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Manchester United FC defender Brandon Williams (33) looks to control the ball during the second half of the Soccer Champions Tour match between Manchester United FC and Real Madrid CF

All hail Brandon Williams; Man Utd’s unhinged maniac that sent Valverde packing

Manchester United might’ve lost 2-0 in their friendly against Real Madrid, but there were several victories from an entertainment standpoint, Brandon Williams possibly taking the top prize.

Williams has endured a mixed three or four years since making his debut in the EFL Cup against Rochdale in 2019, once looking like a prospect that could carve out a respectable career at United, then going out on loan and becoming lost in the shuffle.

The young Englishman impressed in spells on breaking through and put together an impressive enough stint at relegated Norwich, but it’s been difficult to place where exactly Williams’ ceiling sits.

And as United look to establish themselves among Europe’s elite once again, he sits far down the pecking order with Erik ten Hag now in charge.

As a result, Williams has become a bit of an enigma. Perhaps not good enough to cut the mustard at United, but a local boy who embodies the values of the club, endears himself to match-going supporters and absolutely loves to get stuck in on the opposition.

So, what do you do with him? A question that United are proving they don’t really have the answer to. We’re not here to discuss his future, though. That’s proper boring.

Instead, we’re here to celebrate him and the lunatic personality he brings to the pitch every time he’s given a chance to play.

Whether it be in Houston or Harpurhey, the bloke simply loves a bit of chaos. And we love him for it. There’s no such thing as a friendly in his mind, which became very apparent in United’s loss to Real, him flying into challenges like a man possessed.

He’s been given a decent crack of the whip so far in pre-season and appears determined to grasp the opportunity with both hands. Determined is probably an understatement, actually. Just ask Federico Valverde.

The Uruguayan midfielder was on the receiving end of a crunching challenge from Williams during the closing stages of the friendly between the two giants, and for such an industrious footballer with a bit of bite himself, he looked like he’d been hit by a 10-tonne truck.

Brandon Williams vs Valverde ⛑️🥊
by u/nuugo in reddevils

Got the ball, ref. Hand point or circular signal in the air just to drive home that point, knowing full well you’ve absolutely nailed your man.

Textbook. We’ve all been there. That’s usually followed up by Oscar-worthy acting when the ref nicks you for it. How dare he?

In fairness to Williams, the first tackle is a very fair one. Loaded up with a bit of steel that he’s clearly brought with him from home, granted, it’s the second one which really gets a rise out of us.

Valverde – completely taken aback by this unknown blonde man – stumbles back to his feet and charges towards a loose ball, under the impression that he can comfortably win the subsequent 50/50. Ha, no chance. No chance in hell, Fede.

In comes Williams again, seemingly turbocharged by a potentially fatal dosage of mad bastard-itis, anticipating Valverde’s challenge in response and leaving the floor to fly into the midfielder, taking them both out again with absolutely no thought of retrieving the ball.

Pre-season, lads. Just don’t get hurt whatever you do. Yeah right. As if that pair of maniacs were ever bowing down to that.

It might be a friendly for those in attendance, but when you’re representing Manchester United and Real Madrid respectively, ultimately it can be anything but that. Bragging rights are on the line between teams made up of some of the best players in the world.

To play for and succeed at clubs of such a gargantuan size, you’ve got to be a killer. You’ve got to have that maniac inside you at all times. If you don’t, you end up worse off than Valverde. Clutching your ankle, rolling around, proverbial pie all over your face in not anticipating a bit of needle. Bleak.

As United look to climb back to the top, Willams might have to move on. But his lunatic spirit should serve as inspiration for the rest of the squad to kill anyone in their way as they attempt to climb the mountain once more.

Here’s to you, Brandon, you big psycho.

By Mitchell Wilks


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