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Rooney Finally Finds New Club, Januzaj May Need One

Article by Carl Bishop

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After observing a serious decline in form for one of England's more gifted attackers spanning the last three years, Wayne Rooney's wish for an enthusiastic fresh start via a transfer request or two has finally been granted. Welcome Wayne, to the new Manchester United.

Gone are the days of playing the unenviable position of 'second fiddle'. No more left midfield responsibilities combining that awful tracking back with views of opponents goal seen mainly on MOTD. No, this is the perfect stage for Roo to ultimately catch up to his previously out of range potential with just one small proviso – play smart. It wasn't so long ago Wayne Rooney was odds-on to be playing at a Bridge Not Far, especially after David Moyes took over and an old love/hate relationship rekindled but without much love. Rooney was not enjoying his football and hadn't been for some time as Sir Alex favoured Robin Van Persie and set up his team favouring the gifted Dutchman.

Funny how things can change. Wayne is now enjoying himself again and playing in a system designed to allow him to do so, happy days.

Louis Van Gaal's new system as well as a new philosophy at Old Trafford means not just Rooney is being given a fair crack of the whip, although any who prove sub-standard shall simply receive the whip. All of United's players are in the same situation and you won't find particularly good odds on the likes of Nani and Anderson hanging around as a handful of the current squad will find the change in scheme AND responsibility beyond them.

Van Gaal has overseen two pre-season games and engineered 10 goals whilst conceding two (one very harsh penalty and the other a catastrophic lack of concentration coupled with a wonderful 65 yard strike). But King Louis is not happy. United fans are incredibly happy that the boss is not. We know what happens when LVG is not best pleased about something and that is exactly why the players too are starting to believe.

Van Gaal will eliminate whatever displeases him and even though United have thoroughly deserved their two pre-season wins in the USA it is clear Tom Cleverley needs to consider his options. It is also clear that LVG has taken just a few training sessions to reach the conclusion that eluded David Moyes for a whole season – Mata is a true number 10. Kagawa, Mata (and now Herrera) are his best passers. Rooney is not a centre forward, but is best deployed as a 'roamer', pardon the pun. Joining Cleverley on the 'what next bus' is Nani, Young, Hernandez, Fellaini and Fletcher especially as at least one more new central midfield arrival is imminent and Tom, Dazza and Marouane in particular have every right to be a tad jittery every time Vidal, Strootman, De Jong etc are mentioned.

LVG's new United cannot play three at the back until a signing is made to lead the unit. However, it seems inevitable this player will be lining up in red come August 16. Hummels? No chance. Vermaelen or De Vrij? Maybe, but Smalling and Jones are in pole position to play alongside whoever he turns out to be. Luke Shaw will start on the left but Rafael has a real battle on his hands with Antonio Valencia (and a possible new arrival) for right wing back. Herrera and ???? in central midfield, fill in the blank from any one of Vidal, Strootman, Carvalho, De Jong, Clasie, McCarthy or even Barkley. With Rooney and RVP/Welbeck as the front two and Mata/Kagawa at 10, there is an extremely gifted odd man out. Step forward one Adnan Januzaj. Out of all the transfer rumours and excitement surrounding the Van Gaal revolution Adnan is a real conundrum and even though the boss included the Belgian youngster in his unbalanced list of number 10's, this is clearly a side story that warrants debate. If United play 4-3-3 Januzaj has a shot and Van Gaal could well switch formations as the season progresses, maybe even in-game, however with the personnel changes likely to happen over the next six months Januzaj not only needs to prove himself, but will need to be incredibly patient during what should have been a breakout follow up season for the mercurial wideboy.

As is often the case in professional sports, one man's up is another man's down and while Wayne Rooney has been given a final chance for true glory in the historic red of Manchester, Adnan Januzaj could be feeling the equal and opposite force even before he gets his opportunity to shine. It's a scary thought, but even with Fellaini, Anderson, Fletcher, Nani, Young and Hernandez on the roster, the young Belgian could become United's first real personnel casualty. And Tom Cleverley thinks he has problems.

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1 comment:

  1. There has been no serious decline in form for Rooney.


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