Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand insists Wayne Rooney will not take his recent exclusion from the starting XI lightly.
The 30-year-old, following a catalogue of shameful performances, was left out of Jose Mourinho‘s starting XI for the 4-1 win over Leicester City.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho made it clear that Rooney took the decision to leave him out in a mature, professional way.
However, Ferdinand, who played alongside Rooney for ten seasons, believes the 30-year-old won’t take the decision well.
“Wayne won’t feel like this right now but being left out of the Manchester United starting line-up could be the best thing that has happened to him,” Ferdinand said.
“I know what it feels like. It happened to me at United and I remember feeling bitter and thinking it was a disgrace. But I refocused and the hunger and spark came back.
“This is a great time for Wayne to re-evaluate his game, his training-ground routine, his methods off the pitch and at home and how he gets ready for a game.
“I am sure he will be able to recharge mentally and physically to go again. I think it will do him the world of good, just as it did for me.
“Wayne won’t sit down and take this lightly. He will want to prove to people ‘I am still the man’.
“I think it’s ridiculous that at 30 years old, so many people are writing him off. Wayne knows the time will soon come that he will be smiling again rather than how he’s feeling right now.”
Rooney has always been notoriously rancorous in the face of set-backs, and Mourinho’s recent decision to drop him will serve as a sharp blow. He is, after all, a true competitor – one that doesn’t merely accept defeat.
But in this case, the 30-year-old simply has to accept reality. Since the age of 16, Rooney has played no fewer than 42 games a season at any point. It is a simple case of physical limitation – something that effects all of us, unfortunately.
Both Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs understood this as they approached the dying embers of their careers, and it’s something Rooney will need to quickly accept as well.