Date: 14th July 2012 at 5:51pm
Written by:
Can the man who scored THIS goal ever be dropped?

Can the man who scored THIS goal ever be dropped?

What a silly question, 27 league goals in just 32 appearances, the one truly world-class striker England has at their disposal, a player who at the age of 26 has won more trophies than most clubs have in their entire history?

Before you comment an essay of incredulity please allow me to elucidate my seemingly moronic question. At the recent unveiling of United’s new signing Shinji Kagawa Sir Alex Ferguson stated:

“He [Kagawa] ‘ll play further forward [than Powell]. We shouldn’t be looking at one player changing the way we play but he could make a difference. He can give us that extra in the final third of the field. If his goalscoring record continues he could be a very good player for us.”

“Shinji’s coming to South Africa with us and then to China so I think you’ll be seeing him pretty soon. Once he’s adapted and gets to know some football phrases our players will use, he’ll be used to that. He can start the first league game quite easily. I’ve got no problem with that.”

Kagawa can play in the ‘hole’ or the ‘false 10’ position if you will that Rooney made his home for the brunt of United games last season, tucking in just behind Danny Welbeck. Of course for some games, most notably the league game at Eastlands, Rooney was used as a lone striker with Welbeck being relegated to the bench. I’m aware that Kagawa can also play deeper or out wide, but if he did flourish just behind the striker, it could cause Sir Alex a dilemma.

When I pose the question is Rooney undroppable I’m not talking about resting him for the home game against Reading, or the Carling Cup ties, I’m asking in regards to a big game that United need to win or even for a run of games. If we see Danny Welbeck ‘kick on’ from last season, which I fully expect him to, then he could realistically stake a claim to be picked for the important games. If Kagawa continues in the vein of his previous seasons in the Bundesliga then United could well have one of the most valuable attacking players in the Premier League. Rooney’s goals seemingly make him a player you cannot afford to drop when it’s a must-win match, but that hasn’t prevented Sir Alex from subbing him in the past -Wigan away last season, Blackpool away the year before, nor was ‘goals’ enough to keep Dimitar Berbatov in the side.

When it comes to Wazza’s goals it’s also worth noting that nine of them came from the penalty spot, don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticising Rooney after all it’s not a given that penalties are scored, I’m just pointing out that a large chunk of his goals ‘could’ have been converted by someone else. Let’s not forget Rooney went through a spell where he missed four out of eight penalties at one point.

The point I’m making about Rooney’s goals making it impossible for him to be left out of the starting line-up, is that despite his high return that may not necessarily be enough to prevent Sir Alex from dropping him, should Welbeck and Kagawa be on form.

Another reason Rooney’s place may not be guaranteed is the level of his performance can sometimes drop alarmingly at times when ‘his heads not with it.’ I’ve always maintained one of the biggest faults in Rooney’s game is that unlike say, Ronaldo or even David Beckham, when things aren’t rosey for Wazza off the pitch, it can seriously affect his game on it.

Call me a conspiracy theorist but I didn’t think it was a coincidence that the seemingly irrelevant story of Mario Balotelli months prior, having an affair with the hooker Rooney was involved wit, suddenly surfaced -via his agent- during the title run-in. When I saw all the “Rooney’s Hooker..” headlines, my heart sank a little as I feared it could affect him.  For the subsequent games following the story versus Queen’s Park Rangers  Wigan and Aston Villa- where his own fans groaned when he got the ball- Rooney didn’t exactly have his best three games, although maybe that was a coincidence…

There’s also ‘fitness’ issue whenever Rooney has a bad spell, rumours quickly surface that he has been ‘carrying a knock’ this has been going on for years, most infamously at the end of the 2009-10 season where he seemed to be playing well into the World Cup despite not being ‘fully fit.’

Rooney always wants to play which is admirable and you get the impression that even if his leg was falling off he’d declare himself fit. Sometimes though that ‘fitness’ isn’t just physical, mental tiredness can also affect players which seems to be the case with Rooney.

