Posts Tagged ‘Wayne Rooney’

EPL Jumble: Roo-ins or Sir Wayne?

Will Wayne Rooney have a better, same or worse season versus his stellar campaign last year?

You just roll Wayne Rooney's bones right over here...

Jay Bell: Part of the reason Rooney scored so much last season was because he played so much. I think SAF saw the effect that it had on his body. I would think he watches his minutes more this year. They also brought in Chicharito so maybe he plays in more of the lesser games so Rooney doesn’t have to. Less minutes —> less goals, but he may be more effective.

Eric, Followtonians: I think Wayne will have a worse season. I think he is still bothered by the groundskeeping position depicted in the Nike ads. Main reason why I have Man U finishing 3rd.

GeorgeCross: Rooney will have another very good season, but I don’t see Rooney carrying United on his own, to the same extent, as he did last year–he will still get 20+ goals though.  This year, I see Valencia and Nani sharing the offensive burden. Ronaldo was always going to be difficult to replace, but I feel Valencia, with Rooney and Nani, will be key players for United this campaign.

Another Rooneyaldo effort?

Shaun, TSG: He will not be as good but last year was exceptional. I expect to him to do well and help Hernandez become a more accomplished player.

Matthew, TSG: For United’s sake, I hope that Rooney doesn’t have a similar year.
I think the something that should be lauded about the Shrekster is that he puts so much on himself to carry the offense. If he’s not getting the ball, he’s coming all the way back to find a way to get it and even participate in the defense. Plus, he just motors full board all the time.
I agree with Jay above that Manchester United will and should play him less, hopefully–for their sake–Berba, Little Pea and a Grande Caramel Macheda can step up and carry some of the scoring burden.

2006 All Over Again? *Disclaimer…

It’s only appropriate as a US publication to get the sensationalism and doubt growing on Wayne Rooney fitness concerns in 2010.

Sorry Lions fans...just poking a little fun...

We saw this story developing over the weekend. You could also say that Rooney has been un-Messi-like over the past two games.

Just how bad is this Wayne Rooney injury news. You think over in the London fog they are starting to worry about this…or more importantly up in the territory once known as Ronaldoville?

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USMNT Sr. Man United Plays At Arsenal

It is absolutely 100% conceivable to argue that the best football on your television this weekend is soccer. Manchester United versus Arsenal. Ghana vs. Egypt in the Cup of Nations. No college and the gimmick that is the NFL Pro Bowl…no argument.

Diaby: "I'll make up for that little snafu this time....promise..."

For those that remember the preamble to this Sunday’s match, it ended with Arsene Wenger walking into the stands like a petulent child–and probably rightfully so–after he was thrown out by the referee for a somewhat dubious reason…was it kicking a water bottle I believe.

In the front end of the series, Arsenal outplayed Manchester United at Old Trafford with Andrei Arshavin dialing up a killer strike to put Arsenal ahead one-nil. You just can’t call it a mere goal it was a strike.

Wayne Rooney then created a penalty kick on a questionably legal tackle by Manuel Almunia in the box. 1-1.

Abou Diaby decided to play the ball into his own net (2-1 Devils) and finally Robin Van Persie netted the equalizer only to see it called back for offsides (and rightfully so.)

A quality contest. At the time of writing this, Man U stand one point from the top of table, Arsenal at just two. Wow!

This Sunday, the game will be at the Emirates. Wenger’s squad comes in still attempting to deal with the loss of Van Persie and Bendtner up front; Sir Alex’s squad comes in with a gathering chorus of fans and pundits questioning if the Red Devils rely too much on Mr. Wayne Rooney.

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150 Days Until the Lions Come Calling….

Just a scant 5 months until the United States takes on England in the most anticipated soccer match by the US populace since probably Italy 2006.

Bob Bradley will need to outplay this man on the day: Fabio Capello

That’s right…check your calendar on the lower right. Today is January 12th.

TSG lobs in our first shot at some of the strategy that it might take to compete and earn a draw or even win against the former homeland. We imagine the actors in this roadmap, and the roadmap itself, will change frequently as both Bob Bradley and Fabio Capello augment their own line-ups and strategies.

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Oh Look! I’ve Found a Free Superstar

It’s like having the Get Out of Jail Free Card in Monopoly.

Nay, it’s stronger than that. It’s like having the 1st pick in the NBA or NFL draft. Nope, that player is not a given.

Ah, I got it. It’s like Peyton Manning or a vintage Kurt Warner went on waivers right before your Fantasy Football playoffs and there is no cost to picking them up.

Benny! Essien! On the same team?! The tears are streaming down my face...

What if the USMNT could add one player….any player from the international scene right before the World Cup. Who would they add? Who would you add if you were playing Bob Bradley?

TSG took a look. Here’s are five of our suggestions:

1. Fernando Torres

The skinny: How could we not name a striker here for the USMNT? In Fernando Torres, the USMNT would arguably have the best pure striker in the game today. The selection of Torres as our first superstar we would pick up on waivers doesn’t end on that statement.

The luxury of Torres is not only that he can get goals any number of ways, it’s that he can play in any formation up top. He can come up the pitch to receive the ball to drive to the whole. He can go balls-out and slam home a header or <salivating> he can run off Donovan…wow!

Torres needs less service than probably any other striker. I just heard the collective USMNT fan base exhale, “Hooray!”

In short, he can fit in with less than 150 days to World Cup glory in anyway Bob Bradley needs him. He fits the style of the USMNT team or he can help create the new one.

