If Jose Mourinho is serious about instilling some more discipline at Manchester United then the recent pictures of his club captain looking the worse for wear plastered all over the front pages of the tabloids will have gone down about as well as a female doctor running on to the pitch when his side’s down to ten men. Looking towards this weekend anyone filling in their betting lines would without doubt bet against Rooney starting against Arsenal – regardless of whether he’s fit.
The United skipper has almost certainly given Mourinho no choice but to drop him and for many fans that may not be a bad thing as Rooney’s been roundly criticised this season for a series of underwhelming displays. The irony is the former Evertonian actually looked a much improved player during the recent games against Fenerbahce and Swansea but all that good work looks like it’s been undone in dramatic fashion.
One positive Mourinho can take into the game is the form of Zlatan Ibrahimovic who bagged a brace at the Liberty Stadium ending a goal drought not to mention giving the Reds a vital win. If Rooney’s out and Zlatan’s always in then the chances are the Special One will need to find a new strike partner for the Swedish international and what better foil than a young Mancunian who’s been pushed out to the wing far too often.
Marcus Rashford could be the ideal man to partner Ibrahimovic against Arsenal, which means United may go all out with a 4-4-2 formation, it sounds bold but as we heard many times last season – what works for Leicester can work for anyone. If United are going to risk two in midfield then they need an energetic pairing and in Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera they have that. A back four of Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Antonio Valencia – if the latter’s fit, may not instill everyone with confidence but Rojo has been much improved this season.
Here’s my starting eleven for the visit of the Gunners in Saturday’s early kick off:
[4-4-2] David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Do you agree with that line up? One thing’s for certain United need a win against one of their rivals for the top four places and anything other than three points will be seen as a huge disappointment to the fans and Mourinho himself. There’s no love lost between the former Chelsea boss and the current Arsenal one and they’ve even enjoyed a bit of shoving on the touchline in the past such is their level of hatred for one another. Jose needs to rally his troops and w in against Arsenal would be the perfect way to do it especially in front of a packed Old Trafford.
Do you agree with the team selection? If not who should Mourinho pick? Will United prevail against the Gunners? Answers on a postcard to the usual address please.