Man United: Should LVG Start Falcao Or Van Persie?
After the signing of Radamel Falcao, Manchester United had more strikers than Thatcher’s Britain. Luckily, on the same day Javier Hernandez completed his move to Real Madrid, helping him in his quest to become the next Santiago Muñez, Welbz got his chance to prove he can be “dat guy” at Arsenal. This left Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, and Falcao to compete for playing time up front. (Don’t kid yourselves, James Wilson isn’t gonna play much.)
Rooney will hereafter be referred to as “Wayne and Paul” in order to give Paul Stretford proper credit for Rooney being handed a new £300,000/w contract, being named Manchester United captain, and therefore being exempt from the conversation about which striker Louis van Gaal will drop. I hate Wayne and Paul. Before they were named captain, speculation, that most mischievous of beasts, suggested that LVG might appoint RVP. The acronyms gotta stick together, right? Wrong, apparently. And this perceived slight has led many to believe that the new manager would have no problem disbanding the dynamic duo of Bossman and Robin in order to play with his shiny new toy.
In terms of logistical, footballing factors, it’s hard to choose between Falcao and RVP. Both, when fit, are up there in the conversation about the best out-and-out strikers in the game. Fitness is an issue, though, with the Colombian having missed this year’s World Cup because of an ACL tear and van Perise struggling with injuries throughout his career. You can’t score from the stands, no matter what Ryan Giggs says to the contrary.
If then, for the sake of argument, they are both fit, age comes into play. At 31 and coming off a relatively disappointing season, it could be suggested that van Perise may have reached the end of his peak. He has, however, proven that he can be the difference-maker in a Premier League title-winning side. At Monaco, rumours about his age forced Falcao to produce a birth certificate to confirm that he is 28, apparently entering his prime as a world-class striker. He has scored goals wherever he has played to date, but remains unproven in English football, where many have failed to adapt.
With such a difficult choice to be made, here are some challenges that might help Louis van Gaal and Man Utd fans decide who to play alongside Wayne and Paul:
1. Whichever striker can decipher the most lyrics from Darren Fletcher’s three favourite Sean Paul songs
2. Whichever striker had the best chant created about them at their old clubs (This one isn’t entirely fair – Falcao can claim this gem while van Persie used to play for Arsenal.)
3. Whichever striker can locate the hollowed-out tree in which Adnan Januzaj lives with a variety of woodland creatures
4. Whichever striker can work out why the hell United gave Wayne and Paul £300k/pw to do that sprint-to-left-back-tackling thing and smash long passes into touch
5. Whichever striker can steal Roy Keane’s beard and divide it evenly between the statues of the ‘Holy Trinity’ outside Old Trafford.
Alternatively, they could follow the advice of Stan Collymore: play the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse at once and tell them, “Right, these are your starting points, but you’ve all got bundles of international caps, you’re all intelligent players, if one drops, one pushes, if one comes inside, one goes outside. Be flexible. Be creative.”