Mourinho Needs To Drop Fellaini And Rooney To Kick Start Season


One of the biggest differences between Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho so far during their stints in Manchester has been Pep’s ruthlessness when dealing with his sides more established players.

The Spaniard has dumped Yaya Toure out of his team and he’s sent former number one Joe Hart out on loan to Torino. Both of these players were vital as Manchester City went from also-rans to Premier League title challengers and winners. But Pep believed that neither of these ‘key’ players were a good fit for his new style and he cut them from the pack. As I say it’s ruthless but so far it’s proved to be a good decision as City sit top of the league with a two point gap.

Over at Manchester United and Jose has been slightly more conservative in his approach. The once labelled ‘Special One’ has spent big and he has decided to dump mainly youngsters from his pool. The one exception has been German World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger, who has been deemed surplus to requirements by Jose and is now training with the United youth team.

Unfortunately for United and Mourinho, club captain Wayne Rooney doesn’t look to be natural fit in Jose’s new look Man United team. Yet England’s all-time leading goalscorer continues to start for the Red Devils.

Unlike so many others, I don’t think Man Utd are currently in a crisis. Yes they’ve lost three games in a row but City are better at the moment and I doubt the Europa League is Mourinho’s top priority. The Watford defeat, well that should be seen a wake up call and it could be a watershed moment for Rooney’s United career.

Now let me state I’ve always been a fan of Wayne Rooney but with that being said, this isn’t the same Wayne Rooney who’d score for fun or would destroy opposition defences.

At thirty years of age Rooney now looks slower and often looks lost on the football field.

Against Watford he struggled to make even the easiest of passes. As a supposed creative force he failed to create one decent chance in open play and he didn’t even try and run with the ball at his feet.

Shots on target? Zero! This from a player who has built are career out of being a dangerous forward.

In the game at Vicarage Road he was deployed as a central midfielder yet he still made zero well timed tackles. Then frustration gets the better of him and he starts moaning and committing fouls.

Simply put Wayne is fast becoming a passenger and United can’t afford for that to happen. Surely Henrik Mkhitaryan or Juan Mata would be a better bet as a number ten .

When you remember Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season, he wouldn’t trust Rooney in the bigger games (Real Madrid) and he believed Robin van Persie was a greater attacking threat. That was three years ago. So if Fergie thought Rooney was in decline then, you can only imagine he’d have been sold before now had the legendary Scotsman had stayed on any longer at Old Trafford.

It looks as though Mourinho is stubbornly, like Louis van Gaal before him, trying to find Rooney a place in the team. That unfortunately unbalances the side and makes them weaker.

One of the biggest victims in this confused looking United side is record signing Paul Pogba.

The Frenchman is also hampered with Marouane Fellaini playing in alongside him or just behind him.

The Belgian giant is full of endeavour but that’s not enough at this level. His best games in a United jersey have came when his side have had their backs to the wall and he’s been used as a battering ram in the opposition teams penalty area as United report to long ball tactics.

He lacks defensive discipline to shore things up and he also lacks creative imagination to play as a deep-laying playmaker. To get the best out of Pogba you need at least one of those traits in the player playing alongside him. If you look at Watford’s first goal yesterday, you can see that Fellaini was defending too deep and should’ve been closing down the space that Etienne Capoue found himself in.

The funny thing is that Mourinho has those types of players already at his disposal in Ander Herrera, Morgan Schneiderlin, Michael Carrick and Daley Blind. For me they’d be much better partners for Pogba in the United midfield.

So far last week was just a blip for Manchester United and Jose Mourinho but surely the Portuguese boss needs to learn from his selection mistakes and take out Rooney and Fellaini as he searches for the right balance to kick-start his sides title bid. He cannot afford to have them confusing things in there for much longer!

2 Responses to “Mourinho Needs To Drop Fellaini And Rooney To Kick Start Season”

  1. In addition, Smalling has not shown any sign of confidence on the ball. Always looking confused, thereby complicating things on Baily. The partnership of Blind and Baily is more solid, as blind is more composed and can pass the ball forward with accuracy.

  2. Actually, Rooney is fast diminishing, cant control or create space. Rooney as a central midfielder looked tired and could not press Amrabat, or close the gap while challanging Shaw

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