Team-player Saha can bring vital balance to United’s stellar attack

August 7 2007

There’s a good article on The Guardian website about Louis Saha, who Rob Smyth has dubbed ‘the forgotten man of Old Trafford’.

Amidst all the trumpeting about the attacking resources at Alex Ferguson’s disposal following the acquisition of Nani, Anderson and Tevez, few commentators have stopped to consider the role Saha might be asked to play in the forthcoming season.

Fergie might be bullish about Rooney and Tevez’s ability to play together, but I’m not convinced. True, a Rooney-Tevez front two could, in theory, be capable of bulldozing opposition defences into submission, but my concern is that their shared predilection for dropping deep to pick up the ball will invite teams to push United back towards their own goal.

Saha, by contrast, stretches the play, and when he played last season he created acres of room for Rooney to explore. Ruud van Nistelrooy might have been a goal machine, but United’s link-up play is so much better with the powerful Saha in the side, and he creates an awful lot of chances for his team-mates.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this Rooney-Tevez talk is a bit of a smokescreen. I’m not saying Ferguson won’t want to see if they can play together – and attacking fluidity will be a key feature of United’s tactics this season – but when it comes to the crunch I think he realises there’s still a great deal to be said for the old fashioned Number 10Number 9 combination.


One Response to “Team-player Saha can bring vital balance to United’s stellar attack”

  1. […] as you could possibly wish for in Carlos Tevez. The player who really makes the 4-2-3-1 tick is Louis Saha, and it is his currently unavailability – rather than Rooney’s – which makes Alex […]

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