Despite the big summer that saw the arrival of Ronaldo, Sancho and Varane, Manchester United somehow find itself out of the title race, out of the two domestic cups and out of the Champions League, competing just for a top-4 finish with a super-star squad. Saturday’s draw against Leicester City saw United move further away from their top 4 chases and who now sit 7th on the table behind West Ham, Arsenal and Tottenham.
Much like the club, even the fans are now looking forward to the team’s future rather than present performances as the issues such as the new permanent coach are gaining more attention than the current top-4 race. Even during post-match analyses by football pundits for United’s recent games, the topic of the manager, player exits and entries in the summer etc. all manage to come into the conversation.
With those in and around the club now planning for the future, United legend Wayne Rooney has given his analysis of United’s current situation while appearing on Monday Night Football where he highlighted issues surrounding the club from the past and present.
“I can look at it and say it hasn’t been good enough as we have that group of players they need to be doing better. They’re going through a tough time as a club, and I think what everyone wants is for them to get the manager situation sorted as soon as possible, and they have to rebuild for the next two or three years to make sure they’re challenging again,” said Rooney while on air.
Rooney who has scored 253 times for Manchester United did not shy away from making bold statements that would make him an unpopular figure amongst supporters.
Rooney revealed he thought that Ronaldo has not had the desired impact since his return to Old Trafford and has advised that his ex-teammate and Paul Pogba should be moved on by the club.
“He’s scored important goals early on in the season in the Champions League and he’s scored the hat-trick against Tottenham but I think if you’re looking towards the future of the club, you have to go with younger, hungry players to lift United over the next two or three years,” said the Englishman.
Rooney’s critique of United continued on the night as he delivered more opinions which have managed to irk numerous United fans, who have taken to Twitter to challenge some of the Englishman’s takes. Here are some of the best tweets from the bunch:
Choosing Poch over Ten Hag
When asked his pick for the next United manager, Rooney snubbed the fan favourite pick in Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag and instead backed PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino to take the job.
“I think Pochettino has done it in the Premier League…If I’m choosing from one of the two, that’s who I’d choose”, said Rooney.
But the Englishman has been criticized by fans for making this decision due to his English bias (PL experience).
Thought Rooney had good ball knowledge but he’s just gone on MNF and said “get Poch because of PL experience” and “McTominay’s done well”…— 🌊™️ (@RealistGlizzy) April 4, 2022
Hyping Lingard and McTominay
While most fans did agree with Rooney for saying that Paul Pogba should be moved on by the club, his backing of homegrown talents like Jesse Lingard and McTominay have not been well received. Rooney termed Lingard a “good young player” when the Englishman turns 30 this year and him supporting out of form Harry Maguire too did not go down well with the fans.
Wayne Rooney has just said on MNF that United have some “good young players” and continues in that sentence to say “Jesse Lingard should be playing”.— The Life Of Brian (@DaytrippingRed) April 4, 2022
Jesse Lingard is 29 years of age, Wayne.
That ship has long sailed and he should have left last summer.
Rooney has heard a nightmare on MNF. I love you Wayne come on. It’s one thing to have an opinion but my goodness he is so wrong on.— The Elite Pundit (@TheElitePundit) April 4, 2022
Mctominay, Maguire, Lingard and on wanting Poch.
Man Utd badly need a new direction that’s as far away as possible from this kind of thinking.
Calling out Mourinho for not using the academy
Perhaps this was Rooney’s biggest miss all night as he criticized a lack of connection between the first team and the club’s academy, especially under former coach Jose Mourinho. Fans have hit back at him by asking who the Portuguese was supposed to promote to the first team when there were not enough young players good enough for a first-team spot.
Furthermore, during the 2016/17 season, Mourinho did offer a few young academy players first-team opportunities as he played the likes of Joel Castro, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Dimitri Mitchell, and Joshua Andrew during United’s last league game against Crystal Palace. Fans would also be interested to hear that Wayne Rooney played this fixture under Mourinho and also captained the team on the night.
Rooney is talking some rubbish so far on MNF.— 🕊 (@KendricksIntern) April 4, 2022
Does he not think there was a reason for the disconnect? Who was he supposed to promote? Ro-Shaun Williams who now plays for Doncaster? Matty Willock who now plays for Salford? There was distance because they weren’t good enough. https://t.co/Bx7S1NcPX5