With Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Anderson already ruled out for the start of the season, the last thing we wanted to hear is that Wayne Rooney could be missing as well.
Sir Alex Ferguson informed Sky Sports News earlier today that following days without training after picking up a virus, Rooney might not be available for the opening game against Newcastle.
“I’m starting to worry about whether we are going to have a team ready for the start of the season, because Nani is suspended, Anderson is at the Olympics and I doubt if we will get Rooney fit after the virus he has had,” Ferguson said. “He picked it up in Nigeria and it’s not a nice one. It’s 12 days to the season starts and he’s not been able to train. It’s a virus that we believe he picked up in Nigeria. It’s not a nice one. Carrick also had it, but he came in today (Tuesday) and hopefully he’ll play some part against Portsmouth on Sunday.”
United doctors are currently caring for Rooney at the United training ground. “We have a laboratory here so we have all the facilities to do these things now,” added Fergie. “The players all had malaria tablets before they went to Africa so it’s nothing to do with that.”
With so many first teamers ruled out for the start of the season, we are left with selection issues, particularly considering they are all of an attacking nature. So do we rely on experience or do we give youth their chance to shine?
There are a variety of options for formation that we are then left with. We could go 4-3-3, with the usual back 5, a midfield of Scholes, Carrick and Hargreaves, then Giggs, Tevez and Park up front. Or we could rely on 4-4-2, picking a midfield of four from Giggs, Park, Carrick, Hargreaves and Scholes (Fletcher and O’Shea), then entrust Frazier Campbell to play with Carlos Tevez.
As we have seen already in the pre-season, Tevez has thrived with an out-and-out striker playing in front of him, so whilst Campbell is still getting to grips with Premiership action, Carlos will be playing in a favoured position and giving Campbell all the support he needs. This will also mean we are playing the favoured 4-4-2 formation.
However, a more secure option is to choose 4-3-3, cramming in more experienced players to help ensure victory. Whilst probably less dynamic in an attacking sense, those players should be well equipped to secure the points.
Hopefully, a home game against Newcastle shouldn’t be of too more concern to us, considering the past two results we’ve had against them, however, we probably could have said the same of Reading at the start of last season!
It is important to remember that United have extremely difficult away match to play in the first half of the season, where we are likely to drop points, so it is essential we pick up all the points possible at home.
Which formation and players do you think we should play against Newcastle?