Monday, September 26, 2016

What next for Rooney?

Jose Mourinho insisted his 30-year-old captain - left out after early season struggles - was "my man" and Rooney himself
joined the celebrations from his place on the bench as the
home side flourished without him in an emphatic 4-1 win at
Old Trafford.

The United manager said: "I trust him completely. He's as
happy as I am at this moment that the team won. He's a big
player for me, for United, a big player for this country."
It may not quite be the day that marks the beginning of the
end for Rooney's United career but, as well as words of
support, Mourinho made a tactical point that suggested he
may be spending a lot more time applauding from the
technical area rather than the pitch.

Mourinho said: "When our main striker is Zlatan we need fast
people surrounding him to bring that intensity to the.

For all the qualities Rooney still possesses, and there are
many, being fast is not one of them and it is clear at this
point in time that Ibrahimovic is Mourinho's main striker.
Ander Herrera provided the base for Paul Pogba and Juan
Mata to excel and score, while Marcus Rashford and Jesse
Lingard provided the pace Mourinho craved.

Mourinho is wise enough - certainly more of an Einstein (as
he sarcastically called his critics) than most of us when it
comes to football - not to make Rooney feel too marginalised
but add Antony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to the Old
Trafford equation and he has a real fight on his hands to earn
a place.

Only a fool would write Rooney off and this consummate team
man will wait for his next chance but it is now evident that
Mourinho has the resources and tactical flexibility to do
without his influence on even more occasions in the future.

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