Wayne Rooney’s Continued, Increased Role For Manchester United


Wayne Rooney: husband, father, footballer, striker, play-maker, defender, captain, international, the list could really go on, was involved in all four goals (Manchester United only had 3) Sunday as the reigning champions not-so-impressively beat relegation applicants Hull City at the KC Stadium.

It was a performance United fans are reluctantly getting used to this season as the players struggled for large parts of the match to find their cohesive, crisp passing that has previously seen them lift three league trophies in a row. Rooney finally found the break through in first half stoppage time after Rafael Da Silva was unable to. The Brazilian beat Hull’s offside trap but was unable to slot home against Hull keeper Boaz Myhill. Leaving it late, Rooney latched on to a tidy ball a mere few yards in front of goal from Darren Fletcher who was also impressive in midfield for United. The Champions took the slimmest of leads into the interval.

Looking to find a way out of deep in his own half, Rooney clumsily back-passed to Tomasz Kuszczak fifteen minutes into the second half. The ball was intercepted by Craig Fagan who crossed to Jozy Altidore. Altidore won what was an odd looking and light penalty as he seemed to have flailed widely as Fabio bumped him from behind. Contact was made none-the-less and Fagan stepped up to slot home. Rooney the hero, now the villain.

In his attempt to make nice with Sir Alex, Rooney forced Hull City’s Andy Dawson to tap into his own net in the 73rd after the England striker crossed from a tight angle. United had the lead they so desperately desired but barely deserved. Rooney topped off his day by placing a neatly timed ball on a silver platter for his strike partner Dimitar Berbatov who tapped in. An easier goal, Berbatov won’t see all season. 3-1, the brave Tigers were finally beaten.

A day that saw the Champions gain all three points was a day that saw Wayne Rooney continue his increased role for United. Largely absent for most of the game was any width in attack for United. Antonio Valencia has been effective this year but was uninvolved Sunday. Professor Giggs was also miles away from his best as he continually misplaced passes in his attempts to link play (both midfielders were pulled off in the second half). Besides finishing off Rooney’s brilliant pass, Berbatov was also missing in action and failed to add any creativity up front for United.

As seen five times already this season, United can be beaten. The interesting statistic is that in all five league defeats, United have yet to score a goal – they’ve been outscored by their opposition in those defeats 8-0, a stat that won’t please Ferguson. Another oddity is that United haven’t drawn but one league match this season, it seems to be win or loose for United who haven’t figured out that a point is better than zero. In three out of their five loses, the final score has been 1-0.

But gone are they days of the greasy one being able to turn a match at the flip of a switch. When Rooney isn’t producing at his best, United suffer. The difference from the United team this year from previous years is, if any one player was having an off day, someone else would step up and fill his shoes. United need that second player to do just that if they are going to challenge for their fourth straight this season.

At times, Ryan Giggs has filled the creative void largely resulting from Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Real Madrid, but his age has left his appearances limited.Valencia has shown signs of being that wide player on United’s flanks, stretching defenses and producing crosses into the box, he’s got pace and a powerful strike, but hasn’t quite got the bit in his teeth yet. Berbatov if anything has under produced and taken a step back from his decent form last year. Someone has to step up to help Rooney if he’s unable to break down a defense like he did against Hull City. No one player can carry a team to the title. If Rooney’s continued, increased role for Manchester United isn’t shared by an offensive, creative player, United will stumble through the second half of the season relinquishing their title to either Chelsea or Arsenal.

12 thoughts on “Wayne Rooney’s Continued, Increased Role For Manchester United”

  1. If united win the league it will be thanks to Rooney and Evra and Giggs who have all been fantastic this year. Rooney can win a game by himself sometimes. A lot of United’s periphery have been poor but these 3 have excelled.

  2. Wow what a crap article.

    Wayne Rooney was responsible for one goal. The second goal was a set up for Park which the defender screwed up and the third goal was one Berbatov put in.

