Wayne Rooney was ultimately United’s best player last year after the 24-year-old forward produced some scintillating performances in both domestic and European competitions.
Fletcher believes that if United are to recapture the Premier League title this season, then all members of the squad need to supply more goals and not solely rely on Wayne Rooney. The 26-year-old tenacious midfielder told Sky Sports today:
“There was a lot of pressure on Wayne to score all the goals last season and he took that burden on. But sometimes that does not happen. All strikers go through phases when they do not score goals and that is when it is important that everyone else steps up and does their bit.”
Rooney made a total of 44 appearances in all competitions last season and bagged an impressive return of 34 goals. The 24-year-old striker undoubtedly had his best season at Old Trafford and many believed, including Fergie, that without his involvement last year, the Red Devils would have finished lower in the Premier League table than they did. This has prompted Fletcher to call on, and urge his team-mates to assist more with goals this season, as the Scotland captain deems it would be erroneous to expect the England international to repeat such a feat again.
United forward Dimitar Berbatov only netted 12 goals in all competitions last year, whilst wingers Antonio Valencia and Nani only managed 7 each (all three players goals combined still didn’t beat Rooney’s record). This is not a good return for any attacking player to have, especially when playing for a quality team like Manchester United. Fergie will have to resolve this problem if they indeed want to reclaim the domestic prize this upcoming season.
Many players will have to step up to the plate and be counted for, especially those in the attacking third of the field. Dimitar Berbatov will definitely have to prove his worth this season as his £30 million striker tag looks an utter joke to be honest. Valencia and Nani may have not scored as many would have expected, but they certainly supported Rooney with many assists over the previous season. With time, the two wide-men can only get better, and if they can add goals to their game then it would unquestionably benefit the club in general.
Taking this all into account, Darren Fletcher has not done or said nothing special, on the contrary, he has in fact stated what all of us football fans knew last season. It’s possibly the understatement of the year so far, but indeed a correct analysis by the United midfielder. Improvements will need to be made, not just for Rooney’s sake, but United’s as well.
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