Manchester United: Louis van Gaal in and Rooney out?

Manchester United: Louis van Gaal in and Rooney out?


wayne Rooney

After a season of turmoil for Manchester United fans under David Moyes, it could be a that an uncomfortable summer is on the way amid reports that Wayne Rooney would be less than totally enamoured by the arrival of Louis van Gaal as the new manager at Old Trafford.

Despite the dispiriting general performance of the squad, the England talisman had an outstanding season. Along with goalkeeper David de Gea, Rooney was one of the very few players that could look back on the campaign with some pride. Last summer there was febrile speculation of a move away from the club with a number of bids from Jose Mourinho looking likely to end the player’s tenure in the north-west. The arrival of Moyes however seemed to reinvigorate the player, and a new contract was penned, with talk of increased influence for the player and the promise of the captain’s armband when Nemanja Vidic moves on at the season’s close. With Moyes now departed however, it seems that all bets are off.

Reports suggest that there is deep concern in the Rooney camp that van Gaal will favour Dutch striker Robin van Persie over Rooney, both for the main striker role and the captaincy. If such things do happen, it may well plunge United back into a further period of ‘Will he, won’t he’ Rooney transfer speculation, at the very time the club is in urgent need of some stability.

One of Rooney’s main beefs towards the end of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign at Old Trafford was that he was shunted about to play deeper, even in midfield or wide to accommodate van Persie. Whilst the practise brought a title triumph for the club, Rooney’s less than happy demeanour was clear to see.

The captaincy of the club is something that Rooney clearly holds in great esteem. Whilst in real terms, it probably entails little more on-pitch activity than calling heads or tails and choosing ends, the kudos it carries, clearly appeals to him. Van Gaal has already made van Persie captain of the Dutch national squad last June however, and doing the same at United when the post becomes vacant will hardly be the biggest surprise in the world. Quite how Rooney would react to such a move is unclear, but it’s unlikely to be something that he looks upon with much satisfaction.

If it’s safe to say that Rooney reacted well to Moyes’ stewardship of United, the same can clearly not be said for van Persie. Although it’s difficult to find any direct public criticism of the erstwhile manager from the Dutchman, reports suggesting dissatisfaction regarding the Scot’s training methods and tactical knowledge, for example, are numerous. Perhaps the prime example was following the defeat to Olympiakos in Greece, with the infamous interview van Persie then gave to Dutch television regarding United’s play and how other players were occupying his spaces.

It will be of little comfort to Rooney that with the players about to go into ‘World Cup’ mode for a couple of months, van Gaal and van Persie will be cosseted together in the Dutch training camp, and if there’s any traction to the rumours that the veteran coach is to be appointed as manager at Old Trafford, or even if the post is confirmed shortly, it’s inevitable that conversations will take place between manager and captain regarding the situation. Rooney will be acutely aware of that, and any rumours that leak out – of which there are bound to be a few – will only feed his concern.

Some may feel that such reaction from Rooney would be less than professional, and this may well be true. It should be noted however that managing a football club is little different to managing any set of people. Tactical nous is important of course, but so is an ability to inspire your team. Man-management is a key asset. Rooney is an emotional player. It’s one of his defining characteristics, and fuels his passion.  If van Gaal dopes get the job, having a word with a potentially disgruntled non-captain may well be one of the items at the top of his agenda. If not, the newspapers could be set for another summer feeding frenzy of Rooney transfer talk.

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Football is a game of passions and opinions. If you’re a fan, it’s both your boon and your bane; the drug that you simply cannot live without. Your team will break your heart, make you despair and swear that you’ll give them up. Like some lovestruck fool ensnared by a femme fatale however, you’ll be back again next week. You know it. They know it. Just accept it and embrace it. The lows are bad, but oh, those highs….. Now in my sixth decade, I’ve been a football fan for over fifty years and a Chelsea fan for every one of them. I hold FA Coaching badges and have been a member of the FA Coaches Association for over 15 years, working with numerous teams of varying age and ability levels; it’s the next best thing to playing. That said, I still regularly don the guise of the ‘Panther’, and keep goal for our company team. I’ve written a number of articles focusing on Spanish Football for a different website, and welcome this opportunity to “call it as I see it, without fear or favour” about our game. As I said, football is a game of passions and opinions, so agree or disagree with what I write as you see fit, I’ll passionately tell you my opinion, you tell me yours. For more from All Blue Daze: Twitter: @All_Blue_Daze Blog: Facebook: Search ‘All Blue Daze’ and ‘Like’


    • What has his colour got to do with it??? and how can you call Rooney arrogant when comparing him to van Persie!?

