He’s England captain and Man United captain, but will that be enough to save him from the swinging axe of the ruthless Jose Mourinho?
If you’ve been in the rainforest the last few months, or climbing Mount Everest, then it is possible that you haven’t heard that Man United have re-signed Paul Pogba for an eye watering world record fee. Although not a direct competitor for Rooney’s preferred striker role, he poses serious problems for the United captain.
Rooney never had blistering pace like Marcus Rashford or the target man height of Zlatan Ibrahimovic; he has always relied on his knack of getting goals and his will to win.
However, Jose likes a fast counter attacking team which is able to break from box-to-box with pace in order devastate opponents, then sit back and absorb the pressure; taking the sting out of the game. Rooney’s legs are gone so the speed of his attack isn’t what it used to be; and he also lacked goals last year, which even convinced England to play him in a deep lying midfield role during their ill fated Euro 2016 campaign.
Mourinho has already stated that midfield is not his best position and he should be scoring goals as he has always done for the club, which itself carries extra pressure for Rooney.
The lone striker role that Jose prefers would seem to be owned by Zlatan for this season at least, and the iconic Swede has already become a darling of both the fans and the media. As previously mentioned, his pace was never electric, and this means that a wide berth is most certainly out of the question. In theory this leaves one position for Rooney; the No.10 role.
Here in lies the problem; Paul Pogba also relishes this role. The area behind the striker is his best position and this was plain for all to see in France’s run to the final. When Pogba was asked to sit in front of the back four he seemed to lose not just his creative spark, but also his swagger and drive.
So the big question is, when Pogba returns from his ban, will he play in this role, relegating Rooney to a wide berth, or will Jose wait for Rooney to lose form and drop him?
For the first time in his career at Old Trafford Rooney looks vulnerable ,and all football watchers know that Jose will not hesitate to drop him – captain or not.
This article was submitted via our Write For Us feature. Think you can do better? Submit your own article via the link below, and give yourself the chance of winning monthly cash prizes…