Wayne Rooney has dismissed criticism of his fitness last season and said he was just as fit last year as he is now despite claims to the contrary.
The 28-year-old has been in inspiring form for Manchester United this year and has made himself indispensable once again to the team.
We didn’t see these sorts of performances last year from Rooney and a lot of the time, he merely drifted in and out of games without leaving a stamp on it but he claims that was not down to fitness issues.
“I’m just saying it’s the same as last season [fitness]. But, obviously, it’s been noticed this season. That’s all,” he said.
“Every player gets the stats from every training session and every game. The stats are pinned up around the training ground every day and after every game you always get your stats, and it’s the same system with England at Wembley.
“It’s something which you can monitor in terms of how much work you are doing and sometimes you do need a bit of a rest, so that’s what we do.
“I think it’s something we see every day, the coaches give us every day and they have done for years. So it’s important to know how much running you’re doing and it’s important to know when you need a rest at times. That’s why we look at them.”
Rooney may staunchly deny that his fitness has improved but he is a completely different player this year. Something is different. Something was wrong with Rooney last season.
The Rooney who is currently tearing the Premier League up is not the same Rooney who cut a frustrated figure last season and from a fans’ perspective, Rooney looks fitter.
He chases down the opposition without the ball, runs at the opposition with the ball and has re-found the energy he lacked last year. It is understandable that most people think that is down to improved fitness but whatever it is, United are glad to see Rooney back at his best and hopefully it is something he can maintain for the whole season.