Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rooney: The king is dead. Long live the new king Chicharito...

Football is a very strange game: A week ago, Manchester United fans were coming to terms with the prospect of losing Wayne Rooney to Manchester City; according to the tabloid rumour-mill, the Rooney camp had been in negotiations with our bitterest rivals as far back as July. The prospect of losing Rooney following the loss of Ronaldo and Tevez was bad enough, but the fact City would be the most likely destination was to put it mildly, near vomit inducing.

Following his most successful season to date in the red shirt, Rooney had become the fans' number one hero; but all of that was undone in the space of just a few days following the news, that the player would not be extending his contract.

Rooney subsequently signed that new contract, but only after the club's owners were given a direct line to the player and in the conversations that followed assurances were given that Ferguson would be fully backed in the transfer market in the months ahead.

It was interesting to note that the media failed to pick up on a central point here: neither David Gill, CEO, or Ferguson himself were able to convince the player about the prospect of quality signings - is it not ironic that the Glazers' had to convince Rooney of their will to back the manager?

Ferguson and Gill have repeatedly told the fans' that there is money to spend on new players. However, Ferguson's word was clearly not enough for the player and so despite the fact his manager had done his best to turn the situation around and despite Rooney labelling his boss as a genius - there still appears to be a lack of trust.

It remains be to seen what happens in January and next summer when the transfer window opens, but for now two things look almost certain: the fans have a new hero in Javier Hernandez and secondly that Rooney has to rebuild his broken relationship with the supporters.

As for Hernandez, with the very real danger of appearing to burden the player with a comparison to a United legend, the signs look as though Ferguson and his scouts may well have unearthed the most natural goal-scorer since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Hernandez scored the only goal of the game against Valencia in the Champions League recently, he scored against West Brom at Old Trafford, he followed that up with a brace against Stoke City at the weekend; the young Mexican's striker headed goal against the Potters was amazing, Chicharito twisted and arched his neck as he directed the ball off his head into the rigging, it was a goal of the very highest quality - Chicharitos acrobatic leap was reminiscent of one those performing Sea Lions at feeding time - marvelous stuff.

In last night's Carling Cup tie against Wolves at Old Trafford the Mexican came off the bench to score the winner with another superbly crafted goal as United came out on top in a second-half five goal thriller.

The way things are looking, Rooney might well struggle to regain his starting place in the United first team due to the emerging talent that is Hernandez. However, Rooney and Hernandez are very different strikers: Rooney may well, in time, be preferred in a 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation, because Chicharito is best suited to playing with a strike partner, whereas Rooney can lead the line on his own.

Hernandez is an excellent striker in around the penalty box, so much so that he could well become the new king of Old Trafford following Rooney's fall from favour with the fans'; once again this demonstrates how strange football can be at times, because prior to recent events, no one could have predicted how quickly a star like Rooney could fall and to such depths. The King is dead. Long live the New King.

James Ryddel and other top United bloggers have their say on big Rooney debate


  1. with chico's form, Rooney will have to play in the left wing

  2. I still haven't forgiven Wazza and probably never will, but that still doesn't change the fact that he is our most talented player by a country mile. I like the look of Chicharito- he is a fantastic finisher and could turn out to be the next van Nistelrooy but he still is no Rooney.

    The King is alive and well. He just happens to be a money grabbing whore.

  3. Dela,

    I don't know why but I don't see Rooney recovering from this sorry episode. Time will tell who is right.

  4. James

    You judge too soon!! I hope we have two kings by the end of the season!

  5. we are a fickle lot, are we not?

    But, for Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United Javier Hernandez is the answer to a prayer.

    Personally, I cannot see Rooney and Chico playing together. Rooney is a demanding player. Once he ran for everything. Now if it is not at his feet he lets his team 'mates' know how disgusted he is. Just replay the last few games he played and watch his demeanour.

    Similarily, Berbatov has become a moaner.

    Hernandez is a breath of fresh air. He reminds me of a young Michael Owen actually! Willing to run and defend. Can tackle and take tackles without the acting so many foreign players have brought to our game.

    I agree with you, Mr ryddel, Rooney
    will have to adapt, now, to changing circumstances. I think the crowd will be for Chico and much less for Rooney.

    I cannot see how SAF can leave Chico out now after the last two matches. If he keeps scoring then, perhaps, Rooney, may have to wait on the bench!

    That would be justice!

    Perhaps Rooney could be a midfield general? we certainly need that.

  6. Strap,

    Rooney could be a midfield general - but I have a feeling Fergie will offload him very soon - if isn't this January it will happen next summer.

    I also agree with about Berbatov, he seems to be moaning a fair bit at present.

    As for Hernandez, he reminds me of a few players: Kevin Phillips and Gary Lineker to name but too.


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