Wayne Rooney identifies the 'strange' mentality change he witnessed at Man Utd

Wayne Rooney witnessed a changing of eras at Manchester United.

No one quite saw Manchester United's transition into the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era quite as Wayne Rooney did.

After joining the club in 2004, Rooney won virtually everything under the Scot as he set himself well on the way to becoming United's record goalscorer.

United haven't won the title since Ferguson's final season, however, and Rooney was there to see the 'downfall' of the team ever since the boss's retirement.

First came David Moyes, of course, although he wouldn't see out a full season.

Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have followed and won trophies, much to their credit, although United certainly aren't the same beast that they used to be.

Exactly why that is isn't clear - it's easy to just call it the end of an era under Ferguson, but there must be a reason for it.

While it isn't the ultimate answer, Rooney has offered some insight into a mentality change at the club that does go some way to explaining things.

“I’ve always turned my phone off before I went into the dressing room for games," he told BT Sport. "To walk in and see players on FaceTime to their mates before they go out to warm up was strange, but I suppose that’s the way football is going.”

Wayne Rooney says he saw a mentality change at Old Trafford.

It's only a small thing, of course, but it isn't something that would have happened under Ferguson - not least because the technology didn't exist for the most part.

You can't imagine Gary Neville being focused on anything but the game, can you?

Mourinho has also spoken in recent weeks about the change in mentality with young players and how difficult it can make things.

Perhaps the problem for United, if that is the case, is simply that they haven't adapted to the way modern football works.

Jose Mourinho has also spoken about a change in the attitude of young players.

Liverpool suffered a similar fate in the 90's with the end of the boot room era at Anfield and the introduction of the Premier League.

United and Ferguson, on the other hand, adapted to it flawlessly - and until they can do that again, they may struggle to get back to where they were.

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