When Manchester United announced they’d be appointing Jose Mourinho, a few players would have been worried about their places in the team under the “Special One”. I would’ve bet my house on Marcos Rojo being one of those players worrying after two seasons of showing very little in terms of ability and desire. He is currently the backup to Luke Shaw and Daley Blind as United’s left back option but he has featured in the Europa League against Feyenoord and Zorya and EFL Cup this season against Northampton Town. In the two Europa League
In the two UEFA Europa League games, Rojo was start-to-finish awful. Missing tackles, getting beaten on the outside repeatedly, especially against Zorya who had very little to offer going forward but Petryak and Karavayev the two wingers constantly got the better of him. In the game against Northampton Town, he was sloppy, he didn’t get beaten too much but was caught out of position a few times and looked so nervous when closed down that he often chose to find row z rather than play from the back. He looks like he lacks a footballing brain, he doesn’t read the game well at all. In his first season he was stunted by injury but when he played, he looked strong in the tackle, quick to close down players and actually cared about his football. This could well be an unfair statement but now he just doesn’t look like he wants to be a United player regardless of whether he is actually gifted enough to be one!
As a fan you really want to see passion on the pitch, someone who cares about the badge on his chest. You can be forgiven for not having buckets of ability but when you show absolutely no passion, it cannot be forgiven. Marcos Rojo has never endeared himself to the fans at Old Trafford and many would be happy to see the back of him but according to Manchester Evening News, Rojo wants to stay and fight for his place as he is enjoying life under Jose Mourinho! With Rojo insisting he enjoys a good relationship with his manager, describing him as “very nice” and promising to “work hard to get more minutes on the pitch”.
“There are many reports circulating earlier, about how he did not want me.
“But from the first day he arrived, he already told me what he thought and I also say what I think. He is a coach who is very nice and has high demands.
“I love the way he thinks and handles players. I was surprised. Now I will work hard to get more minutes of play on the pitch, that’s what I want.
“He’s a character, I thought he was more serious. We spend a lot of time together. He speaks Spanish and Italian and spends time making jokes.”
Clearly Rojo feels that he still has a future at United even though he was heavily linked to moves abroad as well as with Everton in the summer and according to Rojo, Mourinho sees a future for him. Rojo has also expressed a strong desire to return home one day to play for Estudiantes. He spoke to TyCSports a while ago as Manchester Evening News reported Rojo saying:
“I miss the club, my family and my friends.
“I want to return to Estudiantes once I finish my contract in England.”
This is quite a common thing for South American players with the likes of Carlos Tevez, Diego Forlan, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Luis Fabiano all returning home as the allure of being with their family and friends weighs more on their mind than other nationalities. With the clubs willing to allow these players to come home and provide funds in their budget to bring them back as marquee signings just like the US lures big european talent away in their twilight of their careers. Don’t get me wrong, Rojo is not in the same category as the players I’ve just mentioned but he is loved in Argentina, he doesn’t speak much English and would return there in a heartbeat. If he continues to be a 2nd or 3rd choice left back, I think he may reconsider his time at United and look to move to Argentina that little bit earlier….Fingers crossed anyway.
But in all seriousness, Rojo needs to really knuckle down if he is going to be a feature player in United’s 2016/17 season. He has ability, looked very strong and assured at the back as well as a leader for Sporting Lisbon before he joined United and not forgetting the refusal to train and speak to anyone until they let him move to United! We want to see that fire, we want to see passion but above all else, fans want to see him look like he has actually played a game of football before! At the moment when the ball arrives at his feet, it looks like he is so nervous to make a mistake that inevitably, he makes one. He won’t start above a fit Luke Shaw who has the pace, drive and better technical ability to be a guaranteed starter but Shaw’s biggest issue is his fitness. Rojo will get minutes on the pitch in both the Europa League and in the league when Shaw isn’t fit. He starts for Argentina in the left-back position, he clearly has ability but Rojo needs to step up in a United shirt and show he has the ability to fight for his place.