TheNearPostI've always wondered how these two would do in these roles. Berbatov is as much, if not more, a creative player as an executive one. The intelligence in his overall play is excellent for a target striker, and I think his skill and creative link up play make him perfect for a the false nine position. What's more, he's still capable of playing the basic target striker role, giving United some variation in the attack.
Rooney, to me, seems pretty good defensively, and his ridiculous amount of stamina and great work rate are wasted in the striking position. Moreover, he has probably the best passing range of any striker in the world. He's great at switching the point of attack with the kinds of lofted diagonal balls that fall right at the feet of wingers/fullbacks. Yes, he is a great finisher with good instinct and movement, but those seem to only be a part of the skills he possesses. With Berbatov making spaces in the backline in the false nine role, Rooney and Anderson are the kind of energetic runners that you want exploiting those holes.
GeorgieWasTheBestBerbatov is your typical lazy ass fox in the box striker. I doubt he'll be able to pull playing a false 9.
TheNearPostAnd I think that's a load of crap. The guy has great skill and shows serious intelligence in his passing/movement.
GeorgieWasTheBestBut he doesn't like to move. He'd rather set up camp in the box and tap in whatever comes his way. He doesn't like running, you can see it in his face.
mojojojo101For me I don't think this is something we are likely to see. Against lower quality opposition where Rooney could get on the ball a lot it wouldn't be so much of an issue but when up against a high quality midfield he may be exposed positionally.
However in theory I think this could work, however you would be relying on Berbatov to have a good game every game (when he plays poorly he has next to no effect on a game). Also Hernandez and Welbeck are both very clinical finishers and Welbeck especially is showing that he is more than just a finisher.
TheNearPostThe false nine position doesn't really require running so much as it does "floating". Moving around to drag players in the back line out of position. Berbatov may not even have to move around. Simply dropping into the hole can be enough to pull defenders out of position. That's what Robin Van Persie does for Arsenal in his lone striker role. That's not strenuous. It's pretty simple.
I understand what you're saying mojojojo. Rooney may be a fair defender, but the finer nuances of that art are bit less natural, and not easily learned.
I'm not so sure that Berbatov necessarily has to have a good game every game though. The key to his role is his movement, not so much what he does with the ball. So, theoretically, he could be poor with the ball, but his movement could make spaces for other players. Check out Guillermo Franco's performance against Uruguay at the World Cup - (http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/06/22/uruguay-1-0-mexico-the-best-two-sides-from-group-a-progress/). And like I said, Berbatov is still a target striker, just an intelligent one. If he's not having an effect by dropping deep, he can push up and play the more direct target role.
The false nine role is particularly useful against defenses that play high up because if the false nine creates a hole in the backline, then there is a huge hole in AND behind the backline for through balls to be played. Target strikers are better when defenses sit deep because their ability to buy time for themselves on the ball allows to get up to them in support. 50 yards up the field, that's not quite so useful, but in/around the box, that's a hell of a lot more dangerous.
chicarooneyBerbatov isnt lazy at all do you even watch the games when on the attack he is sharp and quick and would be a very good false 9. When the other team our passing the ball around he dosen't run because he dosen't want to waste his energy. Rooney in midfield is just wasting him he is far better as a support striker behind Hernandez.