Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Eagles Soar!

A few years back, Man Utd went to US for a tour competition thingy. Fergie left a whole lot of senior squad players in England and brought along a whole lot of youngsters. One of them that caught my eye was Chris Eagles. Playing on the right wing, he seems similar to David Beckham, another of my all time favourite players. He seemed like he had lots to offer and was brewing with potential. Sadly however after the tour, he did not have much first team chances, almost even to only a few bench appearances. I was thinking, "What is Fergie thinking about? Such a good player on the bench and not even used as a substitute?" Meanwhile, Chris Eagles was improving him game with the reserves, however you rarely see him in first-team action.

He went on loan, from Watford to Sheffield Wednesday, back to Watford and then to NEC Nijmegen. While playing in these teams, he never got a regular first 11 place. He came back to Old Trafford the beginning of this year, and I was pretty excited, because I believed Fergie believes in him, not like those managers who loan him and put him on the bench. I was wrong then because for the last 4 months, I hardly see him on the Man Utd bench too! Then as now Man Utd struggles with injuries, Chris Eagles' goal in the FA Youth Cup suddenly mattered to everyone. Everyone, to me, seemed oblivious to his abilities and talents only until now! For the longest time, I saw him on the bench. "My Chris Eagles on the bench," I was squealing away, but he never came on to play.

I did not catch the game yesterday against Everton, because I was working. I switched on Gamecast and I saw "Eagles (blah blah)." I knew he was on the bench because I saw the lineup but was kinda surprised that Fergie put him on for the last 8 minutes, including injury time, of the game. Coming on in the 86th minute for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, another of my all time favourites, I was thinking "Prove him wrong Eagles. Prove to everyone wrong. Prove to them you are worth the first team place." So it was back to work, serving customers. Next thing I knew, one of my colleagues said, "4-2." I went to check the scorer and almost wanted to cry when I saw "Chris Eagles." To some, his goal did not matter because Rooney had already scored the winning goal. But to me, Chris nailed in the winner, he nailed Everton to the "grave", so even if Everton scored one more in the dying seconds of the game, we would still win. The icing to the cake was that it was his first ever senior goal and he scored it barely 10 minutes since he got onto the field. Not many youngsters could do that!

I caught the repeat of the game just now and saw the goal. It was a darn nice curler. While celebrating, I could tell the players were really happy. Happy that they have confirmed the 3 points, happy to know that Chelsea's game has ended 2-2, or happy that their young teammate had proved his worth and ability and talent, I am not too sure. But there's one thing Chris Eagles wouldn't know. There's this girl, a Man Utd fan for over a decade, in the sunny island of Singapore, happy for him and celebrating for him. And that's me.

Picked out 2 clips from youtube...

1) Clip of Chris Eagles' goal

2) Fans celebrating and chanting "Eagles, Eagles"

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