Sir Alex Ferguson has never been the type of manager to be questioned how he manages his squad; so when the big Scot took time this week to go into great detail about his team, many were shocked to hear him admit that he’s been playing one of his best players out of position for the last couple of years.
“I think Wayne’s best position is through the middle, either the front role or tucking in just behind,” Ferguson said. “He is aggressive, has good pace and the courage to go in the box. There’s no reason why he can’t get a good supply of goals. But he may have benefited by having someone with more experience with him. That always happens with young strikers.”
Rooney has been prepared to adopt unfamiliar roles to allow Cristiano Ronaldo to torment opponents, but last season the sacrifices undoubtedly blunted his edge. Despite scoring 20 goals for club and country, Rooney rarely stole the show for United and his England form suffered subsequently. Ferguson admits the time has come for him to stop taking advantage of the 22-year-old’s versatility.
“We have to define Wayne’s role better,” he conceded. “He has never complained, which says a lot for the lad. He would play centre-half if I asked him to.” (Guardian)
Indeed, Wayne Rooney might possibly be one of two or three players in the entire Man United squad that doesn’t complain about his position on the pitch. From being forced into new roles to pacify Crisitiano Ronaldo, to watching Carlos Tevez come in and steal most of his thunder, Wayne Rooney has never once griped about his role.
I find it refreshing that a manager with as much history and credibility as Sir Alex Ferguson is still willing to admit when he’s wrong. Based on his comments, you could probably expect Rooney to play a more central role up front this season, with the spotlight placed firmly on the 22-year-old.
What do Man United supporters think about giving Rooney a central role up front as the main striker? Do you think Sir Alex has held him back by playing him out of position?