Home » Current Manchester United squad lack character: Wayne Rooney

Current Manchester United squad lack character: Wayne Rooney

United legend slammed the team for not doing the basics right in their opening two games

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United could not have started the new Premier League season in worse fashion. Two losses in two and more than the result, what pained fans was the manner of the defeats.

Expectations were on the rise as fans saw their team regain their lost swagger in pre-season. Apart from the results, what was even more pleasing was the way the players seemed to adapt to Erik ten Hag‘s vision.

But that evaporated as soon as Brighton’s opening goal went in. Heads started dropping and the body language of everyone involved seemed to change.

The Brentford match would be better suited to a highlights reel of United’s lacklustre displays last season. The players lacked any sort of desire and were outfought and outrun by the Bees, an unimaginable concept back in Sir Alex Ferguson‘s time.

That is exactly what former United legend Wayne Rooney said in his column for The Times. In whatever way football has evolved in the last few years, players are still expected to do the basics right.

“Football has developed tactically and improved technically during my time in the game, but the basics don’t change. If you don’t run, if you don’t put in the effort, you can lose to any team. I have never seen Manchester United so lacking in those basic qualities. Their hammering by Brentford was hard to watch.”

Ten Hag needs time with this group

After the Brentford thrashing, Ten Hag had made the squad train even on their off-day and even made them run the same distance that the Bees outran them by.

Many publications criticised the Dutchman’s brutal approach but United’s all-time top scorer thought such a drastic step was necessary.

“Erik ten Hag was right to call players out and speak about hunger, and it was fair enough for him to get them in for extra training…”

Rooney also termed the current squad an emotionless bunch in a brutal takedown of all things wrong with the current group. Fans are now used to the perfunctory post-match apologies and want more to be given out on the pitch.

“Ten Hag will have done a lot of soul-searching this week and will be making a lot of demands to get a reaction out of his players, I’m sure. But with this group, this has been happening for so long that changing their ways is going to take something drastic. They’re emotionless — there is no character, no heart in the team,” was how Rooney put it.

There is a tendency among certain players to throw their hands up in the air and blame others and that culture needs to stop, according to the DC United manager. He asked the overpaid United stars to “stop apologising, just get on with your job — and work,” a simple yet very sound advice for the current lot.

Rooney is aware of the fact that the Dutchman will need time to fix all these issues, and believes the former Ajax coach can take United back to the top but he might need new personnel as quite a few do not seem to be doing enough to wear the badge.


United Matchday Magazine – the online football programme
Ten Hag to drop Maguire? Jim Ratcliffe to buy United? Casemiro to debut on Monday? Maybe, maybe not, but United will beat Liverpool. Get the latest issue of the Matchday Mag NOW!

  • Online football content like you’ve never seen before
  • All the news, facts and features you NEED before every game
  • Instantly delivered to your device with easy and secure online ordering
  • Click Preview to see more or buy now for just £1.25/$1.50
  • Limited time offer: SAVE 33% on a season pass – use discount code SEASON33 at checkout.

Latest Top Stories...