Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fergie's striker promise conundrum...

It might well be the summer but nonetheless the Reds continue to dominate the sports headlines, today like just about every other day over the last few months, there's plenty to talk about with reference to all things United. Here's a brief summary of the news so far:

Real Madrid's Guti became the latest beckon of light to suggest that Ronaldo moving to his club would be a good idea - he would say that wouldn't he? Somewhat bizarrely, Carlos Tevez pushed his head and his luck above the parapet when appearing to agree that Ronaldo should be allowed to join the Spanish club when saying "every player wants to play for Madrid" - this is not the time for this kind of honesty Carlos. Hopefully, sooner or later the penny will drop with Madrid and they will realise that their tireless pursuit of Ronaldo is over, at least for this summer at any rate.

Paul Scholes has hinted that he has two more playing years left at United; the Ginger prince has also let it be known that immediately after the Moscow Champions League Final was won he commiserated with just about every Chelsea player. Unlike his manager Scholes believes that Chelsea will be United's nearest challengers in the coming season - privately Fergie will be thinking the same, but he of course enjoys prodding our rivals with a sharp stick. Earlier in the week Fergie questioned how long Chelsea's ageing squad could go on, Scolari didn't respond, but no doubting Mourinho would have questioned the age of Fergie, Giggs, Scholes and Van der Sar.

On the subject of age, Fergie has also been talking about the sacrifice that Rooney has made for the team when hinting that the England striker's role needs to be more clearly defined - given all that United achieved last season on the pitch, it raises the question exactly why Fergie felt it necessary to even mention this. We are left to assume that Rooney has voiced his concerns about this so called "sacrifice", possibly following calls from Capello to increase his goal tally, or could it be that Rooney has grown a little tired of being continually over-shadowed by Ronaldo?

Whatever the reasoning behind Fergie's public declaration of intent to define a clearer role for Rooney the simple truth of the matter is nothing is likely to change very much. The speculation is that United may well sign Berbatov and that the Bulgarian will be deployed as a lone striker - but that's only one of many options open to Fergie. The Reds may well end up failing to sign a new striker - if that is so and assuming we retain Ronaldo; Rooney will carry on sacrificing himself for the team. Rooney does some of his best work outside of the box, his link up play is second to none, so it actually beggars belief that Fergie is even talking about defining a clearer role for the former Everton star. My own view is Fergie is simply paying lip service to Rooney in a bid to quell some minor carping from the player who has been dubbed as Wazza.

Next season will be the same as the last, when the need arises Rooney will give his all for the team, that'll be up front, on the wing and in defence.

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