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Wayne Rooney: Star will shine sooner rather than later

There aren’t many players that can stand and claim their form is anything other than patchy. That being said, no one seems to get anywhere near as much criticism as Angel Di Maria. Price tag unfortunately plays a huge part in that, the other part the disappointment at an underperforming player that was once (not long ago) close to the top of the game.

While many fans doubt the new number seven is quite up to the English game, his Captain firmly believes that a return to the top table of European football will be the catalyst for the Argentine playmaker to recapture the level that justified the inflated price in the summer. Talking to the official Manchester United website Rooney waxes lyrical about his new team mate and brushes the indifferent days work on Saturday.

“It [Saturday] was just one of those days that every footballer has. He is a great player, he has shown that and you don’t lose your talent overnight. Hopefully he will get back to his best and start giving some great performances for us.”

Unfortunately, mind, it wasn’t ‘just one of those day’. It has been that for some time now as he has struggled to excel since that 5-3 defeat against Leicester. There has been far more average than good/excellent performances in the time between then and now, and though some of the comments are completely over the top (people genuinely thinking he needs to be sold) they aren’t unfounded. Rather fortunately he was taken off on Saturday, for everyone’s sake. The fans and team because Adnan Januzaj had a real impact, and Di Maria because he didn’t get to feel the backlash from the fans.

Unfounded they’re not, but over the top is certainly the best way of categorising them. Ludicrous comments of ‘he needs to be sold’ and crackpot theories a plenty as to his decline are nothing less than unhelpful. The desire to find some justification for criticising a player that simply hasn’t quite adjusted to a new, tougher league is borderline sadistic.

There’s no doubt that when he does recapture his form, we will be getting back a player that is one of the most exciting in the world. You don’t gain a reputation like his without substance. Performances have been completely woeful, and not what we expect after having paid such a handsome sum for the player. But there is always a glimmer of what exactly he can do in between the severe average. He simply is a player that hasn’t adapted and is low on confidence.

I’m with Rooney. There’s no way a player of his class won’t recapture the form we all know he is capable of. What Angel Di Maria needs more than anything to help him along is support, it sounds cheesey but its true. Support from fans (and not the usual half-baked, sensationalist nonsense the vast majority of supporters come out with) in a unified manner can do wonders for any players confidence and could be the springboard and result in goals like that lob at Leicester. Failing that, we’ll sell him for £20 million and still moan.

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