While Michael Owen came off the bench to rescue a point for Manchester United at Bolton, it was another disappointing result for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men. The result completed a bitterly disappointing day for the Scott, who once again saw his talisman Wayne Rooney produce another ineffective display.
Rooney’s performance was once again disappointing. The striker just doesn’t look like the player who scored goals for fun last year. He showed glimpses of his quality, but has clearly been impacted by his poor World Cup, and the media storm surrounding his private life.
The old saying is that form is temporary and class is permanent, and I have no doubt that Rooney will return to form sooner rather than later, but right now he just looks so far off his best. There were often opportunities for him to produce some magic, but instead he played the simple ball, that just isn’t the Rooney we know. While Rooney would eventually be substituted with an ankle injury, it wouldn’t have surprised me had been substituted anyway.
It wasn’t good day for United as far as injuries were concerned, as Ryan Giggs also suffered a hamstring injury and Rio Ferdinand was left out of the squad all together as he struggles to find any form of match fitness.
The England defenders fitness problems have been going on for the past few seasons now, and you really do feel that Fabio Capello will have to start looking elsewhere, because Ferdinand is becoming increasingly unreliable.
The official line was that Ferdinand was rested for the Valencia game, but for me an England international needs to be playing week and week out. We had a similar situation with Ledley King, and look what happened in South Africa as he missed most of the tournament.
So generally not a very good day for Manchester United, who missed an excellent opportunity to add some real pressure on early pacesetters Chelsea. You have to feel that things will drastically have to improve for them to seriously challenge Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who quite frankly look superior in nearly all departments.