Manchester United legend Gary Neville believes it was a bold move by Jose Mourinho to drop Wayne Rooney for Saturday’s game against Leicester City.
After a run of disappointing performances, Rooney was benched by Mourinho who opted to deploy Juan Mata in the No.10 role instead.
Despite claiming it was a routine change, Neville claims it was a a big decision that only someone of Mourinho’s stature could make.
Speaking after the game, Neville claims the win will come as a distraction to Rooney’s omission.
“It is a big call to leave Rooney out. I know Jose said it’s a normal thing, but it is a big call. He’s a big personality, it brings headlines,” he said.
“If United lose today it comes with criticism. The fact they’ve won 4-1 it’s the perfect day for Jose Mourinho.
“It’s become a distraction away from the main issue, and that is that no individual causes a whole team to play poorly. I know there will be those today who will react to the win and say: ‘Look how well we played without Rooney.’
“But that’s not the reality of it. There’s a long way to go yet for a lot of these Manchester United players who played well today.”
Although it was Man United’s best showing since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, Mourinho claimed he still completely trusts his captain after the win.
While United dismantled the defending champions during Rooney’s absence it’s important not to jump to any conclusions regarding his role at the club as most players underperformed during the three game loss streak.
The team seemed to click this Saturday and the big question now is how Rooney will fit into the side, looking into how he can modify his game to prolong his career at Old Trafford.