Manchester United have struggled to find any cohesion or consistency under new manager Louis van Gaal, and perhaps the problem can be found in the number of players the club are required to field for each encounter.
The regulations do, of course, necessitate teams to start with 11 players each but perhaps Manchester United would find greater success if the Premier League were changed to a five-a-side format.
If the five-a-side team selected by captain Wayne Rooney is anything to go by, then Manchester United may well have found themselves in Chelsea’s position of dominance were the English top-flight to operate in a small-sided structure.
Asked by the Manchester United official website to select his ideal five-person team, Rooney responded with the following: “Do you have to have a goalkeeper? If not, I'll go for Angel [Di Maria], [Radamel] Falcao, Robin [van Persie] and [Juan] Mata.”
Not a bad team, it has to be said. The lack of a goalkeeper stands out as a clear area for concern, although it is an issue that hardly seemed to bother Rooney when he constructed his side.
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Plenty of goals
Rooney himself is pretty handy between the sticks, but it remains to be seen whether or not he would be prepared to don the goalkeeper’s gloves on a permanent basis. Perhaps there would need to be some rotation, or even all-man rush, if the rules permit it.
While it this team may leak some goals, there will be no problem at the other end with Rooney having picked a team with three strikers and two attacking midfielders.
This side has goals aplenty written all over it with Juan Mata and Angel di Maria there to provide the assists for Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie to score. That is, of course, unless any of these four are in goal.
What do you make of Wayne Rooney’s choices? Who would make your ideal five-a-side team? Let us know in the comments section below.