Wayne Rooney didn’t enjoy his best match for Manchester United against Hull City on Saturday evening, but the 30-year-old produced a fantastic assist to set up Marcus Rashford’s dramatic late winner.
Ultimately, without their captain’s contribution, the Red Devils wouldn’t have won that match at the KCOM Stadium.
However, would United be better off starting matches without their long-serving striker? This was a question put to both Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes, two of Rooney’s former teammates, after the match.
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However, the BT Sport pundits were both in agreement that Jose Mourinho had to keep Rooney in his starting line-up.
And they explained the reasons why.
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Rio and Scholes explain why Rooney must start
Asked by presenter Jake Humphrey if Mourinho should keep Rooney in the team, Owen Hargreaves responded: “Definitely, yeah.”
Ferdinand added: “He set up the goal today.”
Scholes then continued: “You definitely keep him in the team. Do you play him on the left-hand side and play Marcus [Rashford] upfront with [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic? Play him as a No. 10? I think that’s a possibility, as well. I think he’ll be happy with either, to be honest.”
Asked if Rooney’s untouchable, Scholes added: “We saw why he’s playing today [referring to the forward’s assist for Rashford]. He wasn’t having the greatest game first half, maybe not the greatest second half, but he’s always capable of producing that special moment in the game - and that’s what he did today.”
Ferdinand then said: “And he’s got the character, even if he’s not playing well, to receive the ball. That’s something that a lot of players and a lot of fans don’t see.
“Yeah, you’re not playing well, not doing the things that everyone expects from you, but 94 minutes comes up ‘give me the ball and I’ll produce a moment of magic to set up a goal’ and that’s what he done here today.”
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Some United fans still want Rooney dropped
Scholes believes that Rashford should come into the team in place of Anthony Martial, who has so far flattered to deceive this season, but is Rooney getting an easy ride from his ex-teammates in the media?
There are plenty of United fans who believe it’s time to drop Rooney.
Check out these tweets…
Can Mourinho solve the Rooney-Pogba-Zlatan problem?
One problem Mourinho has when playing Rooney is how to get the best out of both Paul Pogba and Ibrahimovic.
The three players tend to take up similar positions when on the pitch at the same time, and this is a dilemma Mourinho must solve before taking on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City after the international break.
Manchester United fans: should Jose Mourinho drop Wayne Rooney? Have your say by leaving a comment below.