When Radamel Falcao joined Manchester United their supporters reactions were ones of disbelief, as if the club had signed the Lord Jesus himself. After the year of ginger agony under the wilted and dry David Moyes, here was a bona fide superstar with bronzed skin, slick black hair and a jawline you could set your watch to. United fans began to dream of the Colombian ripping defences apart in the manner he dismantled Chelsea’s in the Super Cup not many moons ago.
Fast forward eight months and Falcao is the biggest disappointment in Manchester since The Second Coming. He began the campaign slowly, being introduced sporadically, which only whetted the appetite more. Upon such time that we actually got to see him in full flow it felt like we’d been duped – there was to be no Ten Storey Love Song. This isn’t the lion of a man we’d all seen previously, all sinew and muscle and strength. Instead, he plods along the pitch with the distinct look of someone with a severe inner ear infection. The folks over at @bifurcated_MBM said it better than anyone.
So, to get to the bottom of this we’ve investigated a little and here are three reasons we consider to be the best possible explanations of what has happened to the once great man.
1 – HE IS ACTUALLY DEAD
Sounds a little far-fetched but a realistic option nonetheless. Technology is such these days that it is surely possible to reanimate a deceased person for thirty minute cameos on a week to week basis, through a series of electrical currents positioned around the pitch. His mouth moves akin to a “talking” horse with peanut butter in it and his general demeanour during matches is one of a ghost, haunting the proceedings. Never quite in control of what’s happening, but close enough to effect it marginally and annoyingly.
2 – HE’S LIVING IN ANOTHER DIMENSION
Possibly the best explanation for the player’s off kilter appearance and style of play while in Manchester. Falcao – once the most instinctively dangerous footballer on the planet – now appears totally unfamiliar with the concept of the game. Like a child chasing a rugby ball, with no idea where it’s going to bounce next. He appears tentative in every regard, as if too strong a movement will tear a hole in the space time continuum, and always looks one minor push away from falling over irrevocably, as if playing on a tight rope. His bemused and often terrified expressions reflect a man who can see this world and almost feel it but is cruelly trapped in an invisible prison, left to barely effect events for the rest of his timeless life.
3 – THIS IS SOME KIND OF FACE/OFF SITUATION
Maybe last summer the Colombian had grown weary of the way in the game he loves has been taken over by big business and decided to pack it in. But, knowing he could never retire early, and that he’d recognised wherever he went, he decided to offer one lucky fan the chance to become Falcao. Using technology similar to the cinematic treat that was Face/Off. Superficially it has worked well, it looks like Falcao, but the tell-tale signs are there. For one, he can’t play football, which he used to be very good at. We can only hope the real Falcao is enjoying his early retirement on a beach somewhere.
4 – HE’S NOT THE SAME PLAYER HE WAS, NOR EVER WILL BE AGAIN
A boring suggestion and the least likely if we’re honest. Still, there is always the chance that the combination of age, injuries, a lack of confidence and the step up in the pace of the game has affected the Colombian to the point of no return. He’s suffered two serious knee injuries, which is sure to have a massive impact on a player whose explosiveness was his weapon of choice. His touch, passing and shooting suggest a lack of confidence and the lack of accommodation in this United side means he will never be given the required time to get back to his past self, if it were even possible, which it isn’t. The likelihood is that we’ve seen the best of Falcao and he is just unfortunate to have already passed his peak.
He was one of the world’s best, so it’s sad. What’s even sadder is seeing him fight against it, although you get the feeling he knows as well as anyone that the cruel hand of time has knocked him for the final time. So whatever has happened to Radamel, be kind to him. He is a lovely chap by all accounts who wants nothing more than to succeed at the club. We certainly hope he does, but we just won’t be holding out breath.
If you liked what you read, feel free to share and give us a follow on Twitter here.