Man United star Wayne Rooney has been anonymous in the first two Premier League games of the season, so does he still fit the striker role?
The England international had publicly disclosed his desire to play the leading role for United in recent years, and he was granted that wish at the start of this season.
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Robin Van Persie and Radamel Falcao were gone, and boss Louis Van Gaal had added Memphis Depay to play behind Rooney while his pursuit of Barcelona winger Pedro is ongoing.
However, the switch in system hasn’t had the desired effect thus far, and although it is still extremely early to suggest that it is doomed to fail, the early signs are not good.
Rooney has cut a frustrated figure in his first two games of the season, having been starved of service and unable to have an influence.
His interplay with Depay, Juan Mata and others has been non-existent for the most part, and he has ultimately been limited to minimal contributions, albeit an important one on the opening day of the season.
That falls into the offensive problems that United are suffering from in general too, as Van Gaal may have maximum points but it hasn’t been convincing after back-to-back 1-0 wins over Tottenham and Aston Villa.
However, despite the fact that the Dutch tactician insists that Rooney will find his feet sooner rather than later, it needs to happen quickly otherwise the lack of confidence and sharpness will make it into an even bigger problem.
It could be argued that United need to interchange their attackers more so there isn’t a reference point for the opposition. That would involve Rooney dropping deep with Depay floating around further afield, that way the 29-year-old would at least have a bigger influence with more involvement.
By sticking Rooney up top on his own and waiting for service, Van Gaal is not using one of his best offensive weapons to the best of his ability.
The former Everton man doesn’t have the same pace or acceleration as he had previously to be a constant threat. He still possesses quality and cleverness both on and off the ball, but he needs to snap out of this rut soon otherwise it could lead to bigger problems for Van Gaal and United as a whole in what is a hugely important season for the club.