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Blog: Red Devils’ young guns prove Rooney wrong

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By Martin Shillito

Wednesday 27 October 2010

The Carling Cup has long since become a proving ground for the young whippersnappers of the Premier League big boys, as well as some of the not-so-big boys in recent times. Manchester United’s little devils were let loose against Wolves last night and proved egomaniac Wayne Rooney wrong with some impressive displays. Martin Shillito explains.

If Wayne Rooney did not make himself look like enough of a self-centred, money-orientated fool during last week’s saga by initially declaring he would not sign a new contract as a result of the future prospects of the Manchester United squad being dark and nebulous, his young team-mates, despite the result being a bit too close for comfort, accentuated his fatuity yesterday evening.

The Man United of the future took their time to get going, the first-half being far from a spectacle, but came to life in the second half with promising verve and adventure. This added adventure was probably the main contributing factor to conceding two goals, but that did little to distract the viewer from realising that the amount of young talent in Manchester red was exciting.

In spite of the drabness of the first half, Bébé, the Portuguese youngster Sir Alex Ferguson bought in the summer without even seeing play, was the livewire of the first 45 minutes. His constant raids down the right flank caused Wolves problems, even if his final ball was generally poor and attacks tended to fizzle out. Chris Smalling also cut a composed and confident figure at centre-half.

The game was won by substitute and new cult hero Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez in the dying minutes, as was their last league game at Stoke, and Darren Gibson, the most senior of the youngsters on show having turned 23 on Monday, was excellent all night as well, his delightfully weighted ball through for Hernandez’s winner capping off another sound performance.

Gabriel Obertan and Federico Macheda are two other potentially stellar performers who played last night, but both seemed a little frustrated with their under-par displays on this occasion.

Although Rooney’s words regarding the club’s future were in all likelihood not meant, they still made him look supremely silly, and make him look even more so now. Manchester United’s future looks as healthy as ever with this glut of quality youngsters, and those who cannot see that, including Rooney, need to open their eyes.

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