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Tom Cleverely..

How Twitter reacted to Tom Cleverley's Manchester United debut in 2011

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The Community Shield isn't exactly the biggest game in English football but it wasn't lacking excitement back in 2011, that's for sure.

Under the Wembley arch six years ago, champions Manchester United locked horns with their newly dubbed 'noisy neighbours' who had harvested the FA Cup.

It marked David de Gea's debut for the Red Devils and the Spaniard had something of a shocker as Roberto Mancini's men raced into a shock 2-0 lead.

Joleon Lescott headed home from a David Silva free-kick before Edin Dzeko inexplicably caught out the young goalkeeper from 30 yards.,

Luckily for De Gea, Ferguson's United teams aren't fond of surrendering and regrouped in the second-half with Chris Smalling finding the net.

Then came a quite spectacular team goal virtue for Luis Nani who finished off the move by floating a chip past Joe Hart. Who provided the assist? None other than Tom Cleverley.

The 28-year-old was making his first senior appearance for the Red Devils and put in a memorable performance pulling the strings in midfield. 

His showing was more than vindicated, too, with Nani providing a dramatic last night winner with Cleverley going onto make 78 appearances across the next three seasons.

Manchester City v Manchester United - FA Community Shield

As a result, it's fair to say the hype around Cleverley after the match was somewhat spectacular and it cuts a rather awkward sight when you consider how his career has fared since.

The Guardian even ran the headline: 'Tom Cleverley assumes Paul Scholes's United mantle with youthful zest.'

They went onto introduce: "Less than 48 hours after Paul Scholes took off a Manchester United shirt for the last time, the answer to Sir Alex Ferguson's midfield dilemma materialised from an unexpected quarter on Sunday.

"As the champions roused themselves to mount a convincing second-half revival against their local rivals, Tom Cleverley, one of three young substitutes sent on by Ferguson after the interval, added the dynamism and the continuity that United, despite enjoying a preponderance of possession, had been missing in the opening period."

Manchester City v Manchester United - FA Community Shield

Well then.

Of course, the media weren't exactly suggesting Cleverley was literally the new Scholes but the overwhelming excitement surrounding the Englishman looks bizarre now.

The 28-year-old parted company with United in 2015 and can be found stewing at Watford after a nothing spell with Everton.

Don't worry, though, the Twitter reaction is even better. Check out these classics:

At least Cleverley can look back on these rather complimentary tweets with some pride and his early United career was certainly impressive. He did start in midfield with Anderson in the 8-2 butchering of Arsenal that season, after all.

Something tells us he didn't keep up that form, though...

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Topics:
Ryan Giggs
Football
Manchester United
Tom Cleverley
Gary Neville

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