Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney earned himself a big hug from new manager Louis van Gaal for taking the perfect corner during an open training session. The England international was filmed being spoken to by the veteran Dutch coach, who was delighted moments later after watching the forward execute a dangerous set-piece.
The corner was so good, in fact, that goalkeeper David de Gea ended up turning the ball into his own net - although the Spaniard undoubtedly should have done better.
Watch: Rooney earn hug from Van Gaal
Van Gaal making positive impression in training
According to tweets from journalists out in America, where United are for their money-spinning US Tour, the Red Devils’ squad are thoroughly enjoying their training sessions under Van Gaal.
It’s a stark contrast to the negative reports that emerged from the training ground during the tenure of Van Gaal’s predecessor David Moyes, who was sacked by the club in May, just 10 months after succeeding the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.
Insiders claimed the United players found Moyes’s training sessions “boring” - but that doesn’t appear to be the case under the club’s new charismatic manager.
Rooney on set-piece duty next season?
Not every member of Manchester United’s first-team squad is currently back in training, so it might be a little presumptuous to suggest that Rooney will be the team’s main set-piece taker next season.
However, during his 10 years at Old Trafford, Rooney has showcased his tremendous ability from free-kicks, corners and penalties.
Van Gaal has a number of other options, however. Van Persie is superb from dead-ball situations, as is Juan Mata.
Van Gaal to take charge of United for first time - tonight
Van Gaal will lead Manchester United out for the first time during this evening’s friendly match against MLS side LA Galaxy.
All eyes will be on debutants Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, who flanked Van Gaal at his second press conference on Tuesday, while Rooney should start as the team’s most advanced forward in the absence of Van Persie.
Wilfried Zaha may also be handed a chance to impress. The live-wire winger, who made just two Premier League appearances under Moyes, is keen to resurrect his career at Old Trafford by impressing his new boss on the tour.
Manchester United fans: how impressed are you so far with Van Gaal? Will United beat LA Galaxy this evening? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.