After three goalless draws in succession Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal has found himself defending his selections.
In recent weeks the Dutchman has played captain Wayne Rooney as a loan striker resulting in new signing Anthony Martial being played from the left. After these changes United have looked short in-front of goal, something that is frustrating many Red Devil fans.
Since Van Gaal decided to move his captain Rooney upfront and play Martial from the wing United haven’t scored. Is this just a coincidence I think not?
Rooney is United’s top goal scorer this season with 6 goals in all competitions but three of them came in one Champions League qualifying matches against Club Brugge.
For a long time now people have argued whether Rooney is an out and out striker and as the years have rolled on this has only intensified.
Wayne has only ever reached the 20 goal mark once in his Premier League career and that was in 2011-12 where he scored 27 goals. The England captain averages just 14 goals per season which just isn’t enough for a loan striker at a club as big as Manchester United.
As England’s all-time top scorer has got older he has found it harder toscore goals on a regular basis. He lacks the pace that he used to be able to use to get away from defences and this is making his job that much harder.
As a United fan myself though I believe that yes Rooney is not an out and out striker but it’s not like he’s missing chances. United’s play in recent weeks has lacked creativity and as a result Rooney has been starved of chances to prove himself.
I think that if we’re going to play Wayne up-front he needs a striking partner. His best season in 2011-12 came when playing alongside Dimitar Berbatov. Does this not strengthen the argument that playing two strikers could be an option?
There is no doubt that Wayne Rooney is one of the best players of his generation and is always going to be remembered as a Manchester United and England legend, but is it time to give someone else a chance to show what they can do?
19 Year Old Anthony Martial for example? The £36 million pound man who they signed from Monaco in the summer.
Anthony Martial was on a great run in the united team scoring 3 goals in his first 3 united games including a dramatic late goal against Liverpool on his Premier League debut. The young man was growing in confidence and was proving to be well worth the price tag that many football fans sniggered at.
But as of late Martial has found himself playing out on the left where his performances have been somewhat lacking. The young Frenchman was looking sharp and hungry in the central role causing defence’s real problems with his close dribbling and raw pace.
Part of the idea behind Martial playing on the left wing in recent weeks may be due to the disappointing start Memphis Depay has made to his Manchester United career. The Dutchman is yet to prove himself and as a result has found himself left out of both the Dutch and Manchester United teams.
I spoke to fellow Manchester United fan Matt Mason on his thoughts about playing Wayne Rooney up front and here is what he had to say.” What Wayne has done for Manchester United over the years has been incredible and we thank him for that but I think his recent performances have been lacking and we need to give Martial more of a chance.”
United face CSKA Moscow tonight at Old Trafford in a must win Champions League match. Will we see Martial lead the line or will Wayne continue to split opinion as a loan front man?