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RoM Season Review: The attack

Shinji Kagawa
He is set to become a major player for United. He needed time to settle, and was held back by an injury, but that sublime hat-trick against Norwich and that body swerve against West Ham to set up Antonio Valencia gave us a glimpse of what is to come next season.

Robin van Persie
A world-class player at his absolute peak. I haven’t been as excited by a United signing since Juan Sebastian Veron 11 years earlier, but of course this time we weren’t disappointed. He brought class and a near constant supply of goals, including the winner against City at the Etihad and that volley against Aston Villa.

Wayne Rooney
On the pitch Rooney’s ‘slump’ has not been as pronounced as some suggest, because 16 goals and 13 assists is a real contribution to a title-winning season. But Ferguson rightly noticed a dip and kept hauling him off. How has Rooney responded? He asked to leave yet again. If you do that twice in two and a half years many fans think there should be no coming back that.

Javier Hernandez
He’s had another impressive season when he’s played, and 17 goals from 21 starts is an incredible return. But you get the impression he won’t be content to be the new Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and simply settle for the odd start and a role coming off the bench. He’s too good for that and United could struggle to satisfy him.

Danny Welbeck
It’s hard to know how to judge Welbeck. As a striker this season has been appalling, he’s appeared in 27 Premier League games and scored once. And yet his increasing pace, strength and quick feet suggest he could yet develop in to great player, who as he proved against Real Madrid, can also do a disciplined job for the team.

Sam writes for FourFourTwo and is responsible for the excellent Best XI Manchester United book



  1. dazbomber says:

    Sparkz- They were asked to pay back any money they owed to other football culbs that which they have done so the ban has been lifted .

  2. parryheid says:

    Wellbeck,our striker who doesn’t strike,will never get the centre forward role imo.I am a fan of our Danny and am convinced he could be put to better use elsewhere,namely turned into a Fletcher mark 2 as I suggested before.But oh wait he’s a striker isn’t he.

  3. Rukky says:

    Best attack

  4. FusilliJerry says:

    1. I don’t believe for one moment that Rooney submitted a transfer request.
    2. I do believe that Rooney asked for assurances about his place in Ferguson’s thinking, and that Ferguson has very deliberately put this construction on it publicly so that the fans would turn against the player.
    3. I don’t believe that Rooney should be sold to make way for other players because I don’t believe United would be a better team without him.
    4. I don’t believe that RVP should play every minute of every match regardless of whether he’s on form or not.
    5. I don’t believe that Welbeck is a goalscorer.
    6. I don’t believe that Hernandez should get virtually no pitch time whatsoever when he demonstrates time after time that he is a goalscorer.

    Rotate the Rooney & Hernandez pairing with the RVP and Kagawa pairing (and permutations thereof). Lose Welbeck. Buy 4 dedicated central midfielders to replace Anderson, Scholes, Rooney and Giggs, because the former must be sold and the latter 2 should not be played in central midfield.

    But not Fellaini. Please god, not Fellaini.

  5. mig78 says:

    fusilijerry, it’s allrite if u believe that we still need rooney. it’s allrite if u thought fergie lied about rooney handing transfer request (deluded though). but stop berating
    other united players partcularly welbeck.

  6. mig78 says:

    thiago will be a nice addition but he’ll be similar like kagawa in his fav. position.

  7. kanchelskis says:


    I think you’re being naive. He’s done it before. What is there to suggest he hasn’t done it again?

    Even ‘asking for assurances about his place in Ferguson’s thinking’ is fucking unacceptable. If you’re not getting in the team, knuckle down and earn your place in the team. Simple as that. The number of times he started this season when Hernandez or Kagawa were more deserving of a spot, shows he has no justifiable grievance anyway.

    ‘Asking for assurances’ my arse.

  8. Random says:

    @ FusiliJerry

    Great username! And a good post too. I like the idea of the combinations of Rooney-Hernandez and RVP-Kagawa. I really believe (from some glimpses in year before last) that Hernandez-Rooney could have been a stunning forward line, assuming that Rooney is into it. I think Hernandez, if played over the year, can score 30+ goals easily.