All this sounds like Rooney-bashing, which isn’t my intention, after all he’s a superb player who’s often been one of the main reasons behind many a United victory. My question is based on should Welbeck and Kagawa shine when given the chancetogether, should Cleverley prosper or Wazza go off the boil, could Rooney’s place in the side come under threat? Yes, he’s on more money than anyone else, but would that really prevent Sir Alex from dropping him if he felt it was for the benefit of the team?

Rooney can operate a number of positions, up top, just off the striker or even deeper if needs be, but then again so can other players and if they’re on form will Sir Alex stick  with Rooney, even if the former Everton man isn’t firing on all cylinders.

I’m aware Rooney has missed games before, but that’s almost exclusively been due to being ‘rested’ that’s not what I’m asking, I’m talking about him not being part of the best eleven players available to beat the opposition in a game United need to win.

A big game with Rooney not being picked seems unthinkable, the question is could it be a reality next season?

Am I off my tiny little bald head even asking such a silly question or does anyone else wonder the very same thing?

Answers on a brick through the usual window, or comment below please:

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9 responses to “Is Wayne Rooney No Longer ‘Undroppable’?”

  1. Paris Boyd says:

    This article makes no sense, when has Rooney ever been just about goals? Hes the soul of this team that without him this Manchester United team would never of just been seperated by goal difference with City!

    Your point about Rooney not being injured before the world cup, have you forgotten that he injured his foot against Bayern Munich in the first leg then was rushed back for the second leg and injured his foot even more, returning for the last couple of games of the season and not scoring.

    And as for Welbeck, dont get me wrong, hes really improving a lot, but do you honestly believe without Rooney playing along side him last season was the key to him doing so well? Welbeck even paid tribute to the fact that Rooney was like a mentor to him on the pitch!

    Rooney is a big game player, a player for Man Utd that has proved in the last three seasons that he can make a difference with little chance.. For example the famous goal against City.. Or the goal against Barcelona in the final, with wayne looking like the only player for Man utd who looked like scoring!

    For me Wayne will never be dropped by Fergie, not until his legs cant move anymore!


    • you dnt hav a clue says:

      Obviously you knw nothing about football then

    • Dino says:

      John..plssss…u obviously dnt knw football. Try to “watch” man utd matches dnt “see” them. Rooney is arguably one of the best strikers in the world and one of the reasons(if nt d only) Utd is today (not saying without Wazza Utd is not) but the lad has done his best over the years..he’s really grown to be a world class! Wuldnt trade dat for anything in football.

  3. redunited says:

    only messi can drop rooney.dnt forget rooney is the best striker in the world (can play in all leagues).a serious coach would never thnk of tht.welbeck?10 shots 1 goal?

  4. john says:

    rooney is good no doubt but this article has suggested a forseable wonderful partnership btw kagawa n wellbeck. He might have scored against barca but could’nt make runs, slight dribbles n link up play, even in d preseason against barca he poor throughout d 1st half n was removed for d 2nd half. I’m looking forward 2 next season.

  5. albasheer says:

    How quickly the writer sidelines Chicharito out of the team to favour English Welbeck. Whether you like it or not Hernandez’s bettes than Danny not to think of even keeping Rooney out of the team with some baseless facts. Its welbeck who will have to make way. U are beginning to overrate this boy who played almost 40 games and managed only 13 goals. Chicharito played few games and scored 13 also. Thats the reason English boys dont live to their expectations, they are too overrated.

  6. dustin says:

    Roony is not dat class nani en vlencia did make him top score ar wit me

  7. obioha k says:

    rooney is irreplacable. he is a leader and will lead the young generation o united players. i agree he suffers from drop in form,same with everyone including ronaldo or messi who we ve seen not replecating club form for country. i ve always maintained my preference for rooney and paul scholes, giggs ahead of any other utd player past and present simply becos of the way they go about carrying the club on their shoulder.

    i hear no mention of chicharito these days simply cos of danny wellbecks form. but prefer hernandez ahead of danny cos he hernandez is a poisonous striker. his gives defenders headache and i blv utd shld use him or rooney to pair kagawa in 4-2-3-1 formation or even 4-4-1-1 formation.