It hasn’t been a good couple of weeks for England and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney and Jose Mourinho’s latest comments are unlikely to lift his mood.
Rooney wasn’t in the starting XI against Arsenal, a fixture that he has previously excelled in for the Red Devils. The 31-year-old did come on halfway into the second half, but only to see a late header from Olivier Giroud cancel out Juan Mata’s 68th minute goal.
After the game, manager Jose Mourinho was questioned about Rooney’s involvement in the game. The Portuguese manager tacitly admitted that the English forward isn’t the best attacking option for the Red Devils right now.
“I thought we were going to have the ball,” Mourinho said when asked about Rooney’s cameo against Arsenal, according to the Daily Mail.
“Arsenal are a team who let the opponents play. I thought we would have space and the ball would arrive quite easily to the attacking players. I believed ones like Mata, Martial and Rashford were faster than Wayne, better attacking opponents one-to-one in the last line. I thought it was the best option.”
The comments from Mourinho come after a turbulent week for Rooney. He was pictured in an intoxicated state at a wedding party while on national duty, causing a storm of media controversy. However, rival managers like Arsene Wenger and Jurgen Klopp have come out in defence of Rooney.
His own manager Jose Mourinho seems to be unconcerned about the Englishman’s off field indiscretions. The 31-year-old is no longer an automatic starter for Man United, because Mourinho has taken the bold step of dropping the club captain.
Roone was given an extended run in the first team at the beginning of the season, but after Man United succumbed to a series of ignominious defeats and frustrating draws, he was handed a substitutes role from the bench.
The Red Devils don’t seem to be suffering too much in his absence. They look like a more attacking and balanced side, and all indicators seem to be pointing to the fact that Rooney’s time at Old Trafford is slowly drawing to a close.