Are Man United A One-Man Team?

Sports News - February 20, 2010

After a 3-1 loss to Everton yesterday, Man United are now 4 points behind league leaders Chelsea, who beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0. Striker Wayne Rooney had been in fantastic form ahead of the game but after a disappointing performance yesterday, many are again labelling United as a one-man team.

When Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United during the summer, many football fans said that United might struggle because we were a one-man team. So far this season United have shown that, that wasn’t the case. We have had a few matches when we needed a player like Ronaldo but we are still in the hunt for the Premier League, in the Champions League and next weekend we play Aston Villa in the Carling Cup final.

The main response to come out of yesterday’s game against Everton is that United are unable to win a game when Rooney isn’t playing well. I don’t believe that to be true, Rooney didn’t play well but nor did anyone else. The whole team looked tired, possibly because of the midweek game out in Italy against AC Milan but it does happen. Fatigue shouldn’t be an excuse but it is a possibility.

Man United aren’t going to win every game, we aren’t going to play well every game, that is football. The same goes with Chelsea and Arsenal and every club in the world. From now until the end of the season all football clubs will drop points.

Back to the issue of Man United supposedly being a one-man team.

This season Rooney has been United’s main man, he needed to step up to the plate when Ronaldo left and that is what he has done, especially in the last few weeks. I can see where these idea’s are coming from, Rooney is United’s highest goalscorer with 25 goals to his name. United’s second highest goalscorer has been own goals with a total of 10 goals scored by opposition players for United. Own goals is closely followed by Dimitar Berbatov with nine. If you look at those statistics you can see why many are saying United are a one-man team.

What they are forgetting though is what the rest of the team do, which enables Rooney to be in these goalscoring positions. Who is it that gets the ball to him and sets up the goal scoring chances? Rooney is defending a lot less than he used to, he now stays further up the pitch and lets the defenders do their jobs.

Saying that, maybe we are relying a little bit too much on Rooney right now but all teams rely on a player sometimes. Right now Rooney is United’s main man and if he has a bad game then of course it will affect the team but it wasn’t just Rooney who had an off game yesterday.

The whole team looked tired; the whole team didn’t perform to the normal standards, which we are used to seeing. If it was just Rooney who wasn’t playing well then another player would have stepped up, but the issue yesterday was the whole team, not one player.

I would worry about United if Rooney was injured but I believe that we have players who are good enough and make up for him being missing. We do have the quality there to win matches with or without Wayne Rooney, preferably with him.

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