybe made one mistake in 90 minutes."

After such a chaotic build-up ahead of such a momentous night that including becoming stuck in traffic to arrive only an hour before kick-off, this august evening made you wonder what all the fuss was about.

Deprived of signing a centre-half by his board, Eric Bailly was excellent for Mourinho in central defence and Pogba provided as much support as Bryan Robson wearing the captain's armband.

After Daniel Amartey handled a shot from Alexis Sanchez, Pogba converted the penalty with great certainty despite a staggered approach. A mere 26 days after helping France lift the World Cup, he looked as sharp as ever in his return to the premier stage.

Paul Pogba of Manchester United Getty Images

Spain goalkeeper David de Gea continued his outstanding form. He could do nothing about Jamie Vardy's close-range finish in added time. The biggest compliment you can pay Jose Mourinho's team is that they looked like a proper United side.

And after a World Cup of the willing but limited Ashley Young, young Shaw looked like England's left-back in waiting.

Desmond Kane

This article was written by cool news network.

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