Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Could the Tevez, Rooney partnership really work?

Fergie has been talking about the virtues of his prospective new strike partnership stating that he believes Rooney and Tevez could work together as an attacking force.

Both are classed as strikers, but neither are considered to be out and out number nine's, many would describe them both as second striker's, on their respective days, both lethal in that role.

During his time with United, Wayne Rooney has at times been given a free role to drop deep and collect the ball, the former Everton man has even been deployed from the left flank, not in the true sense of a winger, but this has been his starting position in a fair number of games. When Rooney has been played wide left, he's almost always then come inside as the game has progressed.

When the then England manager Sven Eriksson and more recently Steve McLaren deployed Rooney wide left they were both slaughtered by the media. Largely because the general consensus is that Rooney needs to be played down the centre to get the best out of him.

Ferguson can of course get away with more because of his record as a manager and it's fair to say that Rooney has also done ok on occasion when he's been asked to play 'out of position'.

Interestingly Tevez has also started wide on the left for West Ham this last season and so here again both players have something in common.

So how well will this new prospective strike partnership work for United? Personally I think it has legs, not least because both players are very mobile and as such they will give many central defensive partnerships something to think about, especially when they start drifting wide and deep.

However, this new strike force will have to go some way to be considered United's best ever. In my living memory, United's best ever striker partnership was Cole and Yorke, because they both brought something slightly different to the table.

Yorke could receive the ball in almost any situation, he could be totally relied upon to then control it and then bring others into the game, he was also very mobile, often dropping deep and when the need arose he could hold up the ball. He was superb with his back to the opposition's goal. In front of goal he was coolness personified. Cole was a lightning quick predatory striker and he clicked superbly with Yorke and it was a match made in heaven.

IF Rooney and Tevez come anywhere near reproducing what York and Cole did for United, the Reds wont be far away from more silverware next May.

1 comment:

  1. Yorke-Cole partnership was only good for 3 seasons '98/99,'99/00 & '00/01. They only looked good because of ManYoo's tremendous midfield ie. Beckham, Giggs, Scholes, Keane & Butt which gave them numerous opportunities to score.

    After one impressive '98/99 season where the duo scored 53 goals between them & won the treble in their 1st season, their partnership went into terminal decline the following 2 seasons.

    Yorke's talent was wasted as he became more interested in off-field activities. Yorke's downfall at ManYoo was of his own making. Cole's goal output was already declining after '98/99 as he needed to play off another striker like Peter Beardsley at Newcastle & Yorke at ManYoo. He couldn't play as a lone striker which is why Fergie wanted to bring RVN to ManYoo.

    Both later joined Blackburn Rovers yet couldn't reprised their terrific partnership at ManYoo. Why? The key was ManYoo's midfield engine which gave them ample scoring opportunities whereas Blackburn midfield couldn't provide such opportunities. Both were also not good enough to produce goal opportunities for themselves & each other.

    Wayne Rooney & Carlos Tevez are very different from Yorke-Cole. Both are complete players in their own right. They are both soccer phenomenons. Any synergies between them will be devastating to any team playing against them. Together with Cristiano Ronaldo, they will form a devastating trio which can frighten off any top continental teams.

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