MAN UNITED BACK ON TOP – ROONEY INJURY UPDATE PLUS NEVILLE/KUSZCZAK NEWS
By Football Talk.
A busy news day for Manchester United today. They moved back to the top of the Premier League table after grinding out a 1-0 win against Wolves. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirms Wayne Rooney is a major doubt for the AC Milan tie while hinting Gary Neville may stay on for another year, and back-up goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak wants regular first team football.
Wolves 0 – 1 Manchester United
Paul Scholes was the hero for United as he bagged the only goal of the game, his 100th in the premier league. Fergie was forced to leave out Wayne Rooney, who was nursing a knee injury and The Red Devils clearly missed their main man. If this is what Man Utd would play like without Rooney, they should be thankful he has managed to stay fit this season.
Wolves were arguably the better side in a cagey first half, with few real chances. Doyle and Valencia both missed half-chances while Darron Gibson missed 2-3 decent openings. But neither keeper was really tested.
As the first half progressed Wolves started to grow in confidence and should have taken the lead just after 30 minutes. Stephen Ward headed straight at Van Der Sar from 6 yards when unmarked, a terrible effort and United were lucky not to be 1-down at the break.
Manchester United were slightly better in the second half and began to take control of the game, although they still struggled to create any clear-cut chances. Full-back Evra went closest with a powerful drive that was well saved.
Step up Paul Scholes to break the deadlock. Craddock only half cleared in the box with the loose ball falling to Scholes, he took a touch and fired past Hahnemann from 10 yards.
0-1 Scholes (73)
You could hardly say United deserved their lead and Wolves should have grabbed an equalizer in the dying minutes. After some scrappy play in the United box, the ball fell to Sam Vokes unmarked from 8 yards but he failed to hit the target. Horrible miss and Man Utd had been let off the hook.
It finished 0-1 and although United’s performance was far from convincing, Sir Alex Ferguson will be relieved just to secure the three points. It was a tricky away game against a team fighting for their premier league lives, and they were without Rooney. So a good three points and the kind of win champions are made of.
Rooney’s injury will be a major worry for Sir Alex Ferguson. His side missed him greatly and were woeful up front without him yesterday. Dimitar Berbatov showed little desire to put in the required work of a lone striker. Fergie confessed after the game that Rooney was a major doubt for the champions league second leg against AC Milan on Wednesday.
“Wayne is very doubtful for Wednesday,”
The Wembley pitch has killed him.”
With a 3-2 lead and playing at Old Trafford, United should have enough to see off AC Milan even if Rooney doesn’t make it. But they will need to get him back soon if they are to retain the premiership for another year. There is no way Sir Alex Ferguson’s side can rely on Berbatov as a lone striker for any length of time judging by their performance against Wolves.
Another year for Neville?
Sir Alex has given the clearest indication yet that Gary Neville will stay on for another year. The 35-year old is out of contract in the summer but Ferguson believes he can last another year at the top.
There is no decision on Gary’s future yet because we haven’t discussed it.
“Gary still has plenty to offer and I think we could probably get another year out of him. He is a great professional.
“His professionalism is borne out by the fact that he missed almost a year and a half of football and has come back.
“He’s 35 and to do that at that age is quite incredible because when you are in your 30s and you get an injury for a long period like that it makes it very difficult to come back but he has managed it.”
I am not convinced keeping Neville on in a playing capacity is worthwhile. Manchester United are one of the best sides in the world and i don’t think Neville can cut it at the top anymore. Full-back is a difficult position that requires bags of energy, can a 35-year old produce the all-action displays needed week-in week-out? A playing-coaching role would be more suited to Neville. With him playing back-up to Brown and De Silva, only coming in when required.
Tomasz Kuszczak wants first-team football
Goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak has warned Sir Alex Ferguson that he will be forced to leave if he doesn’t start getting more first team football.
I don’t know how much longer I can stay on the bench.
“I have waited for four years and I enjoy my time here, but maybe I need to change it.
“I want to stay with Sir Alex because he is a great manager and we will try to find a solution because I am not happy to sit on the bench any more.
“I have always said if I feel I am not developing any more I will have to change something and that moment has arrived.
“I want to win things and I think I’ve proved I am good enough to be No.1 at United.”
I can’t see him removing Van Der Sar anytime soon and Ben Foster seems to be second choice anyway, so it seems Thomasz may be leaving United soon. At 27 he is in the prime of his career and needs to be playing every week so i don’t think anyone could blame him for moving on.
Are United a one-man team? Should Neville stay? Please leave your comments below….
/ 2 hours ago
Chelsea are ready to reward midfielder Mason Mount with a bumper contract following his...
/ 10 hours ago
Chelsea entertain Malmo in Wednesday’s Champions League group stage clash. The Blues returned from...