Back in March of last year, we were all looking forward to what we thought would be one of those defining moments of English football once the 2010 World Cup got underway in South Africa in June as it was expected that England would be a contender to win that elusive trophy. We all know how that turned out and I’m not going to start flogging that dead horse again here, but I was reminded yesterday of an article I wrote on this site last year, in an E-Mail I received from a friend across the pond regarding the future of Wayne Rooney. I’m sure he won’t mind me using his words to illustrate my point.
always a good weekend when England and Utd win well.
A really fierce old fashioned test match against the french,not one for fans of free flowing rugby but a well earned win .
Utd looked out of sorts again and Rooney is getting all the headlines again,but 4-0 away from home is all that really matters.I was not impressed with the champions league performance on Wednesday but they should have enough to win at home,
- it can only be a matter of time before Berbatov and Hernandez play up front and Rooney plays behind them in the Scholes position
.Smalling looks like a really good player though and Ferdinand has not really been missed,I don’t know what this means for the future of Brown and O’Shea,they used to be the stand in centre halves and while O’Shea can play anywhere i would not be surprised if Brown is moved on ,along with Carrick and Gibson at the end of the season.
The article I had written last year had thrown forward the idea of Wayne Rooney replacing Frank Lampard in the center of England’s midfield to add some goalscoring power to the side as well as freeing up the most talented man in English football to wreak his havoc much in the same way as Lionel Messi does for Barcelona and Argentina.
With Man Utd now seriously looking for replacements for the aging Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, it can only make sense to release Rooney from the shackles of that front line, especially now that Javier Hernandez has obviously proven that he is consistently able to score goals at the top level. Pairing the Mexican striker with a rejuvenated Dimitar Berbatov can only produce more goals for a club that is approaching another period of transition. If the reports that United are intent on signing Inter’s Wesley Sneijder are true, the combination of him and Rooney in their engine room behind the two strikers gives the Old Trafford club some tremendous upside looking forward for the next 5 years or so. No matter that they would play similar roles as there is always room for great players in anyone’s team.
Even though Berbatov and Hernandez didn’t play together yesterday, the game at Wigan may prove to be a watershed in the career of Liverpool-born striker Rooney who has failed to reproduce his form of 18 months ago since his highly publicized debacle in South Africa. He has always been a hard worker but recently it appears that opposing teams have figured him out, and when they double team him while in possession of the ball, his own frustrations take over and the rot sets in for a poor performance. Playing behind the two strikers the way that Scholes has done for many years, allows him to still score goals, but gives him the freedom to play his game, and also to help out more defensively which has always been one of his strengths.
Only time will tell if Ferguson, or even Capello for that matter, recognizes the opportunity that, in my opinion, is staring them in the face. Maybe if Rooney is given a new look out on the field, we’ll see that incredible talent he has, more regularly on display.