On Monday night, BBC One will show a documentary on Wayne Rooney and it’s safe to assume the best moments of his career - the hat-trick on his Manchester United debut against Fenerbahce, the bicycle kick against Manchester City, and becoming England’s all-time top scorer - will all feature prominently.
Fortunately, it was filmed too late for any references to this afternoon’s below-par performance against Arsenal to be included.
In fact, Rooney is fortunate that the documentary focuses mainly on his life off the pitch, because this season he’s been arguably Manchester United’s worst performer on it.
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Louis van Gaal made it clear early last season that Rooney, as the club’s newly-appointed captain, will start for the Red Devils whenever he’s fit and available.
But it’s surely time for the England international to spend some time on the substitutes’ bench following a dismal start to the 2015-16 campaign - even though Van Gaal refused to criticise his captain in his post-match press conference today.
Rooney a long way off world-class status
Rooney has contributed one goal and one assist in seven Premier League appearances so far this season - not good enough for a first-choice striker, or number ten, at a club with ambitions of winning the league title.
Sergio Aguero scored five Premier League goals in 20 minutes for title favourites Manchester City on Saturday - and this weekend has outlined the huge gulf in class that exists between the two strikers at present.
Roy Hodgson was seen at the Emirates Stadium, watching Rooney against Arsenal and sporting a rather anxious look on his face. Fortunately for the England manager, though, the Three Lions are already safely through to next summer’s European Championships ahead of the final two qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania.
If they needed to win both games and were relying on Rooney - in his current form - to fire them to Euro 2016, they’d be in massive trouble.
Van Gaal must drop Rooney
Van Gaal should take Rooney out of the firing line after the international break and allow Mata, arguably United’s most natural No. 10, to start behind Anthony Martial.
Rooney was a passenger today - he wasn’t the only ineffective United star, mind - and out-of-form players must be dropped, regardless of their status or stature.
Manchester United fans: should Louis van Gaal drop Wayne Rooney? Have your say in the comments below!
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