Although Wayne Rooney remains the top goal-scorer for the Red Devils across the 2015/16 campaign – achieving a grand ol’ total of seven strikes already this term – the current Manchester United captain has ultimately failed to convince the entirety of the Old Trafford faithful.
The rest of the United strike-force seem somewhat lacking in confidence in front of goal to be fair, and as Louis van Gaal looks equally short of ideas on how to remedy the situation inside the managerial dug-out, the good times appear to be a long way off for Red Devils fans at this particular stage in the season.
Whilst LVG’s side do in-fact look pretty well placed among the upper echelons of the Premier League table right now, this specific outfit remains a far cry from the Manchester United sides of old.
For one reason or another, the current generation of Old Trafford stars are seemingly incapable of entertaining their respective fan-base on a week-to-week basis – which is obviously something we never quite became accustomed to whilst Sir Alex Ferguson was still at the club.
So then, as Wayne Rooney currently goes down as the proud holder of the captain’s armband for Louis van Gaal’s side – should the Dutch tactician persevere with his prior faith in the Three Lions skipper, or is it time the 30-year-old front-man was finally relieved of the captain’s duties down at Old Trafford in 2015/16?
Let’s face it, although many Manchester United fans may very well find the following statement somewhat of an inconvenience to believe – Wayne Rooney hasn’t actually registered an amazing season with the Red Devils for quite some time now. In reality, the former Everton man has drifted so far off the radar of late, it really has become difficult to remember just how much of a goal-threat this player once proved to be.
When the long-arm of top-flight criticism proved unable to catch up with the explosive exploits of Wayne Rooney just a handful of short seasons ago – the bustling centre-forward could seemingly do no wrong among the Premier League. His hunger for goals was undeniable, once spreading throughout the rest of the team in a joyfully contagious sort of way, and the results were more than satisfactory to say the least.
Even the very best defenders among the English top-flight couldn’t do much to stop the Wayne Rooney of old – and through his unquestionably efficient talents in front of goal for Manchester United – the Red Devils were clearly propelled to great heights and even more illustrious achievements thanks to the efforts of their physically daring front-man.
However, now that Wayne Rooney has opted to change his overall game quite dramatically of late – slipping back into the creative midfielder’s role rather than operating as an out-in-out striker – the outcome has been far from profitable for the Old Trafford faithful. The potentially damaging trend certainly begun under Fergie of course, but Louis van Gaal has nonetheless continued the pattern without really giving much second thought towards another alternative option for his captain to consider.
Maybe his legs simply can’t carry him throughout the 90 minutes as much as they used to. Perhaps the modern game has evolved to a level in which Rooney’s prior position no longer proves applicable among most Premier League starting XIs. Whatever the reason – something has to change at Old Trafford sooner or later to stop this once great club from becoming arguably the most boring team across the entire league.
With all things duly taken into account, Louis van Gaal should potentially consider dropping Rooney altogether from the first team fold at Manchester United – let alone merely as captain. Although there certainly aren’t a vast array of backup options waiting on the subs bench at Old Trafford, the player in question ultimately serves to hold the Red Devils back these days – for he often achieves very little direct impact out on the pitch when all is said and done.
The 30-year-old should have arguably never even been handed the captain’s armband in the first place at Old Trafford, and as Wayne Rooney certainly hasn’t quite deserved the role for quite some time now based on pure individual performances alone, it is no wonder that his side look distinctly stagnant and unimaginative up-top with him leading the charge.
Having said that however, because Wayne Rooney also goes down as the undisputed captain of the England national team in the modern era, such a dramatic U-turn in decision making isn’t likely to happen at Manchester United any time soon. Some choices inevitably prove too hot to handle, even for a manager as supposedly charismatic and as bold as Louis van Gaal.