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Can Rooney replace Scholes?

Note: The following was sent in by one of our readers, Karan.

So we’ve won the premiership. No time to gloat, we have figure out how to get better and how to improve the squad. We want to win the title again next year, and our squad is fragile. Lets face it, the most cover we had was in defense and it’s lucky thats where we got most of our injuries. Our midfield is talented but there’s no depth. If one of scholes, ronaldo or giggs gets a long term injury, how do we cope with that. We saw how badly we fared in 2005 when scholes was not there.

So, thinking along these lines, what’s a good lineup for manchester united? Who should we buy and where should everyone play?

Let’s start in goal. Van der Sar is ok for another season despite some errors creeping in. We should have Ben foster back as third goalie to avoid what befell Chelsea this season.

In defense, we need a left back who’s solid and aggresive. Heinze’s been slow ever since his injury. If Evra develops at any pace, we might be ok. The search for Gary neville’s successor will be more urgent this season. Defense is still not a priority though. I think we actually have pretty good cover in the back line. What happened at milan was just terrible luck.

In the midfield, we need a tough tackling, defensive mid in the keano mould. Apologies to Carrick but he doesn’t fill that role. We need another winger to cover for giggs and ronaldo and eventually take over from giggs. Nani seems the best one out there.

We desperately need a good attacking midfielder to replace scholes. I don’t think a lot has been said about this position since scholes has been in such spectacular form this season, but we’re woefully short of cover in this critical position. Looking at options world wide, kaka would ofcourse be the ideal fit. He expressed admiration for the old trafford atmosphere, and even though he recently got married and got his italian passport, it might be well worth the risk of breaking the bank to get him. He’s one addition that’ll make this squad complete. and devastatingly menacing.

If that doesn’t materialise, I believe we have a ready made option just as good. His name’s Wayne Rooney. Let’s think about it from another perspective. We’re looking for the following qualities in an attacking midfielder to replace scholes:

1. Tough tackling

2. Intelligent footballing mind

3. Great passer

4. Good long range shooting ability.

5. Able to get back and help the defense.

All these capabilities are present in Rooney. He tackles better than Scholes, his vision on the field is incomparable, he possesses a lethal long range strike. He routinely tracks back and defends.

All these skills are essential to a top attacking midfielder but not necessarily needed buy a top striker. Rooney is young, he’s always hungry for the ball and always wants to be involved in the game. Why not develop him into a midfield general and let out n out strikers in the ruud mould take over the striking responsibilities.

By all accounts, Manchester united are already in the market to get a top striker. Why don’t we get 2 and let rooney play behind them. I’m pretty sure he’ll be as devastating as kaka in that position.

This brings us to the strikers. We need 2 top quality strikers badly. There’s no question about it. It’s time to sell saha. I must admit i’m a big fan of dimitar Berbatov and would like nothing better than to see him in Old trafford. He’s got everything and would be a fine addition. I wouldnt mind paying 20 million for him. Anything over that though, is a bit much.

The other ideal addition would be someone like Miroslav Klose. The kind of guy who just scores an imporesive number of goals. A point man. He needs to be good with his head.

So there are my suggestions.

Get two strikers, play rooney behind them. Ronaldo and nani on the wings with a good defensive mid (still unknown bet certainly not owen hargreaves at 20+ million) covering the back 4.

This vision is probably of a team post giggs and scholes but it should provide us with a lot of flexibility. In such a set up, you can always sacrifice a striker, let rooney play upfront with the other, and ssubstitute another central midfielder for games like the milan one where wingers were ineffective.

The bottom line is, Rooney could be the answer to the attacking midfield hole that scholes’s retirement is certain to create.

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