Bryan Robson believes Manchester United supporters will continue to stick by Wayne Rooney after the 30-year-old was booed by England fans during the international break.
A string of dramatically substandard performances under Jose Mourinho led to the captain’s omission from the starting XI at Old Trafford.
And following a woeful performance in defensive midfield against Malta, Rooney was booed by some sections of the Wembley crowd before being condemned to the bench for England’s 0-0 draw against Slovenia.
However, the former Man United captain is adamant supporters will continue to stick by their current club captain.
“At least United fans will show him the love and respect he deserves,” Robson said.
“Wayne’s always given everything for England – just as he has always done for United – and that should always be appreciated. He doesn’t deserve to be booed like he was against Malta and one thing I do know is that the United supporters will stick by him.
“Wayne will know that the next time he pulls on a United shirt the fans will be right behind him – as they should be.
“Some England fans seem to forget what he has done for his country for years now. They forget that he is our record scorer, that he is the most-capped outfield player.
“Wayne has done great things for England, no matter that as a country we have not achieved what we would want to.”
In a way, Rooney’s sudden descent into the role of token squad player, bringing with it a barrage of slander from all corners of the football world, has made me feel a bit guilty about my incessant berating of the 30-year-old for the last year or so.
Of course, from a strictly utilitarian point of view, Rooney’s exclusion from the starting XI – for both club and country – is completely justified; the Englishman is manifestly too slow going forward, lacking even an iota of confidence, and his presence on the pitch notably slows down attacking movements.
And yet, must supporters – including myself – be so demonising towards the striker? After all, this one of United’s finest ever players we’re talking about, and his record – when he finally retires – will dictate that he deserves legendary status for both club and country. Perhaps fans need to show some more respect and support towards somebody who has, down the years, delivered some sensational moments.