Ander Herrera discusses Wayne Rooney’s current situation at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Ander Herrera has registered his support for Wayne Rooney after the 30-year-old was dropped by Jose Mourinho.

The Englishman, following a series of abject performances, was omitted from the starting XI ahead of Manchester United’s 4-1 win over Leicester.

Rooney was subsequently excluded from the starting XI for games against Zorya Luhansk and Stoke City, prompting concerns over his future at Old Trafford.

However, Herrera believes Rooney, despite the widespread derision coming his way, can still make a difference under Mourinho.

“As for Rooney, these are the decisions of the coach. He is our captain and we trust him,” he said.

“He is a player who makes the difference, but the coaches decide the team. Now Juan Mata is playing in his position but, let’s face it, this is football.

“His attitude is great, he has demonstrated it in the three games he has come on in as a substitute. Naturally this is football, and in big teams it is not easy to play every game. We are one of those big teams.”

The notion that Rooney was simply not good enough to feature in United’s starting XI was, for years, something only really acknowledged by supporters – those who have watched every minute of Rooney’s terminal decline. However, ever since his exclusion from the starting XI at Old Trafford, that very notion has morphed into a mainstream agenda.

This sudden change in tone marks a new chapter in Rooney’s career. His status as the axis of United’s attacking lineup has disappeared, and the captain’s new role will revolve around sporadic appearances, with his greatest emphasis coming in the dressing room and at Carrington.

It should be noted that this change of pace is common amongst footballers. The same happened with Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes towards the end of their careers. And yet, one suspects that Rooney – a notoriously belligerent character – won’t take such a transition too well.

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