Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rooney axed for poor finishing? But Welbeck shines brightly...

Fergie has every right to be delighted after the Reds' hammered Stoke City 5-0 on Saturday at Old Trafford, because despite making changes when leaving out several star names, United were still far too good for the visitors.

Ronaldo opened and ended the scoring with another clinical brace, in so doing scoring a century of goals for the club, in between Carrick was on target, Berbatov finished smartly and best of all Danny Welbeck came off the bench in the second half to score arguably United's best goal of the season so far, with a thunderbolt from distance.

Going into the game the United manager did what he's been threatening to do for a while, that is he left out Wayne Rooney in consecutive games.

Rooney was rested against Bolton recently, but he came back in blistering goal-scoring form. More recently, the England striker has been way below his best, especially against Everton and Arsenal, in the latter game Rooney had chances to have earned the Champions at least a point.

Tevez has started the last two games in place of Rooney, but his own form has dipped, no doubt due to a loss of confidence about his future at the club, coupled with lack of first-team action. It remains to be seen what the future holds for the Argentine who is a massive fans favourite. United say they will make his move permanent in December before the January transfer window opens, but only time will tell if they turn out to be honest brokers.

As for Rooney, no doubting he will be aware that Ronaldo demanded to be selected recently after Fergie had hinted he was to be rested. Rooney may well feel as if it's one rule for the Portuguese star and another for him, but the fact is, Ronaldo keeps on scoring - even when not at his very best - that is the big difference. Added to which we had the long running transfer saga with Madrid and no doubting Fergie told Ronaldo how important he was to his team.

Fergie has a well earned reputation for tinkering with his team, thankfully, it happens less frequently these days, but when it happens as it did against Stoke, the manager rests several stars' and so it was that Rooney and Rio were completely left out along with Ryan Giggs.

Rooney will not be happy about being axed, but later in the season he might well be thankful, because in my view only good can come out of these enforced pre-winter mini-breaks. It's a very long season, keeping players’ fresh is key, what's more, Fergie needs to keep players' fighting for their places and I'd say, Tevez aside, the manager is just about getting it right.

See all Saturday's goal action here...


  1. Was he not left out because he is injured???? hence he is also out of the England Squad against Germany on Wednesday.

  2. Rooney was left out because of a chest infection that he had developed late in the week, hence why he has also been left out of the England squad.

  3. Well, that's news to me because I haven't read that anywhere...

  4. I've read the story now, according to Fergie, Rooney has a "slight" chest infection, I do wonder about this actually, largely because I'm a cynic. What's more, I met Rio Ferdinand last week and there was no mention of his "back problem" which kept him out of the team at weekend - and he mentioned that the very same day (Wednesday) he'd played in the same four a side team as Michael Carrick, so he wasn't that injured that he couldn't play/train. You do wonder about validity of these injuries, I do anyway..

  5. My headline should have included a question mark. Oops!

  6. According to one report he has a calf injury and another says he has a chest infection.... maybe he needs to lay of the smokes.... ha ha

  7. I seriously believe there's nothing wrong with Rooney, as I said in my post he's been axed IMO...


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