    Aside from that everybody had a shot at the goal including Giggs whoose shot went over the net and Rafael whoose shot was stopped by the keeper.

    Manchester United are in 2nd 2 points behind a team that have won one in 7 games and is about to lose their stop goal scorer.

    If things go on the way they are now the next few weeks will be great ones for United.

    Ryan Giggs and Valencia didn’t show up during the last match so Rooney filled the void setting up 2 and putting one in himself and thats the point.

    Seems like flamebait is all this site has amounted to lately it’s starting to get tired.

    1. Tyson, flamebait definitely not. Many of the articles are opinionated, so there’s no guarantee you’ll agree with all of them. But we’re not in the business of flamebait like some other sites are.

      The Gaffer

    2. Tyson,

      2 questions:

      1. Did you watch the match? – Rooney was the player who was in an advanced position who crossed the ball in Park’s direction. Because of the precision of the cross and the angle of the cross, Dawson’s attempt at clearance failed. An OG that was set up by Rooney. Plain and simple.

      In Berbatov’s goal, Rooney completed what must have been the pass of the season thus far – slotting a perfectly weighted pass between a defenders legs and just out of reach of another defender. Again, 95% of the work done by Rooney who has carried more than his weight for United all year. All Berbatov did was tap it in.

      2. Did you actually read the article? – based on your comment, it doesn’t look as if you read the article, only skimmed it. Very odd, you even reiterate some of the points I made in the article with your comment.

      So if it’s a crap article, fine. Maybe its a crap comment as well.

      1. You comment so much. I would love to see you write an article. I’m being serious. Not sarcastic. Write something, I’d read it with interest. I often agree with what you say in your comments.

        1. Laurence,

          not sure if that was directed towards me, or Tyson. I do in fact write for EPL Talk. I have been now for quite some time. I did indeed write the article in question.

          If your comment was intended for someone else, well, I can’t help you there. Cheers,

  3. The Wayne Rooney I’ve seen as of late is the polar opposite of the Wayne Rooney who was red carded in the Champions League for clapping in the ref’s face. I am liking this mature Rooney, and as I heard recently (and agree with), he is certainly benefiting from C. Ronaldo’s leaving. To fill the creative void, United need to play Obertan. In the games I’ve seen recently, he has certainly pushed defenses when he is subbed in.

    I agree with The Gaffer: Rooney set up that second goal, because had it not been an own goal Park was well clear of the defense and would have slotted it at the near post.

    I was quite surprised that Fagan didn’t get a red card. With his tantrum after the half I was expecting it to come with about 20 minutes left.

  4. I agree with your article. Being a United fan, I thought they were playing like crap in the first half, until the goal in stoppage time. I agree, Giggs did not show up in that game. He was playing crap passes all over the field. Valencia seemed lost. Glad to see Park come in and run his ass off! Obertan; I think that he will eventually feel the gap left by Ronaldo. I do not know if that will be this season, or in the near future, but quality he IS. Great acquisition by Fergie. I WOULD like to see Fergie make a quality buy in January, but who knows… If our defence can get healthy I think we could mount a serious run for the title. If he does not buy in January and if the defence continues to struggle with health, it doesn’t look sooo good. I also think our most underrated player is Darren Fletcher. Berbatov is just not the answer up front. Owen should get more playing time as should Macheda.

  5. While others have talked about Rooney and the continued lack of consistent scoring from United, I wanted to discuss your mention of the lack of ties in United’s record. Watching closely the title races the last couple of years I have come to the conclusion that ties save you from relegation and wins get you championships. That sounds simplistic, but if you look at the differences in the last two races it comes down to the fact that United got wins at home while Chelsea and Liverpool settled for draws. While 1 point sounds good, a record of 1-0-2 is equal to 0-3-0. Time and time again United have won titles by going for the last minute goal and leaving themseleves open for counters rather than settling for the lone point. At best for teams like United a draw is only helpful against top teams on the road (Big 4). So, if you want to win a championship one point is not always better than zero if it means you sacrifice your attacking form.

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