Wayne Rooney has told Erik ten Hag not to play former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo against Liverpool on Monday evening.
Rooney has urged United’s manager to get energy on the pitch, which would mean leaving out the 36-year-old for the game.
Via the Times, Rooney said: “I wouldn’t play Cristiano Ronaldo, and I wouldn’t play Marcus Rashford.
“If I was in Ten Hag’s position my main concern would be getting energy on the pitch, and United’s failure to recruit a number nine means they relied on Ronaldo against Brentford, even though he hadn’t trained a lot with the team.
“He looked like he needs time to get match fit. ten Hag needs energy from his side and that may mean dropping Ronaldo.”
Rooney also described United’s 4-0 drubbing against Brentford last weekend as ‘hard to watch’, saying he has ‘never seen Manchester United so lacking in those basic qualities’.
“Football has developed tactically and improved technically during my time in the game, but the basics don’t change,” Rooney said.
“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.
“If that had happened to any of the United teams I played for, I think fans, journalists and every other team in the country would have been shocked, but people weren’t with this side. The most worrying thing is that neither the result nor performance surprised me.”
Rooney praised Ten Hag for criticizing his players following their humiliating defeat to Brentford.
“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, where he asked them to run the same distance that Brentford outran them by,” said Rooney.
“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.
“I’m not talking about every player. Harry Maguire will always try, Fred will always try and Scott McTominay may not be Paul Scholes or Michael Carrick but he will always go out and show some balls. Those three have been trying to lift the group, but it comes down to individuals to take responsibility.
“As for Marcus, I think he needs to do a lot of soul-searching and figure out what he wants, for his own good, before anything else. Because watching him is a real concern, he looks like he wants to be anywhere but on a football pitch.”
Rooney added:“Watching United, I see players throwing their arms up and shouting at team-mates but I don’t see them talking, or looking at themselves before blaming others. I see them making eye-catching runs to close down the goalkeeper but not 50-yard runs back to stop an attack.
“I see them going up to the crowd after the game apologising or coming out on social media with all the guff: “We go again.” The fans see through that. My message would be: stop apologising, just get on with your job — and work. That’s all the fans want. They want to see them taking responsibility in the 90 minutes.”
United lost their first two games of the season against Brighton and Brentford and are up against it Monday in a crunch game against long-term rivals Liverpool.
United lost 5-0 in the same fixture last season, which was rearranged because of protests against the club’s owners, the Glazer family.
Do you find OkayWap useful? Click here to give us five stars rating!