Man United 0 Newcastle 0: Three talking points as Wayne Rooney disappoints
Three talking points as Manchester United draw 0-0 with Newcastle United at Old Trafford
Will Rooney get back to his best?
Wayne Rooney has without doubt been one of the stand out performers in the Premier League in the last decade. With the gift of being able to play in a number of positions, Manchester United fans have seen Rooney deployed as a striker, left winger, central midfielder, and more recently as a defensive midfielder under Louis Van Gaal. Rooney’s pedigree and class cannot be questioned, and his Premier League experience and incredible work rate has been vital to United over the years. However, some would argue that Wayne Rooney’s versatility has been a detriment to the Englishman, as he has not cemented any role in the Manchester United team as his and his only. Last year, due to a lack of options at central midfield, Louis Van Gaal often deployed Rooney in the middle of the park. Rooney always did the job to a good standard but United fans were constantly stating this his best position was as a centre forward. With the signings of Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger this summer, Van Gaal has added new blood to the centre of his midfield, giving him the chance to play Rooney as a centre forward. However, four games into United’s season and Rooney still has not found the back of the net, much to United fans’ disappointment. A number of fans have called for their club captain to be dropped in favour of Mexican striker Javier Hernandez, who spent last season on loan with Real Madrid. Questions have also been asked about whether Rooney is over the hill and not up to the pace anymore. Rooney is closing down on Bobby Charlton’s record as the all time top goalscorer for Manchester United. Louis Van Gaal will be hoping that his captain can re-discover his deadly form in front of goal to achieve that incredible landmark.
Man United need pace in attack
United fans have been treated to some of the Premier League’s brightest and exciting talents down the years. The likes of Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo and have lit up Old Trafford with scintillating runs down the flanks to get the fans on their feet. After a disappointing draw today at home to Newcastle, it was clear that United did lack pace in attack. The attacks looked slow and sluggish, and Newcastle’s centre back pairing of Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini read the situation well to deal with all of United’s attacks. United’s full-backs, Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian both offer pace and creativity as they make runs down the wing, however there does not seem to be pace in the middle of the park to match them. As good a players as Juan Mata, Michael Carrick, Morgan Schneiderlin, Adnan Januzaj and Wayne Rooney are, one characteristic they all lack is pace. United’s attacks became very predictable and they did not appear to rectify the situation with the substitutions of Javier Hernandez and Antonio Valencia to bolster the attack. With United fans crying out for another centre forward to be signed, perhaps the main attribute that Van Gaal will be searching for is pace as he scans the transfer market for another striker. Old Trafford grew frustrated at the slow attacks as the game entered it’s final moments, with groans from the crowd from the lack of urgency from their heroes on the pitch.
McClaren the right man for the Magpies?
After an incredibly frustrating season for Newcastle last year, where it all began with visible and passionate protests for the then manager Alan Pardew to be sacked, the season did not end much better for the Magpies either. Pardew’s luck took a drastic turn where he was six consecutive games, and as soon as he began winning over the Newcastle faithful once more, he left the Magpies to become the new Crystal Palace manager on January 2nd. Local man and long life Newcastle fan John Carver took the reigns from Pardew and stepped in as caretaker manager for the remainder of the season when things went from bad to worse for Newcastle. Carver guided Newcastle to a 15th place finish, only 4 points better off than relegated Hull City. Another season concluded where Newcastle narrowly avoided relegation and fans were left disgruntled and bored with the same old story. The loyal fans of a club with history like Newcastle United deserve far better. On 9 June, Carver had his Newcastle United contract terminated when the club announced that former England manager Steve McClaren would be taking over as head coach for the 2015/16 season. Despite an unsuccessful spell with the English national team and failing to guide Derby County to promotion to the Premier League last season, Steve Mclaren does boast an impressive football CV. He formed part of the coaching team at Manchester United that won the famous treble in 1999 and won the Dutch Eredivise with FC Twente for the first time in the club’s history. With Newcastle Football Club in need of some new life and something of a facelift, McClaren could be the man to bring the club back to an established Premier League outfit. After managing to take a well deserved point off Manchester United at Old Trafford today, the early signs suggest that the Tyneside club is in good hands, for now.