Monday 30 November 2015

Van Gaal "satisfied" with Rooney despite poor form- but Basti should be our leader

United manager Louis van Gaal insists he is "very happy" with Wayne Rooney's contribution to the Reds this season and claims it is not just the armband keeping him in the team.

Rooney was substituted after 68 minutes at Leicester and although this was due to injury it could easily have been due to another listless performance from the skipper.

Only Sir Bobby Charlton has scored more goals for United than Rooney but he has just two goals in the league all season in a team that has struggled to score.

The issue is that LVG has decided to make a grossly underperforming player the inspiration and heartbeat of the team.
A captain should have a decisive influence of a game and his team with a calm head and excellent leadership qualities... something we are not seeing from Rooney at present. 

Rooney's form remains a major line of questioning at Van Gaal's pre-match press conferences, and Friday's was no different, with the United manager again unequivocal in his backing of his skipper.

When asked if Wazza would still be picked if he was not captain, LVG said:

"Yes, of course, otherwise he is out of the team.
"Wayne is doing a lot, has a very great contribution in the team- I am very satisfied with him."

Rooney has been switched between No. 10 and an out-and-out striker's role this term, with Anthony Martial either paired with him or preferred as the lone forward.

"At this moment, he doesn't play in the striker's position, Martial is playing there, but it is possible that he shall play other matches there.
"It is dependent not always on the quality and shape of the player, but also  the game plan and we have to decide this every week" added the Dutchman.

I'd really like to know what he is doing that is keeping Van Gaal satisfied. What can it possibly be, footballing wise?
This team seem to ghost through difficult periods in games, no intent, no leadership and he is our captain.
The only late rally we've had was at Watford, when, co-incidentally, Rooney did not play. So I have to question his leadership.

He gets wrestled off the ball too easily, can't turn or run with it, lacks vision for through balls or the left flank.
No nous for intricate one-touch passing, he seems to be totally the opposite player for van Gaal's philosophy yet he is his favourite player.

His continued selection does not make sense.

There is no footballing reason to keep him in.
Herrera and Mata both offer us more, we could try Memphis and Martial together and give Basti the armband.

That would indicate some hope of improvement, because Rooney isn't even arguably in decline anymore, he has declined. 

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