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Andy Cole: Jose Mourinho needs to give Wayne Rooney a chance

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole believes Jose Mourinho needs to give Wayne Rooney a chance to prove himself.

The 30-year-old, following an array of shambolic performances, has been left out of Mourinho’s last three starting line-ups, causing many to question his future at Old Trafford.

Talk surrounding Rooney’s suddenly precarious position was exacerbated by Gareth Southgate’s decision to omit him from the side that started against Slovenia on Tuesday night.

Cole has declared that, despite the Englishman’s decline in potency, he still deserves a chance to impress at Old Trafford.

“Are we saying now that he has had a downturn in form at Manchester United as well as England that he can no longer play the game?” he asked rhetorically.

“You’ve got to give the guy an opportunity. He is not prepared to retire at international level. Why should he if he can still do a job?

“He will get his form back for Manchester United and no doubts he will get himself back in the team.”

Rooney, even with more liable options waiting on the bench, has received innumerable chances to impress at Man United over the last few years. The question is: has he actually taken any of them? It is genuinely hard to think of a Rooney performance that forced you to stop and admire the striker. The last one I can remember dates back to August 2013, where the Englishman, strongly linked with a move to Chelsea, delivered a powerful performance against Mourinho’s Chelsea.

That, however, was three years ago and while Rooney will undoubtedly receive game time this season, the idea of him ‘deserving more chances’ is pretty absurd once you realise that the 30-year-old has been scuppering chances to impress for several years.

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