    I think the place where it really matters is that RVP is a big, big player, who ishungry and motivated all the time, unlike Rooney who can be in a fuzz sometimes. Thats why RVP got special treatment, and I believe should continue to get. It is nice to drop people when they are not scoring, but sometimes you have to make concessions for people like RVP, RVN, (even for Rooney it was like that for 6-7 years). Although, have to feel for Hernandez though.

    Welbeck is a local lad and so on, but he suffers from the same SAF decisions to not fix people into a particular position and let them have a proper shot at it.

    Still, I think Hernandez and Rooney would have been a dream partnership.

  9. Sparkz says:

    I love Hernandez but just being a goalscorer isn’t enough these days. You’ve gotta move with the times.

    To give him credit though, his all round game is much improved over the last year.

  10. enzophonics says:

    Thiago is not a no.10 though with his creativity he can easily fit into that role. He is a more defensively minded player who can sit deep, pass and score goes.

    Plus he is a brazilian born spaniard with the right education at Barcelona. His younger brother is another great prospect.

    His signing would tick a lot of the boxes we need for midfield and age-wise fantastic.

    I think him being spanish/portugese speaking would sit well with our long term plans to keep players like De Gea and Rafa in the side as well, just hope Barca do not put in a buy-out clause a al Fabregas and then its a matter of further developing a player for them till xavi retires.

    On the striking partnerships, Moyes used Cahill very well at Everton and this is something Kagawa who is a better player will really benefit from.

    Interesting will be how the young lads such as Larnell Cole, Januzj(sp), Lingard, Vermijl, Powell and Tunicliffe will be fused into the team – most of them look a season away and some ready to step up.

    Others seem to have gone a bit quiet – Petrucci for one, John Cofie as well. Macheda looks on his way out and Bebe (verdict?).

  11. ziggy says:

    Sparkz says:

    “I love Hernandez but just being a goalscorer isn’t enough these days. You’ve gotta move with the times”..

    Seriously?,Javier is the only player in the Premier League (with at least 25% of the total playing time this season) to score a goal every less than 100 minutes, doing it every 95 minutes to be exact.

    No wonder Juventus and Ateltico de Madrid (and Arsenal) are looking for him,if you don’t think that the kid is good enough to start every game,then let’s sell him.

  12. RedLion says:

    Wellbeck 1 goal.. ONE goal!! and still, you will see people defending him.. Kagawa who like Wellbeck, was played out of position but still managed to score goals! Like another person said on here: “i don’t care how much legwork welbeck does, at the end of the day, he’s a striker… and 1 goal in 27 appearances (and loots of minutes per appearance) for a club of United’s stature is just not enough”

  13. chichagiggs says:

    so it seems “just scoring goals” is not enough for a striker these days, as in the case of Hernandez… but running around and pressing, and not scoring at all is absolutely fantastic, as in the case of Welbeck…. seems people misunderstand what “Strikers” are in the team to do….

    Welbeck has underperformed even when he’s been played as a striker, and was moved back as a result of that…. as i said before, get a strong midfielder who can do the box to box stuff and press other players, so that the strikers can focus on scoring instead of all these distractions…

    Why are RVP, Falcao and Lewandowski among the best strikers in the world? is it because of their work rate, pressing or the fact that they will put the ball in the back of the net with their arse if they have to? that’s what being a striker is all about.

    i’m not dissing Welbeck, just stating the obvious. That he’s just not been good enough this year. It seems quite strange to me that constantly underperforming players like Anderson and Welbeck are constantly given time, and defended, and more technically brilliant players, who are just going through a slump (Nani, Cleverley) are pushed to the side and forgotten

  14. ziggy says:


    Spot on.

    I agree with you,I understand there are emotions involved in the case of Danny being of Manchester, but honestly sometimes,those who defend him,have the tendency of being unfair to the performance of other players who have had fewer opportunities and have served the purpose of the team.

    I like Wellbeck,I’m pretty sure he is a great lad but let’s be honest,games are won with goals and Kagawa and Hernandez have shown consistency scoring goals no matter in what position they play.

  15. Sparkz says:

    When did I say it was all about work rate? If you think that’s all Welbeck does then you’re mistaken.

    When i said you need to be “more than a goalscorer” – I’m talking about LINK UP PLAY. The ability to hold onto the ball. Bring others into play. Link up with team mates. Maybe run at people with the ball.

