Revealed: Why Mourinho dropped this United star from matchday squad?
Manchester Untied captain Wayne Rooney admits his poor display against Watford validated the decision of Jose Mourinho to drop him.
Rooney has been benched for Man United’s last three matches following his performance in the 3-1 defeat at Vicarage Road last month.
But while the 30-year-old star admits he understands Mourinho’s decision, he also insists that he’s ready to fight for his pace.
During his interview, the England captain said: ‘Listen, I had a bad game at Watford. I played bad, I know that and I understand that.
‘I think if he [Mourinho] was picking the next team on the back of that, I understand not playing. The team have done well, certainly in the Leicester game since that. I understand I have to work hard and try and get back and try and get my chance and take it.
‘I don’t think he meant I’d come back a different player. We had come back and lost three games on the run.
‘The team came back different, but I’ll take a lot of that. Of course, I’ve done that throughout my career, but we have to work as a team in terms of trying to win and, if I’m on the bench, so be it.
‘I’ll fight. I’ll fight to try and get back in.’
Rooney turns 31 later this month but in footballing terms, he is five years older – he has been playing professional football for over 14 years.
Ryan Giggs kept the engine motoring despite the mileage because he had the body of a sports car. Stan Collymore likened Rooney to a ‘nine-year-old Mercedes Benz – drives well enough but is incompatible’.
Giggs was allowed to reinvent himself as a central midfielder by football’s greatest man-manager and was selfless enough to acknowledge his limitations on the wing, so he relied on his athleticism and intelligence to effect games from the middle.
Giggs, Paul Scholes and Teddy Sheringham all excelled in their 30s under Ferguson not just because they were clever players but because their bodies were the envy of players 10 years younger.
Ferguson’s refusal to sign central midfielders extended Giggs’ shelf life but
United have had to succumb to the ‘kamikaze spending’ the Scot abhorred after City’s 2008 takeover, which has marginalised Rooney under a demanding manager.
Had Ferguson remained beyond 2012-13, it is unlikely he would have micro-managed Rooney’s reinvention after publicly criticising him on several occasions to the point he practically transfer listed him.
A Wing’s aficionado, Rooney could enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine in the Far East and earn enough money to make Merseyside its own republic, but he is determined to play at a fourth World Cup in Russia. If he is to realise that ambition, he might have to play his club football elsewhere.
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