(Wayne Rooney finds lots of space as the opposition players know that he will give them the ball back very soon)

How much longer can this be tolerated? At present Rooney seems to be selected because he was, a few years ago, a half decent player. Nothing special, he would come up with the occasional spectacular goal and contribute a little to the team but, as I said, never anything special. He never lived up to the publicity he was given when he joined United as an eighteen-year-old.

He was made captain by Louis van Gaal who was another one who failed to cover himself in glory whilst at United. Van Gaal, apparently, wanted a leader and obviously couldn’t find one otherwise he wouldn’t have selected Rooney.

Fortunately, none of the other players follow Rooney’s example on the pitch as, if they did, they would give the ball away frequently either by poor control or mis-directed passing.

The way he has been playing for the last two or three years would not see him get into any of the top ten teams in the Premier League. What is this hold he seems to have over managers of Manchester United? At least Fergie saw through him and, if he had still been in charge, Rooney would now be long gone.

Having just sat and watched his dismal performance in the Community Shield against Leicester City, I can only marvel at his astonishing statements about staying at Old Trafford for another six years or so. He isn’t good enough now and he is only going to get worse, if that is possible.

Only Rooney, in the first half of the game, constantly gave possession away although, at one stage, I thought Antonio Valencia was going to provide serious competition for him, particularly when, in the space of about ten seconds, he managed to give the ball straight back to Leicester three times in succession!

But no, Wayne Rooney was the stand-out bad player of the first half without any doubt. Surely he would improve in the second half.

He didn’t.

United had led at half time through a nice individual goal from Jesse Lingard but it wasn’t long before Fellaini decided to follow his captain’s lead and give the ball straight to a Leicester player. The problem was that the pass went to Vardy who only had De Gea to beat and so it was quickly 1-1.

Rooney’s performance continued to be an embarrassment and, as though realising that he wasn’t impressing anybody, he began to run around like a headless chicken, causing further embarrassment to himself.

After 87 minutes Mourinho finally put him out of his misery by replacing him with Morgan Schneiderlin. By this stage, United had taken a 2-1 lead courtesy of a header from Ibrahimovic so it could be argued that the manager was only trying to protect the lead.

Usually, coaches are notoriously loyal to their captain no matter how badly they are playing and Mourinho was no different for the majority of this game when, in fairness, if he had taken Rooney off after twenty minutes nobody could have complained, least of all the captain!

Away from the Rooney debate, United played quite well without hitting any heights. Of the new signings who played, Eric Bailly looked assured and had a good game and Ibrahimovic scored the winner. Mkhitaryan came on with three minutes left and didn’t have any impact at all……..surprise, surprise!

I would agree that another quality centre back is required as United struggled to defend set pieces, particularly long throw-ins.

But, at least with Pogba due to arrive very soon, the current situation at Old Trafford is healthy and may yet improve!


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