Diego Forlan explains why Wayne Rooney is currently playing badly

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Football News

Only a couple of former professionals - Stan Collymore being one of them - have publicly said what 99 per cent of Manchester United fans are desperately hoping for.

Wayne Rooney isn’t playing well. In fact, he’s been downright dreadful during the opening weeks of the 2016-17 campaign.

Some United fans would argue that he hasn’t performed well, consistently at least, for a good few years now.

But regardless of how badly he plays, the overwhelming majority of pundits have been reluctant to criticise the United and England captain in recent weeks.

They all have an excuse for the 30-year-old who, according to The Sun, could finally be axed for Saturday’s match against Premier League champions Leicester City following his below-par display against Northampton Town in the EFL Cup in midweek.

Forlan explains why Rooney is playing badly

Another professional - although current, rather than former, this time - has now stuck up for the versatile forward.

Diego Forlan, who left Old Trafford shortly before Sir Alex Ferguson signed Rooney, believes he knows why United’s No. 10 is currently struggling to produce his best form.

“Wayne Rooney has had a lot of criticism for his form,” Forlan wrote in The National. “But Mourinho has not spoken out against his captain. I have seen other people saying that Rooney is finished as a player. I don’t agree.

“When I watch him, I think the problem is that he is not playing his best position. He is a goalscorer, a No 9. He has the instinct of a goalscorer. I know, I have it too. It is what we are comfortable with, it is our job. I can play in midfield too, but I’m at home as a No 9 scoring.

“I would like to see Rooney played further forward with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is really clever how he drops off centre-backs. If they follow him, he leaves space for the second striker to exploit.

“I know many United fans want Rooney to be dropped. I would say, instead, play him for four games as a leading striker. Even though your game changes as you get older, you never forget how to score; it is natural.

“Let him score, let him love that feeling when the ball goes in, let his confidence rise. He wouldn’t receive half the criticism he is getting if the team were winning, but senior players tend to get the most criticism when results are going against them."

Rooney played upfront against Northampton...

Again, this feels like a somewhat feeble excuse for Rooney, who started upfront against Northampton and missed a sitter inside the opening 10 minutes.

With Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata all waiting to replace Rooney in the No. 10 position, it’s surely not long before Mourinho takes the misfiring striker out of his starting line-up.

Is Diego Forlan right about Wayne Rooney? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

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Wayne Rooney
Premier League
Manchester United
Jose Mourinho

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