Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Derby on Friday night was some much needed reprieve after the awful 1-0 loss to Southampton the previous week and left fans with smiles on their faces after a genuinely entertaining 90 minutes of football.
Although van Gaal is ultimately responsible as our manager, Rooney wants the players to stand up and be accounted for themselves.
“It’s unfair to say it’s the manager – we’re on the pitch,” Rooney said.
“The players have to take a lot of responsibility for performances and results. We have to stand up and take criticism when it’s there.
“We want to win, of course we always want to win, and we’re trying. Even when you’re giving 100%, it doesn’t always come off, and thankfully against Derby it has.”
It’s all good saying it but doing it is something different altogether. You would have thought a 1-0 over Liverpool at Anfield was the perfect game to galvanise the players to improve but what followed was a dismal 1-0 defeat to Southampton.
The players do need to take more responsibility because ultimately it is them who will win or lose a game but van Gaal’s rigid approach has shackled us a lot this season. There has to be collective change – players improving their performances and van Gaal allowing them to do so – and if we see those two work in unison, United have all the tools needed to turn around their fortunes this season.