Thursday 13 May 2010 12:41, UK
Skysports.com casts an analytical eye over Manchester United's 2009/10 season.MANCHESTER UNITED What Went Right? Wayne Rooney went very, very right until his ankle went very wrong, while Own Goals also had a brilliant season - getting well into double figures. Defensively, United were excellent despite a catalogue of injuries that saw Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher retreat into the back four, while Paul Scholes had the kind of season few would have predicted this time last year and Antonio Valencia proved to be an excellent if expensive buy. The League Cup brought some silverware and one of three late wins over Manchester City that kept the noisy neighbours quiet for one more season. What Went Wrong? The natives in green and yellow got more and more restless, and were not placated by events on the pitch - defeat at Burnley was an ultimately-costly low, defeat against Leeds was just plain embarrassing, two defeats at the hands of Chelsea gave them an uphill task in the Premier League and complacency against a limited Bayern Munich side cost them a Champions League charge. Without Rooney they struggled and failure to score at Blackburn is the easiest place to look for the two points that would have won them the league. Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick both struggled for form while Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand continually struggled for fitness. That they eventually came so close to winning the title is astonishing in the circumstances. Are They Happy? Players, staff and fans are decidedly not happy. Summer changes are afoot. Signing of the season: Antonio Valencia - a decent first season. The winger provided something different to Cristiano Ronaldo, but different does not mean bad. His crossing and pace from the right served to provide Rooney with many of his goals. Flop of the season: Michael Owen - his eventual retreat to the treatment table was all too predictable. Indeed, he made himself a hero for scoring that late winner versus City, but few were shocked when his season came to a premature end. Oh, and Dimitar Berbatov again failed to live up the high standards he set himself at Tottenham. Star man Wayne Rooney - who else? The England international bagged himself 34 goals in all competitions. Rooney helped to fill the void let by Cristiano Ronaldo by spearheading United's title charge. United may not be a one-man team, but then again Rooney plays like more than just a man. Breakthrough player Nani - an incredible turnaround. The Portuguese looked set for the exit door in January only to make a sensational comeback to form. Highlights include a stunning display versus Arsenal and a fine goal against Spurs. High point Beating their bitter rivals Man City on three occasions. Said victories were made even sweeter such was the drama involved with late goals breaking City hearts. And of course, United did lift the League Cup earlier this season. Low point A week which saw them depart the Champions League against Bayern Munich and also lose to Chelsea. Sir Alex Ferguson pointed to that period as crucial in their season while indeed their shock exit against Leeds in the FA Cup was a gutter for the Red Devils contingent.