Captain Or Not, Wayne Rooney Needs To Earn His Place

Wayne Rooney

By Andy Hyslop

  • Rooney is United’s joint second highest goalscorer, level with Denis Law on 237
  • He needs twelve goals to equal Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 249
  • Does he deserve to be in the starting line-up based on his performances?

Is Wayne Rooney doing enough on the pitch to justify him being named in the starting line-up whenever he is fit and available? Louis Van Gaal has said on numerous occasions that as Manchester United captain, Rooney has more privileges than other players at the club.

Surely any players needs to be performing to the best of their ability to be named in the starting line-up week and week. Rooney shouldn’t be an exception to this. Captain or not he needs to earn his place in the Manchester United line-up.

Manchester United have had some great captains over the years and none of them would expect to be in the Manchester United starting line-up just because they are the captain. We saw Sir Alex Ferguson getting rid of one of his greatest captains in Roy Keane when he stepped out of line.

Wayne Rooney is an attacking player, therefore he should be scoring goals or at least creating chances for his team-mates. He has been used as the main striker and in the No.10 role this season.

In his 20 appearances this season, Rooney has scored 7 goals and provided 1 assist for his tam-mates. That means Rooney has scored a goal every 248 minutes. His one assist came in the opening game of the season, when he failed to control the ball in the box and Kyle Walker put the ball into his own net.

In my eyes Wayne Rooney should have passed the goalscoring record of Sir Bobby Charlton by now if he was as great as some people try to tell you.

He is approaching 500 appearances in the red shirt of Manchester United, if he was one of the very strikers, he would be approaching 300 goals if not more.

I think you only have to look back to Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season. He dropped Rooney and if he had stayed in charge, no doubt Rooney would have left Old Trafford that summer.

After being dropped then, Ferguson stated that Rooney had asked to leave the club. Rooney refuted this in the recent BBC documentary. Claiming, he said if I’m not going to play I may as well leave.

To me that shows Rooney’s attitude. Surely if a manager drops, the reaction of any player would right, I’m going to stay here and fight for my place.

It wouldn’t surprise me if that was Ferguson’s way of testing whether Rooney had the desired required to be a Manchester United player. For Rooney’s performances have been declining since then and Ferguson probably saw that coming.

When all is said and done, the manager should pick the team and then pick your captain from your team. The captain shouldn’t be included in the team unless they are performing and bringing someone to your team. At times it is like United are playing with ten men.


About Andrew Hyslop 398 Articles

Creator of Sir Alex Ferguson Way and writer of football books

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