    As brilliant as Hernandez is at putting the ball in the net, he’s not brilliant at any of those things I mentioned above

    “chichagiggs says: Why are RVP, Falcao and Lewandowski among the best strikers in the world? is it because of their work rate, pressing or the fact that they will put the ball in the back of the net with their arse if they have to?”

    Nope, they are more than just goalscorers. Any of those guys could play up front on their own. Any of them could create a chance for THEMSELVES, rather than relying on service from others.

    There’s a reason why Ruud was shipped out, and ended up playing for Hamburg when he was still only 31. There’s a reason why Darren bent has never been picked up by a big club. You need more to your game than just being a poacher.

  16. chichagiggs says:

    personally, i feel Hernandez is better than Welbeck in most of the aspects you mentioned. Look at his games recently. His movement off the ball, his touch, his knack of being in the right place at the right time, his desire to chase down lost causes (his first setup for Kagawa against WBA)… Hernandez is so much more that just a poacher.

    While Welbeck is much more of a bully, a physical threat and a great option from set pieces, Hernandez is the better all-round striker.

    Just to clear the air here, i’m not saying Welbeck is a bad player. I’m just stating that he’s had a below par season, after having an absolute dream of a season last year.

    as for being played out of position, Kagawa (as someone mentioned earlier) has been played all over the park and has some amazing goals to his name. personally, if Rafael and Buttner can score some pretty great goals from the Full Back position, i’d say Welbeck can handle being played at Left Wing.

    at the end of the day, i’d rather have a striker who can score, than someone who works hard. Berbagod is the best example i can give in this situation.

    ofcourse, that is my opinion. you’re entitled to yours, as i am to mine

  17. Sparkz says:

    Lol I like Chicharito but to say he’s a better all round striker than Welbeck is laughable IMO. His touch, ability on the ball, ability to take people on is average at best and definitely the worst of all our strikers. He’s the best finisher, and his off the ball movement is the best of all our forwards as well. But the all round game – definitely not

    But tbh I don’t think Welbeck vs hernandez should ever have been a debate – because they haven’t been competing for the same position. Hernandez has been competing with RVP, Rooney and Kagawa. So you wanna compare players it should be them.

  18. ziggy says:

    Sparkz says:
    When did I say it was all about work rate? If you think that’s all Welbeck does then you’re mistaken.

    “When i said you need to be “more than a goalscorer” – I’m talking about LINK UP PLAY.”

    The “goalscorers” job is to SCORE GOALS,and that myth that Hernandez doesn’t have a good link up play is just bollocks,as a matter of fact,Hernandez has a very good ratio assisting to other players.

    And once again,if Javier wasn’t “more than a goalscorer”,why other teams are looking for him instead to look for Wellbeck?

    I’m sorry lad,but at the end of the day I think we are lucky to have a “simple goalscorer” like Hernandez.

  19. Sparkz says:

    @Ziggy – I agree we are very lucky to have him. Nobody wants him to leave, he’s a crucial member of the squad. But the fact is, to be a regular starter you need more in your locker nowadays.

    “The “goalscorers” job is to SCORE GOALS,” – you’re right.
    But the STRIKER has to be more than a goalscorer. The striker has to be a goalscorer as well as somebody who can do things with the ball. Someone who can link with the others. Someone who you can give the ball to when under pressure.

    Which is why RVP and Rooney have been favoured ahead of him.

  20. ziggy says:


    Obviously RVP and Rooney are ahead of Hernandez but if Wayne is on his way out,Hernandez deserves more games,otherwise I don’t think he will stay,he is not Ole Gunnar,he is the main striker in his national team,he has the best goal ratio in the whole Premier and if Moyes doesn’t give him more chances I will understand if he leaves United.

  21. Sparkz says:

    He’ll get more games when Wayne goes, no question at all. But the whole point I was making was that there’s a reason he’s not a regular week in week out starter, because just being a goalscorer isn’t enough.

  22. ziggy says:


  23. Jay says:

    Moyes will give Hernandez more game time it’s Welbeck who may suffer, don’t forget we have Zaha who can do what Welbeck does and score. It’s that bloody midfield and the Rooney issue that needs sorting.


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