Wayne Rooney: I want to play in every game at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Wayne Rooney has expressed his desire to play in every game under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.

The 30-year-old has been left on the bench for Man United’s last four games, with his most recent Premier League start being over a month ago, against Watford.

Various former United players such as Gary Pallister, Bryan Robson and Andy Cole have registered their support for the Englishman, calling for Mourinho to give him a chance to impress.

Speaking in the wake of United’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool at Anfield, Rooney made it clear that he wanted to play every game.

“I think it’s football,” he said.

“Obviously I’ve started through all my career, so it is a new period for me and of course I want to play.

“I just have to keep working and trying to get in the team and my chances will come, I know that, and it is up to me to take them.

“I’d like to think I can play every game, but obviously it’s the manger’s decision and I respect the decision. I’ll be ready when needed.

“Not in my mind [do I think I’ve reached the point when I accept only getting 25 games a season]. Maybe in other people’s minds but not mine. I’m 31 next week. I’ve got a lot of football left.”

For all his technical inadequacies, Rooney’s hunger and desire to impress remains potent, even during the nadir of his time at Old Trafford, and that, I suppose, deserves credit.

That said, the notion of Rooney starting every game has been well and truly abandoned over recent weeks. His constant and wholly unjustified selection, predicated not by merit but reputation, has finally come to an end, and the 30-year-old now must acclimatise to his new, notably reduced role in this United side.

There is, it should be noted, no shame in being involved sporadically during the latter stages of your career. Even the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs had to face this reality. It is, above anything, a fact of life that players can only start every week for a finite period of time, and United fans will know that such an era is very much over for the captain.

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