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  • http://www.thescore.ie/the-bootroom-is-rooney-back-where-he-belongs-119798-Apr2011/

    Excellent article on Rooney and his return to no.10/ the 'hole', the position he played in his 1st 2 seasons at United.

    Obviously, we have to be versatile enough to play different formations, but the last 2 weeks have shown that transfers have to be built around bring the best out the players we have, and that means never shifting Rooney from that position, where he can be devastating. I see Cleverley returning next season and replacing Obertan as a wide option, while Welbeck is another useful option up front. In midfield, we need another quality player for sure, to replace Gibson. And I still hark after another Nani type player.

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    • Two players have made the difference to Rooney; Hernandez and the return of Valencia. They both provide him with exactly the consistent , intelligent outlets he requires to feel confident about playing the 'no10' role. He quite clearly relishes playing with these guys, their movement compliments him so well.

      • 3 Replies to jim w
      • I said the same in another thread jim.

        Hernandez has already been a brilliant signing. I don't think any of us expected too much of him this season, and thought he would need a settling in period coming over from Mexico, but boy were we all wrong there! He's 2 goals away from the 20 goal mark, and I expect he'll smash right through it, good by many standards, yet alone a debut season. His partnership with Rooney is getting better every game they play together now.

        Valencia has been such a huge boost to the sqaud at the most vital time. I didn't expect to see him play again this season, but to get back to fitness as he has, and come back into the team looking stronger than ever and slot back in with ease as if he'd never been away, has been excellent.

      • I wanted to write the exact same thing but you beat me to it Jim.

        Hernandez has struck up a fantastic partnership with Rooney, they compliment each other so well, and I can only imagine that Fergie saw something in training that convinced him dropping goal machine Berbatov wouldn't backfire. Hernandez's pace and willingness to work obviously factored into it largely - two things Berbatov doesn't really offer.

        I've always been a big fan of Valencia, and like Anderson and Tevez (Spits) dreamed we'd sign him when first came on the scene in South America, thinking we never would!

        He's not the sort of player who was going to walk into a side as big as United (from Wigan) and be our star player in his first season (not that he did badly!), but he looks much more settled now. He knows Rooney enjoys playing alongside him and is showing more of what he displayed he was capable of when just 18 at the world cup with Ecuador (voted best young player - ahead of Ronaldo!)

        Throw in Nani, an improved Anderson and someone who can boss midfield from deep, and I dont think we'll be complaining about our midfield anymore! And there's gonna be strength in depth.

      • Indeed Jim. It's nice to see midfield runners, and rotation again. Long may it continue.

    • Good article. Kind of says what we (probably) all believe anyway - that Rooney is best in that deep-lying forward role - just behind a busy striker.

      That's why him and Hernandez work so well. Hernandez will pull defenders away and create space for Rooney to work his magic.

      Rooney has sometimes had to plug gaps in the team before due to his energy and vision. Fergie has sacrificed some of his attacking threat to make sure the team remains solid. But maybe now there is the right balance and right personel to prevent the need to pull Rooney out of that no10 role.