Should Louis Van Gaal drop Wayne Rooney from Manchester United's Team?
Wayne Rooney failed to provide inspiration or… anything, once more this season against ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City. Rooney spending most of the game obsolete is something Manchester United supporters are growing accustomed to.
Despite multiple poor performances, England’s all time top goal scorer continues to start each game. Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has not taken action to substitute Rooney, let alone thought about dropping him. Rooney; 30, has not been substituted since United’s tie with Ipswich on the 23rd September which came in the 81st minute.
It would be understandable to persist with the talismanic figure should he be contributing despite bad form. Even on their worst days, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo still encouraged belief amongst the supporters that something magical may happen. The ex-Everton forward only seems to dampen and frustrate the Manchester United faithful with poor passes and a weak first touch.
Rooney has scored just two goals in nine appearances for The Red Devils this season. Considering he has been deployed as a striker or attacking midfielder in each of these games, this is a poor return. His wages; estimated at £300,000 per week, mean Van Gaal and the rest of Manchester should be expecting similar statistics to his 2011-12 season, where he scored 27 goals in 34 Premier League matches.
It is not just his goal-scoring ability that has gone amiss recently; it is also his potential to create opportunities for others. The 2009-10 PFA Players’ Player of the year and FWA Footballer of the year is on a barren run of zero assists in all competitions for Manchester United. Once more, striking for a player so attacking orientated.
Young French forward Anthony Martial’s inspired form means he should replace Rooney as the figurehead. Martial; 19, has three goals and one assist in his first six Premier League appearances in a United shirt. The former Monaco youngster signed for Manchester United in a deal worth £36 million this summer, making him the most expensive teenager in history. In complete contrast to Rooney’s current form, Martial creates excitement, is unpredictable and most of all, contributes with goals and assists. Rooney being dropped to the bench can pave the way for Martial to develop himself further as the future star striker at Manchester United.
For Wayne himself, continually being played may damage him further. Whether it is a degenerating lack of ability or a broken mind set, a time out is something that could benefit him greatly. Completing just 0.8 dribbles per game shows a serious lack of self-confidence in the Scouse striker.
It is often the case that the best thing for a footballer, is to step back for a moment and assess the problem. For Van Gaal that problem list is growing, and he only need look away from Rooney to find solutions.
In total Rooney has scored 236 goals for Manchester United. It will be difficult for such a central figure to be dropped, even if it is deserved. Now, instead of being taken off the pitch, Rooney has been awarded a testimonial match for the Red Devils in 2016. However with support quickly diminishing, supporters may want him gone well before this.
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