Now that Robin Van Persie has made his £24 million move to Manchester United you would be forgiven for thinking it would be Rooney and RVP up top together. The two of them being world class strikers at the top of their game however with Rooney’s gashed thigh (he got as a consequence of a collision with Hugo Rodallega) it looks as though Ferguson will alter the formation for the duration of his injury (Ferguson said would be around 4 weeks) placing Van Persie up front on his own. This has been extremely rewarding with four goals from two starts for the Dutch international which if continued could leave Ferguson facing a challenging decision when Rooney returns. Both players contrasting form partnered with the way the pair combined in the short time they were placed together (not very well) could mean Rooney will have to fight to earn his place back in the starting XI.
It’s true they have played barely any time together 51 minutes combined from the end of both the Fulham and Everton games where the team was in fact struggling. Despite this two players of such calibre should surely be expected to change games against supposedly weaker sides. You might ask why they wouldn’t be able to play together. Fair question considering the quality they posses and the mind boggling wages they are getting however there are many questions still to be answered as to whether it will work.
During both players Premier League careers it has been expected that they get their teams out of trouble and Robin Van Persie certainly rose to that occasion last week against Southampton. His hat trick at St Mary’s is surely something to savour and some way to bring up a century of Premier League goals. Rooney has also done it in the past with perhaps the most memorable being his spectacular goal in the 2011 Old Trafford Manchester derby, United taking a 2-1 win and Rooney later clinched the title with an important spot kick against Blackburn Rovers to earn the necessary draw. Despite this they have also been down the pecking order in their earlier days at their respective clubs Rooney playing second fiddle to the likes of Van Nistelrooy and Ronaldo, Van Persie to Henry, Bergkamp and even Adebayor.
This goal is probably not remembered for the win it produced.
Sounds like a perfect marriage for them to reinforce each other. There is no doubt it could be but the question is really whether Rooney will allow it to work. In the time Rooney has played there has been a certain arrogance that he is still the main man and he will not support Van Persie because RVP should be supporting him. This attitude is most probably due to him feeling Sir Alex is lacking confidence in him, this has been shown by Rooney’s comments in an article by the Daily Telegraph where he claimed he was worried United would cash in on him this summer. The thing that could be most worrying about Rooney’s uncertainty is that if the worst comes and Van Persie is forced to supplement Rooney full time there are new questions as to the efficiency of the team. Rooney can play furthest forward well but we have not seen Van Persie play behind a fellow striker for quite some time and there are concerns that he could never be as effective as Rooney in that position and one might wonder as to whether Rooney will be as effective as Van Persie up top considering RVP’s 30 Premier League goals up front on his own last season. So maybe we will see 57 premier league goals between them again as it was last season but not the magnificence it had promised.