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Rooney's future at Old Trafford

Arjun Anil
2.21K   //    23 May 2014, 11:26 IST
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney

A lot is being said about how the impending arrival of Louis Van Gaal could see Wayne Rooney take a lesser role or may even cause Rooney to leave the theatre of dreams to pursue his future somewhere else.These theories being put forward by football pundits and journalists may not exactly be the mindset of either Rooney or Van Gaal.The reasons?

Best of the worst.

First and foremost is that,even though manchester united have had an absolutely disastrous season Rooney has been the best performer this season for United apart from De Gea at goal.Yes,he may not have set the Premier League alight by scoring 30 odd goals like Suarez has done this season. However, Rooney does have 17 goals and 10 assists to his name in only 29 games in a season hampered by his injuries.These stats indicate that he has been leagues apart from any of his Old Trafford teamates apart from Robin Van Persie who has scored 12 goals in 21 games this season.

It is true that Rooney’s stats do not justify his estimated weekly salary of 300,000 euros a week,but he is still by far the most influential player in the team when it comes to their style of play.Manchester United seem to have a much better idea of how to play their football when Wayne Rooney is in the team,indicated by the difference in their style of play between the first two games under Ryan Giggs.In his first match in-charge,United romped to 4-0 victory with a man of the match performance from Wayne Rooney.In immediately the next match with Rooney ruled out due to an injury,United were held to a goalless draw with the team playing without any real penetration or desire.The commentator aptly summed it up “ Manchester United miss Wayne Rooney more than they miss Robin Van Persie”.

Rooney and Van-Persie work well in tandem

Yes,Van Gaal may prefer Van Persie as his main man upfornt and yes Van Gaal may even prefer Robin Van Persie to be the captain of his Manchester United team,but that simply does not signify the end of Rooney at OldTrafford.Van Gaal is clever enough to know that relying on only an injury-prone Van Persie to carry you through the season is a recipe for disaster. Van Gaal will also know that Van Persie flourishes more when Rooney plays behind him rather than anybody else. This creates another conflict,with even Mata looking to play the same role.This is where we will find out whether Van Gaal decides to do away with the customary 4-4-2 system of the Fergie era and establish a 4-3-2-1 system where both Mata and Rooney can play behind the Dutch striker.A lot of that will depend upon Rooney’s form at Brazil where he will be directly under the spotlight.

Rooney staying would be in the best interests of both parties.

It would be a folly if Van Gaal indeed decides to do away with Rooney,because there are not many players with the quality of Wayne Rooney who can not only be as influential and hard-working for the team,but aso be selfless and put the team’s goal interests ahead of his.It would also not be the most popular first decision as manager of the club given the staunch support the Old Trafford show for their talisman.

It would also be in Rooney’s best interests to stay at a club of which he has become n essential part.If Rooney does decide to leave,there is no doubt that there will be a host of clubs looking for his signature.However at 28 years of age,shifting to different club and aclimatizing to the new surroundings might not be his best course of action,given that a few more years can see him reach the legendary status of the likes of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes at the club.Whatever be the decision of both parties,come the 18th of august both Rooney and Van Gaal will look to enhance their already heightened reputations and restore Manchester United to the top of their perch.

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Arjun Anil
Chemical Engineering student at BMS College of Engineering , Bangalore.
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