Wayne Rooney has lashed out at the ‘rubbish’ criticism he has received of late and has insisted that he is doing the best he can to put in tireless performances for Manchester United.
United captain Wayne Rooney has shrugged off the criticism he has received in the past few months, insisting that a lot of it is ‘rubbish’. He also stated that it wasn’t something new for him given the scrutiny he has been subject to throughout his illustrious career.
In an exclusive interview with MUTV, the England international said: “I think I’ve had that my whole career – a little bit more of late, I think, but that’s football. I listen to my coaches and my team-mates, the people around me, and I don’t really listen to what a lot of people out there are saying because a lot of it is rubbish.
“I have to focus, work hard, of course, and I’ve done that throughout my career. I’ve worked hard and tried to do my best for the team.
“I’ve done that [played in different positions] throughout my career. I feel I can play in all positions but I think the manager has made it clear either I’ll play up front or in the no.10 and that’s where he sees me playing.
“As I said before, it’s not just myself – the whole team is going in and working hard. We had a bad week but we’ve been working hard to put that right.”
It has been a roller coaster ride for Jose Mourinho in the three months he has spent at Old Trafford. A summer that saw the Portuguese manager pay top dollar to secure the services of world-class players has been followed by a rather disappointing start to the season.
Barring Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the other two signings are still to make their mark in England’s top tier. Despite being a part of the United setup for years, Rooney too seems to be out of sync with the rest of his teammates.
After playing as a number 10 in every game this season, Mourinho questionably decided to deploy the 30-year-old as an out-and-out striker for the EFL Cup against Northampton. The Red Devils ended up winning the game by a 3-1 scoreline, but Rooney continued to struggle in front of goal.
The United captain’s finishing was a grade lower than what was expected from him. His passes seemed wayward and his first touch was not up to the mark. Rarely did he look comfortable on the ball and was often shrugged off it by the opposition defenders.
Even in the Premier League, playing as a shadow striker, Rooney has been doing little to aid Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the final third. Mourinho demands that his players play at a higher tempo, but is seems his captain is unable to do so. He is slowing down proceedings for United and has been justifiably criticised for lacking the intent to surge up front.
Given Rooney’s selection in mid-week, there is a good chance that Mourinho will drop United’s second-highest goal scorer of all time for Saturday’s league game against Leicester City. While the player has reiterated his desire to bounce back, it remains to be seen what Mourinho has in store for him for the remainder of the season.