Why Wayne Rooney Might Be The Problem At Man United

No one can doubt his effort but, at 28, Rooney should really have got the hang of this 'positioning' lark...
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No one can doubt his effort but, at 28, Rooney should really have got the hang of this 'positioning' lark...

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Why Wayne Rooney Might Be The Problem At Man United

Yes, Moyes may be tactically naïve, yes Cleverley may be Cleverley and yes, Ashley Young is just dreadful, but the man to blame for the mess United isn't any of the former.

United's very own try-hard Wayne Rooney needs to take some share of the blame.

There's no doubting the striker/midfielder/defender's commitment and talent, but you can certainly doubt his discipline.

When I say discipline, I don't mean yellow and red cards like it used to be, I mean his positional discipline.

If he's deployed as a front man to partner Robin van Persie, then that's what he should do, rather than tracking back, trying to do everybody else's jobs.

Fans gormlessly applaud him when he pops up with the ball in the left-back position, but he needn't be there, leave that to the left-back

Yes, this could be partly due to his lack in trust in his team mate's abilities, but it could also be down to a lack of man management on Mr Moyes' behalf.

Under Sir Alex, Wayne did the same, yes. But when he was told to partner Van Persie, he would and they'd link up superbly – which could just be good man management on Sir Alex's part.

Wayne's reluctance to stay up top with RvP is obvious from the following Opta stat:

"In the last two games Van Persie and Rooney have passed to each other just 8 times, 4 of them from kick off."

Personally, now you may or may not agree, as a United fan, a RvP and Hernandez partnership, with Mata in the hole, would be much more effective and potent attacking force – taking into account Mata's assist history.

The amount of effort made to keep Rooney at Old Trafford shows just how important Moyes thinks he is to the team, but until Rooney realises his duties, or is told by Moyes, United will continue to disappoint and drift further away from where they deserve to be.

Follow Tayler on Twitter, @TaylerWillson