The Flying Dutchman is a legendary ghost ship that can never make port and is doomed to sail the oceans forever. If hailed by another ship, the crew of the Flying Dutchman will try to send messages to land, or to people long dead. In ocean lore, the sight of this phantom ship is a portent of doom.
Alexander Buttner has been floating in the ocean ever since he joined Manchester United. Patrice Evra has been in his sights through a spyglass but he had never been able to overtake the Frenchman, that is until the Germans came over the horizon to give him wind in his sails.
When Evra was booked against Olympiacos to rule him out of the Bayern Munich game, Alexander Buttner would have been doing cartwheels in his head. At the same time, Manchester United fans were putting their face in their hands. Surely, doom was indeed on the horizon.
Buttner up against Robben? That’s like sailing into battle in a rubber dinghy, or so we thought.
It was a mismatch on paper but to his credit, Buttner emerged from the other side having earned his stripes.
Robben was still Bayern’s most dangerous player on the night but instead of sinking against him, Buttner swam. He didn’t quell his threat completely but then again, hardly any defender does which is why Robben is one of the best in the world in his position.
Many, myself included, expected Buttner to wilt like a leaf in the sun against Robben but he didn’t and if not for an injury, he would have completed the full 90 minutes.
In a season where Evra has been so inconsistent, Buttner took his chance and ahead of the return leg next week, he has given Moyes a decision to make – does he go for the more experienced and now available Evra or put faith in Buttner to build on his recent showings in Munich?