Fergie's Worries: Manchester Sans Rooney Are Not at All United

Saura BhattacharjeeAnalyst IMarch 8, 2010

All is not so hunky dory and carefree, as in the picture, for Manchester United.

Alex Ferguson must be very worried after the match against Wolves. The Red Devils' were surely out of ideas in front of the goal. "Lucky Scholes" scored the winner as veteran Wolves defender Jody Craddock made a bad clearance of the ball providing Scholes his 100th goal.

The tension must have been growing in the Red Devils' camp after the Carling Cup final against Aston Villa which saw Rooney coming off late in the game to score the winner.

But after Saturday's match it must be worrying.

Manchester was in possession for most part of the game, yet it took them 73 minutes and an error by Craddock to score the only goal and winner for them. If Stephen Ward had not wasted the "golden chance" goal from point blank range and Vokes' had converted the opportunity he got in the dying moments, the match could well have gone another way.

This season has seen Manchester United being carried single handedly in the broad shoulders of the in-form Rooney.

In the Carling Cup final against Aston Villa, the current league leaders never looked convincing. Rooney had to be brought on in the later half of the game and he scored the winner for Manchester United.

Against AC Milan in the Champions League, Rooney had been contained in the first half and that saw Manchester go on the backfoot. But in the second half, Rooney blazed around the field and almost alone turned the match in United's favour.

Fergie's other two strikers, Berbatov and Owen, have not been convincing so far. Gibson and Diouf have lots to learn. With the recent hamstring injury to Owen, Ferguson must be a worried man.

The genius that he is must have seen how feeble United's attacks were without Rooney  against a bottom ranked team.

Rooney is doubtful for United's Champions League return leg fixture against AC Milan with a knee injury. His absence will surely have a big effect on the outcome of the match between Fergie's Red Devils and Leonardo's San Siro giants AC Milan.

The whole United camp should be praying for the timely recovery of Rooney, because if Rooney stays on the bench, Manchester United's Champions League campaign may see a premature closing ceremony. That might also be the reason why Ferguson is very interested in signing Chelsea's Joe Cole. United without Rooney will also have lots of problems to face in defending the English Premier League.