The week started with the temperament and temper of Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney being questioned. As expected the snarling, steam coming from the ears Rooney was absent when the big game arrived. Perhaps a bigger question for Fabio Capello to answer is how to utilise Rooney?
Rooney played okay, nothing more nothing less. The performance however was not the Rooney we all witnessed during the 2009/10 season. A Rooney which swa his name mentioned in the same breath amongst the top players in the world.
As expected Heskey lined up alongside Rooney and to be fair he proved me wrong by being one of England’s better players. His link up play was impressive and provided the assist for Steven Gerrard’s goal. Perhaps justifiable some will point to the opportunity Heskey missed; personally I’m less critical as all strikers miss chances. There is no guarantee another player would have scored, although there would be greater confidence if Rooney had a similar opportunity.
Rooney played the majority of match in a deep central position and occasionally drifted onto the left wing. Rooney has always had the tendency of drifting to left when he plays as the deeper striker. This is a reason (not the sole reason, also to accommodate Ronaldo) why Sir Alex Ferguson has previously selected him as a left winger. Last season Rooney was at his best when he played closer to the opposition’s penalty area. When Fergie decided to use a 4-4-2 formation, Berbatov played the deeper role allowing Rooney to lead the forward line.
Rooney has to lead the line in a 4-3-3/4-5-1 formation. Unfortunately for Heskey he misses out, which is perhaps harsh considering his performance against the USA. The England manager is however a stickler for the 4-4-2 formation so is a change likely during a World Cup? Perhaps not. If Capello continues with the 4-4-2 formation Rooney has to play the furthest forward with Gerrard as the deep lying striker.
Where do you think the Man United star should line up?