Rooney has been leading by example this season with his performances and Carrick’s importance to the side has been so apparent when he has been out injured as United play so much better with him back in the side.
Van Gaal didn’t choose either player to be a captain of his side lightly and speaking in an excellent interview with The Telegraph’s Henry Winter , the Dutchman explains how both Rooney and Carrick serve as ‘trainer coaches’ on the pitch.
“He’s very open to learn,” van Gaal said of Rooney.
“It’s amazing. I don’t know if he speaks with his wife Coleen about football, I don’t think so. But we have the process of talking here. Most of my players of my selection are open and that’s very nice.
“Carrick is more or less a trainer-coach. He is also willing to talk about shapes and systems. That’s nice. Rooney also. Not every player is very open and then you have to convince him, and then you get a struggle. It works or it doesn’t work. Give them time. Also give me time to do it.”
Van Gaal’s philosophy is something he has been trying to instill into United’s players this season with varied success but having Rooney and Carrick on the pitch doing the same thing during a match certainly helps push that message across.
Ahead of the game against Liverpool on Sunday, ensuring all United’s players are on the same wavelength is incredibly important so you can certainly expect Rooney and Carrick to start.
With only one win in the last seven games at Anfield, United’s recent record there is dismal but as is always the case with these games, anything can happen. Hopefully United can buck the trend of recent results at Liverpool’s home and come away with three points, a win which could build momentum now that we’re in the business end of the season.