A somewhat belated Player of the Month for April
Posted by nickogs20 on May 10, 2008
With various other matters to cover this has become more than a tad overdue, but it has been a case of getting round to making it official rather than having to excessively deliberate over my choice. That’s because for me, there was a clear standout player in April – Chris Eagles. Now granted, the reserves only played twice in April, but Eagles was comfortably man of the match in both games. In the Reds’ final MSC group game at Oldham it was Eagles’ smart finish that ended the home side’s stubborn resistance and he ran the show all evening, coming close with a freekick and having another goal ruled out for offside. Three days later he was the driving force again as United came from behind to overcome Bolton and reach the Lancashire Senior Cup final – it was his goal that levelled the tie after United had surprisingly gone behind. These two goals effectively confirmed Chris as the Reserves leading scorer for this campaign.
The midfielder’s form has been impressive all season really, which deserves plenty of credit. At 22 years old and having had a taste of first team football with United and – more extensively – on loan at Watford, Sheffield Wednesday and NEC Nijmegen, it would have been very easy for Eagles to consider himself ‘above’ reserve football and subsequently go through the motions, but that hasn’t been the case at all. He’s consistently shown this season that he’s far too good for this level but has also matched that with application, something that surely won’t have gone unnoticed by both Sir Alex Ferguson and (more importantly one suspects) potential future managers. Chris will surely move on this summer for the good of his own career, and the way he’s applied himself and performed at a consistently high level over the last 18 months for the reserves indicates that he should have a bright future, wherever that may lie.