Friday, 12 December 2008


Much has been made of Keane settling into Liverpool, and his underwhelming record so far.
But I think it more interesting to examine United's frontline issues.

Carlos Tevez has staked a very interesting claim for a place in the team against Spurs with his recent goalscoring exploits after a poor start to the season. So the focus has turned on Berbatov and questions on whether he should be in the team. His languid and nonchalant style infuriates old school types who like passion at the expense of skill (that's pretty much everyone in Britain and Ireland then...) but it is clear he adds a different dimension to the team from last season. His 6 goals and 6 assists is a modest start, but I think acceptable for a player of his value fitting into a new team. As the season progresses, so should Berba.

Similarly with Keane, at £20m he was always overvalued, but playing in the right system (i.e. not on his own up front) and with confidence, he should turn good this season.

More pertinent then is Rooney's role in the team. It has already been pointed out his tendency to go on a goal scoring streak, which then turns into a drought, so there is a big question mark on his consistency. His temper issues are well known, not least his despicable display in midweek against AaB, and his abuse of referees. His career seems to have stagnated, no longer is he the golden boy (and don't believe anyone who tells you he is still 'world class') - he is a hot head who can be a liability to the team when things don't go his way. No longer can his youth be used as an excuse, and he is indulged by referees due to being English but that can't last forever (unless you're Alan Shearer).

So the solution is to drop Rooney and play Tevez - Tevez can do everything Rooney does only, crucially, without the aggro and risk. And seeing as Rooney is likely to receive a CL ban, a perfect opportunity has arisen for Fergie to try a different front pairing in the coming weeks.



JJ said...

The 'drop Rooney' campaign starts here eh, I can see your point and it certainly makes more sense than Oliver Kay saying that Tevez hasn't staked a claim of late in the Times.

Yep, five in two starts really is a paltry return Olly, you prat.

Overall it wouldn't do rooney any harm to know he's not untouchable. You reckon Foster will piss off to some mid table club now that the lanky dutch clanger-machine has signed a new deal?

Mark said...

well Tevez has his faults, I'm certainly not his biggest fan, but he looks to be the better option to Rooney right now. think Rooney is suspended for Spurs game, so he'll get his chance.

I think if Foster was any good Fergie would be playing him? This will be VDS last full season, he'll be benched next year. Tomas K will go before Foster

Mal said...

Good article Mark. It looks like Rooney and Berbatov are being picked on reputation/favouritism ahead of Tevez who is more in form at the moment.
On the point of Tevez not being aggro, he is in severe danger of losing his place on the Argentine team due to two red cards and not enough goals in this qualification series. Admittedly, he hasn't transgressed for Utd so far.

Mal said...

Keane has 4 goals and 5 assists which isn't that far behind Berbatov. I think it's a case must do better for both of them.

Mark said...

Thanks Mal, had forgotten about his indiscretions for the Argies

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Mark said...

erm... i take it all back, oh rooney, come back! tevez was terrible today, i thought he had turned the corner (thanks Hou) after his poor start to the season but i was terribly wrong. and not for the first time.