In his column for The Sunday Times, Rooney said that he used to be wound up by the attitude of his younger teammates, but that he has come to accept that modern players have a different mentality to those of his generation and that it does not mean that they are any less committed.
‘People can have their opinions about Paul’s football, that’s fine, but some jump to conclusions about his character without knowing him,’ Rooney says.
‘In my experience as a team-mate, the actual work he puts in every day on the training pitch and in games is first class. As long as that doesn’t change, then the stuff he does off the pitch — which has slowed down anyway — does not matter in my opinion.
‘I do remember one time, coming into training at United the day after a defeat, still feeling very annoyed and walking into the dressing room with Michael Carrick.
‘We found Jesse and Paul dancing in there with the music on. I went over, turned it off and took the speakers out of the dressing room — because that’s my mindset, that’s how I’ve grown up in football.
‘Paul and Jesse accepted it, because I was the senior player, but in hindsight they were not doing anything wrong, not hurting anyone, and it was just my old-school mentality kicking in.
‘As Rio Ferdinand has said, players of our generation just have to get used to this generation and what has changed.
‘Their posts on social media have fuelled the criticism but what you’ve got to understand is that Paul and Jesse are part of a different generation, to whom social media is important and who want to express themselves in a different way.’
Rooney also wrote that Pogba had been, in his opinion, the best player in Euro 2020 before France were eliminated.
‘He had been the player of the tournament until they went out,’ he writes.
‘Some of the passes Paul played for Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappé were incredible. It helped him to have N’Golo Kanté as his midfield partner but I think the biggest reason that Paul’s performances were so good was his positioning.
‘In all France’s games, he was playing deeper than we normally see him for Manchester United and this meant that he was able to pick the ball up in areas of the pitch where he had the time and room to pick a pass.
‘You should ignore all the silly criticism that comes his way. All that stuff about his haircuts and dancing — it’s irrelevant. None of it has anything to do with the player that Paul is.’