Debate: Can Manchester United still win without Wayne Rooney?

30 March 2010 10:47
It was a sight to chill the heart of any red-blooded Englishman. Wayne Rooney - our Wayne Rooney - hobbling off at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said Rooney had injured an ankle in a late clash with Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez and was doubtful for Saturday's game against Chelsea - a match that could ultimately decide the Premier League title - which, by implication, would see him struggling to be fit for the second leg of the Bayern tie.

 Related ArticlesFerguson fears for United after Bayern blowBayern Munich v Manchester United: as it happenedRibery: Rooney is 'carrying' United teamWayne Rooney raises fitness worriesFerguson: Rooney to blame for injurySport on televisionGreat timing then, Wayne. Still, no team is built upon the exploits of one man, even if that man has banged in 34 goals this season. Dimitar Berbatov started on the bench in Munich, and would be the most likely candidate to step in if Rooney is going to spend the next few weeks on his back.

Yet despite being top of the league and challenging for Champions League honours, United have rarely been at their best this season. Often it has been Rooney's goals who have bailed them out of trouble.

In the likely absence of their talisman, then, will anyone else at Old Trafford 'put their hands up', in the favoured parlance of the sports psychologist, and inspire United to two trophies? Or will United finally realise how much they have been relying on their number 10 this season?

And what of England? How far could Fabio Capello's side realistically get with Emile Heskey and Carlton Cole leading the front line?

Join the debate. Have your say below.

Source: Telegraph