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Rooney's first season; away at Blackburn; winning 1-0 (Kev Campbell). We are under the cosh bigtime, clinging on to the 1-0 for dear life so Moyes decides to make a substitution. Forward off / defensive mid on? Throw an extra full back into the mix? No way. He throws Rooney on to run at them and they shit themselves. It completely changes the balance of the match; we hold on to the 1-0 with ease and should have had three by full time.

It was enthralling stuff and it seemed to sum up the ethos of our relatively new manager - positive, positive, positive. Such a change from Smith. All of a sudden we could win four or five on the spin, we could score "goals of the month" and we could win penalty shoot outs. I remember leaving Ewood that day to the sound of fireworks and chants of, "We're gonna win the league". It was uplifting stuff!

Now, I like Moyes, I'm not gonna deny that; I don't want to slag him off because I dread to think were we'd be without him. However, fast forward five years, and even I have to question where that dynamic tactical approach during matches has gone.

He's still Mr Positive in my eyes, in terms of his talk and his ambition for the future of the club and his undoubted passion for making us great again. If he's here in another six years, I expect us to be streets ahead of where we are now. I don't doubt the man in terms of his overall ability as a manager.

But I do have a nagging suspicion that if he had reacted during matches this season in the same inspiring way he did at Ewood all those years ago, the ambitions he has for the future of this club could have been achieved here and now, in the present.
Jon Sellick, Crosby     Posted 05/05/2008 at 11:48:21

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Dave Jeanrenaud
1   Posted 05/05/2008 at 16:41:15

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I’m sure if we had a Wayne Rooney to throw on then such inspired substitutions would still be in evidence.

Unfortunately when you look at the options we have had on the bench in recent weeks there has been a lack of players whom you would fancy to turn a game in our favour.

It’s vital that the board find the money to strengthen all areas of the squad this summer.
Ray Robinson
2   Posted 05/05/2008 at 17:05:23

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I remember that match Jon. However, like Dave has stated we don’t have the luxury of a Rooney on the bench any more. This says less about Moyes and more about the fact that we don’t have the money to stack the bench full of inluential match-changers. For Rooney then, read Anichebe now and there’s the reason - not necessarily Moyes’s choice of substitutions.
Patrick Banks
3   Posted 05/05/2008 at 17:49:34

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I believe it also has to do with injuries. If Vaughan was on the bench, he’ll come on and make quite an impact.
Niall Clinton
4   Posted 05/05/2008 at 18:28:35

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Back then Moyes had nothing to lose, little or no expectation and lets be honest he didn’t have fans moaning at his every move. No one points out the many times we have killed a game to secure 3 points but are happy to point out an apparent lack of ambition. There is a stat that puts us in the top 4 of winning games we take the lead in and that is not down to negativity or a lack of ambition from our manager.
When Moyes started out his first full season at home to Spurs he started with 4-3-3 with Rooney and the Rat out wide of Campbell. If Moyes went 4-3-3 at the start of next season and we lost 3 games in a row then people would slate him too. Realism, higher expectations, more to lose. These are the reasons why our manager is professional and thorough, not reckless and cavalier.
Ray Robinson
5   Posted 05/05/2008 at 18:42:32

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Agree with you Niall - up to a point. When we ge in front we ususally don’t lose. However, the other side of the coin is that when we go behind, we rarely draw, let alone win. We have an awful recovery rate stretching over two full seasons now.
Tony Horne
6   Posted 05/05/2008 at 20:14:59

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He’s done the same thing a few times using AJ from the bench this season too..........
Simar Singh
7   Posted 05/05/2008 at 20:46:35

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I went to that game and had a 1-0, Kevin Campbell double and was very pleased! Rooney did make a difference when he came on but the last touch of the game was a Richard Wright point blank save!!!
Eric Myles
8   Posted 06/05/2008 at 02:28:14

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It wasn’t just at the Blackburn game either, and there were a couple of games that season where we were drawing and he put Rooney on and we came away with a win.

Unfortunately we don’t have another Rooney on the bench, or on the field.
Jason Lam
9   Posted 06/05/2008 at 10:17:34

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Where’s Rooney when you need him heh?

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