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Rooney Gunning for Gunners

Rooney has bagged a few goals against Arsenal

Wayne Rooney is the perfect player to exploit even the smallest weakness in the Arsenal defence.

Rooney is a striker who has always played well against Arsenal and has a good record both at Old Trafford and the Emirates especially in the Champions League and Premier League. He is turning into more of an attacking midfield player at the moment but he’s extremely effective on the counter attack as Arsenal know all too well.

Rooney’s new found versatility is going to be important in this game. Arsenal can keep the ball for a long time, better than most sides in the Premier League and more often than not there is someone on the end of a chance after a series of passes.

Versatility allows Rooney to drop off from the attack and provide an extra body in the middle of the pitch. This makes him effective in two ways. The first is from a team point of view because this allows the wingers to stay very wide and it also releases a player in the middle to protect the defence.

The second way this works so well for Rooney is because he is in the middle of the pitch as soon as United get the ball back and start to attack. He has shown over the last few matches that his passing is as good as Ryan Giggs or Paul Scholes. He’s also quick enough to get forward and back into the attack once he has offloaded the ball.

An area of Rooney’s game that sometimes gets overlooked is his ability to hit a dead football. He scored a stunning free kick against West Ham United during his hat-trick and Arsenal need to be careful they don’t give away silly fouls in silly areas of the pitch. They will be punished emphatically if they do this.

Rooney also looks fitter in a United shirt than he has ever been. All through his career people have questioned whether he’s carrying more weight than he ought to be for a professional football player. However, this is a myth and his fitness is something that allows him to run late into matches.

The difference in a tight title deciding game against Arsenal may come down to the final few minutes of the game. Rooney is one player who should snuff any chance that comes his way.

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