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Wayne, You´re A Striker Now Remember

Against Birmingham on Sunday, I wasn´t the only person going “eh, I thought he was playing down the middle these days” as Rooney drifted to the left and came back deep to collect the ball.

Mike Phelan says Rooney has been reminded of his duties this season.

“He wants to be everywhere all the time,” Phelan said. “But we have 10 other good players on the field and sometimes he has to realise the place where he does his best work is the best place to be. Wayne sometimes drifts around and there were instances of that against Birmingham. His overall performance was good but he needs to remember when we create chances he scores goals.”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. stretfordendole says:

    to be fair to him, he’s be asked to play all over the front line in the last few seasons to cover for Ronnie, so it must take a bit of an adjustment to stay in the middle. For the most part yesterday Wayne did well and was very disaplined in staying in the centre, I doubt he would have scored the type of goal he scored yesterday, last year. Keep up the good work Wayne.

  2. Saad says:

    Free spirit isnt he… Let him be in his trequartista position behind berba and he should get us 25

  3. Red Dave says:

    a few games under his belt, a couple of screamers and well have a goal scoring machine in el blanco
    more than he is already

  4. wazza (Bezi) says:

    i think Berba has to be leading the line and Wazza playing off him. Wayne likes to get involved in the game. i remember last year away to pompey, Wazza was playing as the lone striker and leading the line well. even Berba needs to be reminded of his positioning.

  5. Trevor says:

    Rooney did come too deap at times, i can remember him at one point picking the ball up just infront of our Back four!

    Nothing wrong with a reminder for him to play more in a central forward role!

    Although i do like it when rooney comes deap and gets involved i dont think he needs to do so!

    Id like to see him a little more lazy in that department but come alive in their half… Making runs into the channels..

    Making himself available for the through ball..

    I did think on sunday hm and berbatov did well hounding the defenders. For me berbatov looked fitter!

  6. Trevor says:


    Last year berbatov was played very deap so deap even fergie admited he was wrong and aploogised to him!

    I was pleased with Berbatov yesterday he always was open for the ball and sheilded it from defenders well. I think this season is going to be a big one from him.

    My ideal situation would be winning our next game 3 – 0. with Berbatov Owen and ROoney all scoring!

    Then we will be well on track for fergies hopes of 20 goals each from 3 players!!

  7. Corea says:

    Wazza looked really sharp and motivated yesterday. It was really nice to see. He is hungry to play the game. What a player!

  8. ChaosRed says:

    wazza bebatov plays where ferguson wants him to play,

  9. ChaosRed says:

    There is a problem when roony does not get involved,(and his personality makes things worse) he wants to be involved let him, i rather him being involved scoring goal rather than lashing out and getting a red card

  10. misterq says:

    Wayne needs discipline. I am sure SAF didn’t instruct him to drop deep and start the attacks. He had the exact same problem in the beginning of last season.
    On a different note, him and Berba switched places leading the line quite a few times. They looked good together then.
    To me, there should be no just one man only up top, like with Owen. Both Berba and Rooney can switch all the time. They create chance for each other, which Owen never does for another striker. Him on the pitch, means less chances for Rooney, but Rooney is the better finisher. Owen seems to be missing an awful lot lately. On the other hand, Berbatov and Rooney “feed” each other with chances well and all the time

  11. jamos9 says:

    Vida’s having a dream similar to Ronnies he’ll be gone come next Summer….oh dear, hopefully we’ll replace him better than we have CR7/9

  12. United4eva says:

    I am I the only one who thought Wayne looked much more comfortable when Owen came on and he could just let Owen goal hang and then move across the pitch as he liked? When Berbatov is on the field they both tend to drift around and go hunting for the ball. It happened against Chelsea, it happened against Birmingham. Wazza just seems far more comfortable having a free role and being able to turn up where he wants to and Owen goal hanging means he can go walkabout and always have someone to play off whereas Berba’s greater creativity makes that harder for him.

  13. twinnyd says:

    @ United4eva

    Spot on mate.i noticed it as well.

  14. Jimmy Bob says:

    Rooney scored one, narrowly missed another and forced a top class save from the goal keeper.

    He also set up owen with a golden chance, a great display from a man who is now the best player in the premier lge.

    Berbatov has all the skills but lacks pace and work rate.

    He ,alongside our midfield is the worry.

    Come on Fergie buy a left winger and a top class central midfielder.

    Scholes is past and nani doesn’t have it

  15. jimmy bob says:

    And for tomorrows game
    owen and rooney up top
    anderson fletcher centre midfield
    park wide left and valencia wide right.

    Bit of pace and some legs in the team, play at a quick tempo and blow burnley away

  16. denton davey says:

    Jimmy bob – I’d like to see that team in action, especially the Anderson/Fletcherinho midfield. However, don’t be surprised if SAF surprises everyone and starts KikoTheKid.

  17. Buliwyf says:

    he started dropping deep as soon as nothing came from the midfield!


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