Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fergie launches PR offensive over Rooney and Bebé but doubts persist as United stroll to easy win...

So then Wayne Rooney finally broke that scoring hoodoo against the Hammers on Saturday, the goal when it arrived came from the penalty-spot after Ryan Giggs was brought down inside the box by Jonathan Spector.

Rooney's penalty was well struck, but there looked to be an element of doubt in the player's mind as the United striker checked his stride on the run up as he changed direction, in so doing sending Robert Green the wrong way. Yes, Rooney scored, but the manner in which he took that spot-kick was very unusual.

Contrary to what Ferguson said after the game, Rooney didn't play that well, at times he looked sluggish and off the pace as he done over the last few months.

Nani and Dimitar Berbatov added further goals, both were spectacular. Nani's came about five minutes into the second-half following a mazey run by the Portuguese winger before he crashed home a stunning left foot drive that gave Robert Green no chance.

Dimitar Berbatov scored with twenty minutes remaining on the clock following good link up play between John O'Shea and Nani, whose cross found the Bulgarian unmarked on the edge of Robert Green's six-yard box. Berbatov lashed home a spectacular waist-high right foot volley and once again Green had no answer.

Not long after scoring, Berbatov, was wrongly substituted by Ferguson - it should have been Rooney who made way for Michael Owen.

Berbatov must be wondering what he has to do, because clearly there appears to be different rules for different players at Old Trafford - even when he's been the pick of the strikers, as he has all season to date and Rooney hasn't been at the races, it's the Bulgarian who continues to be the fall guy.

Ferguson praised Rooney's work-rate after the game, but his words of comfort for his star striker are to put it politely unconvincing.

The United manager is quite obviously sticking with Rooney in a bid to play him back into some sort of form, but time waits for no man and so do not be surprised to see the former Everton star being taken off or left out of the starting line-up if we do not see a rapid return to form.

It was all just a little bit too easy against West Ham, but United will more than likely face an altogether more serious examination in the next three fixtures against, Everton (away), Rangers and Liverpool at home.

While Berbatov was once again the pick of the United forwards, Scholes was in charge in the engine room and the Hammers had no answer. Scholes was the man of the match again and long may it continue.

Meanwhile, in other news and following the leaks coming out of Carrington about new signing Bebé, the club have been briefing journalists about the circumstances leading up to United shelling out £7.4m for a player who they could have signed for nothing just a few weeks ago.

According to the latest spin, the club are doing tests on the player in a bid to improve his core fitness amidst rumours that the 20-year old is out of his depth.

Bebé's former club reportedly initially inserted a €3million release clause in his contract, but after "watching him train" in pre-season friendlies, the club renegotiated with the player, and subsequently raised the release clause to €9million. Well, these reports conflict with the rumours coming out of Carrington about the player whose touch and fitness have been questioned. The gossiping about this transfer will only stop when and if Bebé comes this space.


  1. Personally I think Fergies decision to sub Berbatov had more to do with him picking up an unnecessary yellow card for removing his shirt following his goal than anything else. It would have been criminal if the Bulgarian ended up getting a second yellow later on and thus missed a match.
    It is refreshing to finally start to see Berbatov shine though.

  2. Hawkeye,

    Nah, sorry not having that, Berbatov rarely gets himself booked. This was more of a case of Fergie pandering to Rooney.

    If Rooney doesn't get his act together quickly he will find himself on the bench. It is a matter of time.

    However, we can all understand Fergie's logic, because Rooney is without doubt the most suitable to lead our attack in a 4-5-1 formation and that's why he's sticking with him - that and he remains our most potent weapon (on his day).

    The problem is, Fergie has to be seen to be fair to all of his strikers and if a player like Chicharito (for example) starts to think he's getting overlooked unfairly then this will cause problems.

    But Fergie will have to deal with this sooner or later if Rooney doesn't pull his finger out soon.

  3. Rooney is not a happy man. He wore a frown most of the game. I just worry that there is something behind the scenes that is affecting him, outside of football.

    A player can lose confidence but I do not see it as simply as that with Rooney..I do hope I am wrong.

  4. Strapworld,

    I'm hoping this is nothing more than a carry over from the summer/back end of last season.

    IF you read this blog on a regular basis you should know we predicted this; that is we expected Rooney to start the season like he ended it - ie struggling.


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