      I’d have Rooney over van Persie any day anyway.

      Even if he goes with van Persie over Rooney then I hope he does not make him captain. I know we might be short of options next year (Rooney apart if he is still here) but van Persie – no thanks. I’d prefer someone like Mata to get it.

      van Persie is a good striker, no doubt of that. He had a great first year but he is getting on now, injury prone and for me he doesn’t show enough team spirit / fight when the chips are down

      • Get rid, keeps black-mailing united and giving the ball away! Colour has nothing to do with it, being English is the reason his lard ass is overrated.

  1. We all know the only reason ManUtd has been a little better this season is because of @waynerooney yeah, he claim he will leave.. SAF didnt frustrate ronaldo, berbatov,saha,anderson,ruud van nistelroy like the way he frustrated rooney and did they stay at United?No ..only wayne rooney stayed and not only he deserve the captaincy, lets take out rooney assist and goals away.. oh my God.. RVP will be 12 goals and 3 assist a season Man and we all say go away.. not only rooney should be the next captain, we should also build our team around him.. not only is our most passionate player along side rio, hes just the perfect guy who is a FAN and would do anything to see the club move forward..if he can challenge fergi for club future then it means he loves the club.. think about it people.. dont be naive

    • Samuel u’ve said it all,Rooney is a major reason why Manchester United is not totally down ds season.It could have been worse if he had been sold in January and arguably for a larger part of the season he rose high above other players in the United camp.David Degea comes close to Rooney in terms of performance and commitment but an overall assessment of the teams performance has been below par. Despite all his dedication,commitment and fighting spirit over the years,so many people tends to forget so soon the sacrifices he has made for this great club of ours.Yea,many would say what has he done and go on to say he’s a traitor and also say he’s demanded to be out now twice in the last four years,but let me remind them that in 2010 he did it because the club was becoming complacent with the average squad it had then and it wasn’t looking as if United on the big stage would be able to parade great players such as the likes of Madrid,Barcelona,Bayern and recently Man City parades.
      Gone are those days that the fear factor use to be on teams whenever they are to play United and this had been before Sir Alex left but it became worse and all that was built over the years at united all disappeared in a season.Though we worn trophies with Sir Alex with these same team but only Sir Alex could have achieved that height,no manager would have been able to do that.
      Coming to the Van Gal story of opting to make RVP the next united manager if he goes ahead to get the job and also finding it difficult to have Ryan Giggs as one of his coaching crew,then in my own option he already creating problem before his arrival. On what basis does RVP qualify to be the next Manchester untied captain,a player who’s just been with the club for two seasons who in his second season because things were not going too well all of a sudden declared the wants out and even at a point in time criticized his team mates in the champions league match against Olympiacos for occupying his space and said stuffs about the team.Such a player does not deserve to be the captain. He needs to pay his dues at the club just as Rooney has done before he can be made the captain.Rooney has made sacrifices for this club right from the day of Ronaldo, Ferguson played him out of his position on several occasions.He obliged and it became a tradition for Ferguson along the line up to the point where Rooney said he couldn’t take it anymore and all of a sudden the news came out that aid he had requested for a transfer out of the club.
      It seems Rooney’s contribution would have been felt and appreciated better by the fans if he had been sold to Chelsea during the January transfer window.No player is bigger than the club but sometime certain players when gone becomes difficult to replace. Ronaldo,Scholes,Beckam,Roy Kean are few players I feel united have not replaced well.

  2. Rooney must not go, the manchester united management should do everything to ensure that rooney stay at old traford despered that van garl is coming to old traford.

  3. i see no reason why van gaal should prefer rvp over rooney to captain utd for me wayne is d best player

  4. Rooney needs to stay he works hard every day with out him this season we could of been 10th or less. He deserves to be captain.

  5. when am nt sumtin else,how wuld i choose vp ovar w/roony dat z stupidity. Runy z beta dan vp by many ways,wenever runy z on d pitch z jst lyk we av mesi nd ronaldo on d pitch.for ao long has vp bin wit united nd runi wu has already be wit d club since 2006 nd won many tropies wit dem so it z cleared dat diference btw runi nd vp z veri cleard so think dey shuld dcide wel on both oe dem.

  6. Man United will do what’s right for THEM, not Rooney. No player is bigger than the club. And that’s going by the idea that this article is actually correct. And if it is, then Rooney should stop getting involved in club affairs and do what he’s supposed to do, play football. I don’t see where in his contract it says “You will get a say in terms what manager comes into the club.”

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