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Manchester United: This is The New Paul Scholes

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Manchester United fans will tell you that Paul Scholes actually started his career as a striker. And a very good one at that. His debut season in 1994-95 brought 7 goals in 25 games and the following season he banged in 14. Scholes was a venomous striker of the ball and one of those players who always seemed to know where the goal was.

He moved back into the midfield at a fairly young age for Manchester United. Roy Keane was injured in 1997-8 and a 23 year old Scholes started his reincarnation as a midfielder.

It’s been said on many occasions that Wayne Rooney has a similar skill set to The Ginger Prince. He’s got a wonderful football brain, a great shot on him, the warrior instinct and a lovely range of passing.

And with Manchester United’s squad now so top-heavy we may well start to see Rooney moving back toward the midfield. Sure, he wants to play as a striker. And there have been rumours about his short passing game not being up to scratch if he wants to be a top midfielder. But neither of those ideas really float.

He’s easily a good enough passer, long and short, to be a top creative midfielder. And he seems to have lost that explosive pace that gave him such an advantage as a striker in his earlier career. So he may be better deployed as a creator.

In terms of his desire to play up top, his greatest goal has always been to win trophies. If playing deeper makes this team successful again then you can be sure he will be enthusiastic about it.

The only apparent weakness in his game, when he has played in the middle for United, is that he can get caught in possession. But that’s just a lack of familiarity with the role. Better use of peripheral vision and awareness of what’s around you can be coached.

If Manchester United are to somehow shoehorn Mata, Di Maria, RvP and Falcao into the team then perhaps it’s time for Wazza to retreat into a midfield role. He’d be a marvellous addition to it. And he’s played so much football – pretty much non stop at the top level since he was 16 – that his career may well benefit from, and be extended by, a role in the hub of the team, creating for others, playing beautiful through balls and keeping things ticking along at pace.

The same argument applies to Rooney at international level and we can easily imagine him becoming a midfielder for both club and country.

Manchester United fans: can you see Wazza in midfield in the latter stages of his career?

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. TOOCEE OGBU

    Sep 9, 2014 at 3:49 am

    What matters is getting the result

  2. Buhal

    Sep 9, 2014 at 6:50 am

    He himself already stated that in his later stages he will be ending in midfield but for now i wish he continue in the NO 10 role.

  3. Krzys P.

    Sep 9, 2014 at 7:47 am

    It seems like such an obvious and overdue development to me. Rooney will never be able to match the scoring consistency of Falcao and/or Persie on top form and like this article dicusses, his skills make him a perfect choice for that Central Midfield position. He has capability, strength and vision to be the Vidal or Strootman that we need. And now with the Captains armband the onus is even more on him to make that switch willingly and soon.

  4. mike cap

    Sep 9, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Very well said. With the current roster he can definitely be a huge help! Not only does it free up the top but he fills the void in midfield we need to fill SK badly. He can play anywhere on the pitch and the kid is as world class as they come. If lvg can make it work it will be brilliant

  5. TINOS

    Sep 9, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    man u for life

  6. TINOS

    Sep 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    van gal for good tinos from zim

  7. Simon

    Sep 9, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    totally disagree with this!!

    This notion of Rooney being the next Scholes is a complete insult to one our greatest ever, it’s just a fantastical idea to fit in a player that possibly looks like he might not fit in anymore. Rooney is not a midfielder, anytime he has played there he’s looked out of place. I don’t see why we would try to convert a 29 year old into a position that is possibly the most important on the pitch just so as to accommodate him in the team, I hold no sentiment for Rooney he has treated the club very badly in the past and when his time comes to move on then so be it. Sadly He is no longer amongst the elite players in the world, I think he will soon look lost amongst some of those greater players now at utd.

    Just on some of your points about him an scholes, a) he has nowhere near scholes range of passing b) is short passing is definitely not good enough c) his touch is not good enough, his first touch is always putting him under pressure d) scholes is the greatest midfielder to play in the prem and you think a player who is 29 and never played that position can fill his boots!!!

    I honestly opened this article thinkin I was going to read an interesting piece on Herrera

    • kurshly

      Sep 9, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      that was really harsh

    • mandorz

      Sep 10, 2014 at 3:27 am

      its real harsh

  8. OKON

    Sep 9, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    up rooney

  9. Tony utd

    Sep 9, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Hate Rooney or love him, he is one of utd’s son of the soil and he is British, what do you expect of him that he has not given? May be to gorge out his eyes to please you, to me the article is spot on. When it will be is what we his lovers are looking forward to.

    • Simon

      Sep 9, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      This is the problem, people tend to actually not judge him on his football these days, as you said you either love him or hate him, and I certainly do not hate him, I am just a realist and I judge players on how good they are, end of!!!
      Not really sure what your point is about gauging his eyes out?? What I expect from utd players is top quality and currently he isn’t that and he certainly isn’t anywhere near a top midfielder, which is the whole point of this thread!!!

  10. Tino

    Sep 9, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    if roney wil play dat role , is gonna tak time 4him , and ManU dnt have time 4now, van gaal need 2 do wht is right 4 d team not what is right 4 him as a coach, if this fomation of a tin can’t work ,is not 2 late 4him 2 change it . Bcos EPL play fast game . So pls talk abt d team generaly.friends

  11. Akinola samuel Tewo

    Sep 9, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Rooney is good as midfielder but not as strootman bcos we need this man by january

  12. Joseph ategeka

    Sep 10, 2014 at 1:36 am

    Simon disagrees but he has forgotten how alan smith built his reputation in midfield after convertion by sir alex fuguson. Alan smith was well known in leeds united as a complete striker pairing with mark viduka. Therefore the same thng can be done to our mighty wyne rooney. Am prety sure it can work. Believe in changes guys!

    • Simon

      Sep 10, 2014 at 11:15 am

      I have not forgotten smudger at all, he was a very average midfielder for us, it was a very clear case of a striker being pushed back to accomadate him. He only lasted 3 years, and was part of the most unsuccessful period since the EPL began for utd, ferguson also put him back upfront stating that he was not a midfielder!! if Smith is your basis for comparison then you really are clutching at straws.

      Starting to get the feeling that most of you are “new” supporters to the club!!!

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