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Goalscorer Preview - Manchester United v Birmingham City: Wayne Rooney

Rooney needs that goalscoring feeling back

Wayne Rooney seems determined to spark off a new long run of brilliant goalscoring form.

It’s no secret to anyone who watches football that Rooney has struggled this season but United have coped admirably through his rough patch. However, a recent goal from open play against West Brom seems to have sparked new life into Rooney and he’s looking as determined as ever.

Sir Alex Ferguson has resisted the temptation to tweak Rooney’s position in the side as he’s not been as efficient in attack as everyone expects. He can and has played wider positions at various points in his career but he will only be fully effective in the attack of the team.

Credit also has to go to opposition teams for keeping his influence muted during games. Tottenham Hotspur defended brilliantly on the rare occasions that Rooney did find any space during the 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane. Birmingham would do well to study the video and copy the tactics.

Had the opposition for this game been a higher placed side in the league then Ferguson could well have gone for a 4-5-1 to flood the midfield. However, the message to Rooney is clear and he will be asked to go and cause havoc with Dimitar Berbatov in a 4-4-2.

Rooney is straining at the leash and although he has now broken his duck from open play this season, it may take another goal for him to start going crazy and hitting the sort of form he produced last season. It’s simply a matter of time before this happens.

The only part of Rooney’s game that seems to have declined in the recent past is his ability to hit the back of the net. Everything else he does; running off the ball, creating space and bringing others into play is superb. United are sitting pretty at the top of the league and this position will only be strengthened when Rooney starts scoring.

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