Man U

Why did Manchester United bench Rooney?


Despite some calamitous defending, static midfielding and ridiculous ricochets on Saturday teatime you still can’t help but feel that the result would have been different had Wayne Rooney been on the park from the beginning.

Since the arrival of Robin van Persie some seem to have forgotten who Manchester United’s best player is. The Dutchman is a top finisher but Rooney will be, for some time to come, easily Manchester United’s most important element. Simply put, he makes United tick. The contrast between the first and second halves at Old Trafford on Saturday couldn’t have been more stark.

United were badly winded by the fortuitous early goal that Spurs scored and took the entire first half to recover. By the time United’s talisman arrived on the pitch, the game was all but lost.

Which makes it even more confusing that Wazza didn’t start such a big game. He played brilliantly against Newcastle on Wednesday and looked fitter than a fiddle. Quite why a fiddle is fit I don’t know, but I’ll run with it.

Manchester United miss Wayne Rooney like Barcelona miss Messi. It’s really hard to understand why Fergie felt it wise to leave Wayne on the bench when he clearly needs minutes for match fitness. Furthermore, after a lack lustre start to their league campaign, Manchester United need Wayne’s creativity and dynamism more than ever.

The second half on Saturday was probably United’s best 45 so far this season – so positives can be taken from the game. The Red Devils remain on the same number of points as their main rivals Manchester City. But United need to kick on now and give the RVP-Rooney axis game time to gel.

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