Season Review – United’s Strikers

Season Review – United’s Strikers

The 2014/15 season has well and truly come to a close. Chelsea’s dominance saw them rightfully retain the title for the first time since 2010. Southampton’s massive rise under new manager Ronald Koeman has enabled them to stake a claim in Europe next season, after they were seemingly down and out when a majority of their players where snatched away from them in the summer. Leicester City defied huge odds to stay in the Premier League, after sitting at rock bottom for such a huge period of time. Although it was maybe not the most exciting season ever, it did produce one or two spectacular, or simply unbelievable viewings. From Southampton’s 8-0 massacre of Sunderland, Steven Gerrard’s final game for Liverpool ending in a 6-1 thrashing, to Charlie Adam’s absolute belter from the halfway-line. All in all, it’s yet again been brilliant value for entertainment on all fronts. Manchester United have had a questionable season, they saw themselves clinch the top 4 once again in Louis van Gaal’s debut season in charge. However, it divides opinion as to whether this achievement should be greatly hailed, with the club spending almost £150 million in the summer. Over the next few days, ManUNews will be reviewing Manchester United’s season in its entirety, from goalkeeper to manager. Any player that has made over 5 appearances for the first team will be included.

On paper, Manchester United have one of the fiercest attacks in the world. The trio of Rooney, Van Persie and Falcao, would almost certainly get into any team. As it turned out, only 1 of these strikers really blossomed for United in what was a disappointing season in terms of goals. Before the season got underway, United’s summer signings indicated that they aimed to ‘outscore’ their opponents, something which undoubtedly failed.

Wayne Rooney

In his first season as captain for United, Wayne Rooney showed he has both leadership skills and diversity in his game. At the start of the season, Rooney was summoned by manager Louis van Gaal to play in a much deeper position to allow Van Persie and Falcao to lead the line. Although Rooney is clearly content with playing as a midfielder, you did get the feeling that it just wasn’t right. Sure enough, after Van Persie was sidelined, Rooney was called upon to play as a striker and gave a string of brilliant performances. It was then that LvG listened to the cries of United fans and pundits alike, and reinstated Rooney as a striker, a position which is clearly his best. Making 37 appearances for United, Rooney managed 14 goals. To the average person that goal to game ratio seems a little off for a striker who’s known as one of the best ever, however, what Rooney gives to United isn’t just goals. The 29-year-old gives arguably the most of the entire team in terms of work rate and area covered. His presence in the squad alone gives me great belief that United have one of the best in the world in their ranks. Although it hasn’t been Rooney’s best ever season, without him in the side United would have unquestionably struggled.

Rating – 8/10

Robin van Persie

The Dutchman carried huge expectations on his shoulders off the back of a brilliant World Cup. Under ex United manager David Moyes, RVP struggled to keep consistency in his performances. However the appointment of Van Gaal brought with it the confidence that Van Persie would be back to his best under his fellow Dutchman, unfortunately it doesn’t look as if that’s the way things have panned out. Injuries have halted RVP’s game time, but he has still managed 29 appearances for United. Rumours are linking the 31-year-old with a move away from Old Trafford, something which most United fans will agree has both positives and negatives. Van Persie still has a lot to offer United, the 10 goals he has contributed this season were important to United’s rise in the league, and he still has that glimpse of class about him when he plays. Whether or not LvG decides to invest in a new striker this summer, I can still see Van Persie playing a small part in the squad next season.

Rating – 6.5/10

Radamel Falcao

It’s no secret all United fans are absolutely gutted with the outcome of Falcao, a signature deadline day move which shook the world of football, and added yet another huge name into the Premier League. But things just have not worked out for the 29-year-old. Scoring just 4 goals this season, Falcao has hugely failed in his first and only season at United. It’s been fairly obvious since the turn of the year that the Colombian would not be signed permanently by United. There was always a feeling throughout the season that Falcao would produce a glimpse of what we saw him do for Porto and Atletico Madrid, and leave the United executives with big question marks over completing the deal, but it just was not to be. The 29-year-old will now return to Monaco and seek a move elsewhere, and I’m sure he will hit form once again.

Rating – 6/10

James Wilson

After bursting onto the scenes with a couple of goals on his debut last season, Wilson had big expectations coming into 2014/15. The trio of strikers mentioned above proved tough competition for the 19-year-old, however despite the world class competition, Wilson managed 17 appearances for United. Although the youngster only scored twice, there is a big feeling around Old Trafford that Wilson is a star in the making. A loan move would probably be he best option for Wilson, newly promoted side Bournemouth would be wise to snap up the Englishman for a year.

Rating – 6/10