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14th Aug 2015

Wayne Rooney is Friday Night Sh*te as Man United march on

Clear eyes, full hearts, can't score...

Nooruddean Choudry

Two games. Two wins. Two clean-sheets. Six points. Louis van Gaal can’t complain about the cold hard facts.

Neither should he necessarily concern himself too much with the disjointed nature of Manchester United’s play. He is the first to stress that match-fitness is an issue at this stage of the season.

Aston Villa v Manchester United - Premier League : News Photo

He is also bedding a number of recruits into a new look side. Sergio Ramero, Matteo Darmian, Daley Blind (at centre-back), Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay and Bastian Schweinsteiger are all finding their respective bearings all at once.

There is, however, a slight but growing concern.

Wayne Rooney shouldn’t really be judged any more harshly than anyone else. He too is searching for his normal match-sharpness and best form.

That said, he was spectacularly bad against Aston Villa. It wasn’t simply a case of ‘Oh he’s just had a bad day at the office’. It was the workplace equivalent of s**tting in the plant pot, p*ssing in the water cooler and angry-w**king all over the boss’s desk.

Aston Villa v Manchester United - Premier League : News Photo

He absolutely stunk the place out. He wasn’t just bad, he was magnificently awful. We saw misplaced passes, horrendous control, balls running under feet – it was a masterclass in utter bobbins.

There was one moment in the first half when he robbed the ball from his own teammate (the actually quite good Juan Mata) and proceeded to scoop it into a space equidistant from the nearest white shirts.

Now, if that sounds like unfair criticism then perhaps it is. But it’s completely aimed at the player himself. Questions need to be asked about the possible contingencies should Rooney have more off-days like this.


The striker is renowned for taking a wee while longer than your average footballer to kick into gear from any sort of layoff. Any injury or suspension is usually followed by immediate poor form.

That’s fine if there’s a 2013-vintage Robin van Persie hanging about, or even better a 2009 Ronaldo. But when Rooney finds himself as the undisputed heavyweight centre-forward at the club, it’s a definite concern for the fallow periods.

It isn’t a full-blown drama just yet – far from it. More a small teaser-trailer of what could be an issue if other forwards aren’t recruited, or if the current incumbents don’t find their shooting boots.

Aston Villa v Manchester United - Premier League : News Photo

In the end, Adnan Januzaj earned United the points with an absolute beauty, sending Micah Richards back to Italy with a beautiful drag-back and finish after a fine assist from Juan Mata.

It was the gilt-edged Yin to Rooney’s shiny turd Yang. The Scouse talisman will absolutely and positively have far better days – mainly because it can’t get much worse than this Friday night sh*te.