Fit rating: 100 out of 100 (um, what team can’t fit Torres in)

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2. The big bad “Bison” – Mr. Michael Essien

The skinny: Those of you that read TSG religiously (“We’re watching you.”) know that Chelsea’s Makelele Plus, Michael Essien, is this writer’s favorite player. We tried oh-so-hard to put Essien number one on this list, but we could not ignore the El Nino effect.

The USMNT got a taste of Essien as Ghana shut down the States to advance in World Cup 2006. This time, he’s on the Yanks’ side.

With Essien in the middle, it hardly matters who he is paired with. Imagine Benny freelancing off Essien’s cover. Pairing Mike Bradley would work as well as MB could show his offensive wares up the pitch..

With Essien as destroyer, locking down on errant wingers and strikers and then turning the table to manage possession, the USMNT could afford to take more offensive chances, in turn putting more pressure on their group stage opponents.

Fit rating: 98 (Essien’s counterpart would need to learn real quickly how to be more offensive on the pitch without cluttering another offender’s space. Wait a second…what if the USMNT get Jermaine Jones as well. Two d-backs, still Benny up top, Donovan and Demps to the wings…and Jozy up top….problems solved.)

This clip doesn’t even represent his main skill set!

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TSG Weekend Revs: Jozy Fights The Fergusons

→ Yesterday’s piece on Phil Brown using Jozy more.

Well, first, a big thank you to our readers. I had the luxury of reviewing all your comments before this evening’s Hull City-Manchester United replay on FSC. If you must know why I’m watching the 2nd showing, I was in transit back to the Left Coast via a frisking at JFK–sure was fun.

Here are some off-the-cuff bullets having just finished the game:

♦ Steven Hunt and Rafael missing ridiculous gimmes…at the 33rd, are you kidding me?

♦ “Berbatov hits the side of the net” — let’s just make that permanent saying once a half. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Rooneyaldo?

♦ It’s about time they start calling #10 for Manchester United, Rooneyaldo, no? Exquisite day, minus the back pass, for England’s main thoroughbred.

♦ And if you watched Hull’s pitch personality, you’re pretty damn sure that they have done the exact opposite of quitting on Phil Brown. That’s a team with some serious fight in them.

Now on to Big Jeezy

First, it’s important we reset the stage for this game and Jozy’s last month or so.

Hull City comes off an away loss at Arsenal where they has absolutely nill in the way of offensive play, especially in the 2nd half. As we mentioned in our last piece, Manager Brown went with a 4-5-1 with Fagan as the ball tracker up top. The Tigers attempted to strike from the corners, but as soon as Geovanni and Hunt tired, Hull had nothing and in case defensive replacements.

Altidore for his part wasn’t in the 18 at Emirates and previously didn’t lift himself off the bench in the game before that. Prior to the most recent two games, JZA was a late game sub in a draw at Blackburn going about 30 minutes in that one and was excused from the pitch at the 54 min in the game that Jimmy Bullard got injured in.

Speaking of Bullard, without him–and Ian Ashbee mind you–Manager Brown has went with a highly defensive midfield of Olofinijana and Boateng in the middle. You could argue that the pairing of Rico and Mikey Bradley are better overall and better offensively then those two. (Boateng was a player in his day.)

Brown: Making Big Jeezy the big target today

Which now leads us to Jozy’s role for the day.

Minus the midfield service, Brown mixed up both his strategy and tactics. Gone was Geovanni on the wing-point forward role for the day. With Carrick and Fletcher in the middle the smaller Geovanni would have been beat up by the Red Devils central midfielders on the day.

Instead Brown employed Altidore in the Emile Heskey target role and ran Craig Fagan off him, relying on Altidore to play in a reserved striker role for up-and-over play to him up the pitch.

Manchester United had to be constantly aware of Altidore receiving and distributing, but also Craig Fagan sneaking in behind them or making a long sprint up the pitch. Want to challenge a disorganized defensive line (Rafael in, Brown returning and manning the center), how about having them choose speed or strength on every offensive possession against them.

So Jozy’s role was target man. In this role, Jozy is not required, nay, instructed not to make the long runs or run willy-nilly all over the field. In fact, that’s precisely Craig Fagan’s job. I don’t think Jozy had too little energy today. I think he was playing the role that Phil Brown gave him–middle of the field, receive the ball. In the first half, he played the part fine.

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There is a rivalry going on right now….

I have to be honest. I’m like a kid in a candy store this morning.

It’s an overcast dawn here in SF (nothing new really); justification to stay in side.

It's old timers day....

It's old timers day....

Man U and Man City are playing…..on different channels! I am pressing the “last” button on my remote more than if the Superbowl and World Series were on at the same time. I never had Setanta just Fox Sports so this is the first time this was possible for me.

I’m mostly watching the game at Old Trafford this morning. I want to see how the AIG’ers play without Ronaldo.

Some observations this morning across both games:

At the City of Manchester Stadium, Man City is already up 1-0 on a Adebayor poke 20mins in about.  Watching a few minutes of this game against Wolverhampton (another idea for my first son’s name), it’s clear to see against lesser competition this year Man City might just start pouring in goals. Today they are featuring Adebayor, Tevez and Robinho–Wolverhampton looks a second late to where the ball just was on the pitch.

Over at Wigan’s DW Stadium, your eyes are not deceiving you, this is not 1999, those are relics Paul Scholes and Gary Neville being featured by Sir Alex.

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