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So, Can United's 'Fab Four' Play Together?

Manchester United had Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov on the pitch together for 11 minutes at Blackburn on Saturday. Can this combination work in the long term?

Those 11 minutes were pretty fine: they were creating chances for each other and picked Rovers apart at will. But it was already a defeated Rovers so we should not read too much into it.

There were plenty who doubted whether Rooney and Tevez could play together - their doubts were dispelled spectacularly. Throwing Berbatov in the mix, many argued, would imbalance the squad as neither he nor Ronaldo are willing to do any defensive work and therefore we'll be outnumbered in midfield too often.

This argument does not really hold, to be honest, as Rooney and Tevez both boast workrates which fall into the astonishing category. There is a more simple argument: that these four cannot be built into a line-up which can exploit all their strengths and play to those.

However, it is worth having a look at the system we played at Ewood Park. It was 4-2-3-1, with Fletcher and Anderson in midfield, Ronaldo, Giggs and Rooney roaming around and behind Berbatov who was the solitary striker. It worked pretty well and yielded brilliant attacks and many chances. Of course it required Giggs' intelligence and passing as well but he's far from irreplaceable in that position.

Indeed, I'd suggest that putting Rooney there would be a very wise thing as that's his favourite, natural position even though he's been brilliant coming in from the right this game. But let's assume for a moment that he's there, with the responsibility to feed Berbatov, dictate the play and to score goals himself.

Who will play on the right? Who could provide width? Well, of course it would be Carlos Tevez. He has a natural inclination to drift out wide and Fergie played him there on a number of occasions so he's no stranger to the task. He's got the skills, the technique, the mobility and the passing ability, it is only his pace that is lacking but Rooney is only a little quicker than him so it should cause little problems.

And of course Ronaldo would run at them from the left, and from all directions as he is wont to do. Accomodating such stars into some contorted tactical set-up often hinders an otherwise great team - but this time I genuinely believe it could work as it all fits so nicely. These four would give us a formidable, even downright frightening attacking line-up.




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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 6 2008

Time: 8:31PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
No,you cant use all 4 without referee`s coordination.Your midfield has alreadly problems to dominate games and you want to reduce it to 2 men:D I think there is Tevez/Rooney problem.4 are honestly to much, against a half decent team they wont get any services.Just keep alternating Rooney and Tevez.
German Blues Brother
Report Abuse
06/10/2008 21:04:00

Keep Ronaldo on the Right.
Paulinho
Report Abuse
07/10/2008

Why would we throw out all our weapons at the same time anyway?? That would be terrible to not have the Rooney or the Tevez to come on later to change the game. The four of them cannot and shouldn't play together! A solid and balanced midfield is very key to success in the premier league and we have too many of them not to put them on.
ForeverUnited
Report Abuse
07/10/2008 03:11:00

I would appear it is much harder for you lot to win games now that there is no G14 anymore, and the refs are no longer in Sir Alkies back pocket....mid table eh? well, get used to it.
Blue is the colour
Report Abuse
07/10/2008 21:49:00

yeah ronaldo needs to be on the right, much more affective there (our second goal against blackburn came from the right where ronaldo was) i say our top 4 should be berba upfront, rooney behind, ronaldo on the right, nani on the left
Reddevils4ever89
Report Abuse
08/10/2008 21:03:00

there's 2 options 1 is united play 4-2-4 or put rooney on the left and ronaldo on the right and put berbatov and tevez upfront that would be more of a suitable option in my opinion i would use against west brom but not against like chelsea, arsenal, or liverpool but my opinion it will work give it time especially berbatov need time to settle in the united team and united way he's only been there like a month give it time and he'll become a united legend m.u.f.c. 4 ever!
matth01
Report Abuse
10/10/2008 14:41:00

 

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