Wayne Rooney has revealed his excitement ahead of the new season with the appointment of Jose Mourinho, who has been known to be quite an admirer of the Manchester United and England captain. The Portuguese manager attempted to take the Englishman to Stamford Bridge during the David Moyes era at Old Trafford with the Scotsman later admitting that he had to fight keep hold of the player.
Rooney, who was quizzed at a sponsor’s event off the back of United’s arrival in China for games against Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City, admitted that Mourinho’s past success brings him hope that he is the man that can bring the glory days back to the red half of Manchester.
“I’ve only had one day (training with Mourinho) since we came out, but it was a very good day, the training session,” he said. “But I think you only have to look at the teams he’s had before and the success he’s had with them, and we’re hoping he can bring that to us.”
The Liverpool-born United man added that he is impressed with the Red Devil’s transfer business so far this window ahead of what he labelled a ‘big season’ for the club.
“I’m excited. It’s a big season for us. The appointment of José Mourinho is a big appointment and we’re all excited. We’ve made some fantastic signings too. Hopefully we can have a good start to the season and be successful by the end of it.”
The forward was later questioned on whether or not he will feel the pressure – with the added competition for places in the forward positions that Mourinho revealed Rooney will be playing in. However, England’s all-time top goalscorer brushed it off during his response by saying it is always pressurising to play for one of the biggest clubs in world football.
“I think you always feel pressure when you play for Manchester United. It’s one of the biggest – if not the biggest – clubs in the world and it’s been a pleasure and a privilege to play for them for so long. You always feel you have to prove yourself every season, because it’s a dream to play for them.”
Despite Rooney being such a huge player for the club for such a long period of time, many Manchester United fans feel that his time at the club is coming to an end, with plenty eager for him to be shown the exit door this summer. Although, it is looking increasingly unlikely that Rooney will depart the club in this transfer window. But where does the player fit into the side?
For me, the attacker, at the moment, does not feature in Manchester United’s best eleven. Especially since the newly appointed manager, Jose Mourinho, revealed he does not fancy playing Rooney in that deeper midfield role we began to see him play under Louis van Gaal and at the European Championships for England, however, personally I do not think he played that badly when performing there.
So, it seems as though Rooney will be rotating with Henrikh Mkhitaryan who I expect will also feature on the right and quite possibly Juan Mata, should he remain at the club. Furthermore, it suggests he will also rotate with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford for that striker’s role. That to me suggests that the captain will not be playing week in week out, which I would presume the player would be aware of. Although, as I previously mentioned in this article Mourinho is known to be a fan of the Englishman and the player was close to going to work under him at Premier League rivals – Chelsea. That leads me to feel that Mourinho could well be the man to revitalise Rooney and find some good in him.
I am not at all saying we will see the Wayne Rooney of old, however, I do feel we could well see a new and improved Rooney to what we have been used to over the past couple of seasons. We all know when he is in the mood he can be a game changer, we have witnessed that time and time again since the moment he signed for the club from Everton. His determination and work rate is usually second to none, something that Mourinho seems to value in a player. The Louis van Gaal era held many players back and part of me feels that he could have just been another victim. Fingers crossed that this season we will be able to pin that old saying on the forward, ‘form is temporary, but class is permanent’.