Following Manchester United’s disastrous campaign this season, Wayne Rooney admitted that it hurts to see arch rivals Liverpool and Manchester City do well in the Premier league.
“To see City doing well, and particularly Liverpool, is really difficult. It’s not nice when we know we are capable of being up there challenging and we haven’t been doing that this season.”
United won the Premier League last season by a margin of 11 points but are currently trailing Liverpool by 11 points. They have also lost out to City who lead United by 9 points with two games in hand.
“However, it means we have to step up and get back up there because the feeling we’ve had this season is not a nice feeling at all to have. We have to keep working, keep progressing and finish the season stronger.”
He refused to blame David Moyes for United’s failure and indicated that the players are equally responsible for their current position. He admitted that the transition following Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure was always going to be difficult but made it clear that the players haven’t been good enough this season.
“As a group of players and a team we haven’t been good enough this season and we have to put that right.
“After Sir Alex being here for 26 years, there was always going to be a change whoever came in and, in fairness, I think the players have to do better.
The striker believes that United will continue to fight for the fourth position in the league and will look to come back next season firing on all cylinders.
“Hopefully we can make the top four but, if not, we will still come back firing for next season.”
The striker also made it clear that he will accept the Captain’s armband with both hands after Vidic’s departure in summer.
David Moyes seems to be planning to build a team around the Englishman who has recently been offered a highly lucrative contract which has tied him at the Old Trafford for the next five and a half years. With Vidic departing for Inter Milan this summer, it is no secret that Wayne Rooney might be appointed as the next United captain this summer.
The striker said that he has led the team on a couple of occasions and will have not hesitate to take the added responsibility.
“I’ve done it a few times and, if the manager wants me to be the captain, I would have no problem with that.”
Wayne Rooney has been at Manchester United since 2004 when he was brought from Everton under the keen eye of Sir Alex Ferguson. A young talent, Rooney was known for being a prolific goal-scorer as well as for losing his cool on and off the pitch. It was under Sir Alex Ferguson that the striker developed his game and temperament to emerge as one of the best English players of his generation. And the striker now believes that the time is right for him to don the captain’s armband.
“I would take it with both hands. However, it is down to the manager, because it’s his decision on whoever he feels is the right person to lead the team. I’m sure he’ll make that decision when the time comes.”
Known to be quite vocal on the pitch, Rooney confirmed that even if he was not appointed the next Manchester United captain, he would continue to help and lead his team-mates on the pitch.
“I think, whether you’ve got the armband or not, I always feel I’m quite vocal on the pitch. I try to help the players when I feel I can and say what I think. I believe that’s the most important thing, to be honest and say what you feel.”
“If you say what you believe are the right things, you need to keep doing that.”
Wayne Rooney is one of the senior-most players in the United dressing room and is taking his role as a senior quite seriously. He admitted to working with youngsters like Janujaz and believes that it is important for the seniors to help the new players hone their skills.
“I’ve stayed out after training with Adnan a few times. Even just working on free-kicks and crossing. It actually benefits me as well and it benefits him.”
“I am trying to help him get better and better, which I feel he is doing, and I think young players need to practise all the time, especially coming into the side. Senior players also need to keep practising to stay on top of their game so it works for both of us.”
With Manchester United going through their darkest ever spell in recent years, the Old Trafford faithful will look to Wayne Rooney lead the way.