Against Aston Villa, he showed off his very best Paul Scholes impression. Coming deep more often than not, Rooney was the linchpin for United going forward and most of what we did went through him.
You know that Rooney’s confidence is on a high when he effortlessly pings 30 or 40 yard passes out to the wings and although he has reiterated that up front is where he wants to play, his influence against Villa came from his ability to drop deep and bolster the midfield.
It was a very professional performance from Rooney. In the absence of Van Persie, United hadn’t been creative enough as without his hold up play, we found it difficult to bridge the gap between midfield and attack. Shinji Kagawa did a job in some appearances but there was no consistency in United’s forward play. Against Villa, Rooney smoothed over those cracks.
Up until his performances towards the tail end of last season where Rooney struggled in midfield after Sir Alex Ferguson gave him a run of games there, many thought Rooney was going to morph into a central midfielder but judging by how this season has gone, that isn’t something that is going to happy any time soon given how well he has played as a centre forward.
However, when Rooney’s confidence is brimming as it is right now, having him drop a little deeper to help spread the play out to the wings is something that could really help United, even if it is something he doesn’t particularly want to do in the long term.
Image: Twitter/ManUtd and Squawka