Date:Friday August 14 2009
Though many journalists and other animals would lead you to believe that Ronaldo's departure weakened our midfield, those who watch United regularly know that this is rubbish. His absence will be felt keenly in attack, as he was more a forward than anything else.
So, let's see whether those now charged with the task of goalscoring are up to the task. We have five strikers to pick of, each with disctintly different qualities so there should not be a problem.
First there is Wayne Rooney who is in the focus of attention. He's our number one attacker and he is the one who carries our hopes. If he shines in his preferred central role, if he gives full rein to his abilities then we'll have no problem of producing the goals that Ronaldo took away to Madrid.
Sir Alex admitted that he had used Dimitar Berbatov out of position until now but vowed to deploy him as the main striker, with Wayne Rooney playing just behind him. His lack of pace is a concern but his brilliant vision, first touch and good finishing should ensure a good season for him. Much is expected of him and he won't disappoint I believe, he'll do better than last season's nine league goals and ten league assists.
We have Michael Owen, too who is the biggest question mark ever. He could be an inspired free transfer - or a ridiculous piece of desperation. He's a crock, he's lost his pace, he's never been good in the air or linking up the play - but he can score goals. We have little to lose but if he does not deliver we could end up woefully short up front, especially if one of Berbatov and Rooney picks up an injury.
In that case we might have to rely on the youth of Federico Macheda and Danny Welbeck. Both are tall, strong, skilful strikers but without sufficient experience. Macheda is a tad clumsy on occasions while Welbeck is too selfish - but they require only a little tuition and experience as they have the talent. Whether they are quite prepared to play a significant part this season - well, I'm not convinced.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Date:Friday August 14 2009
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