Wayne Rooney May Get Pushed Out At United Due to Louis Van Gaal’s Favoritism For Robin van Persie

Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney tweeted yesterday that he is looking forward to working with Louis Van Gaal. And I sincerely believe that is true. Perhaps Rooney, Robin van Persie and Van Gaal can propel United to heights forgotten. However, I believe it is more likely that this will turn out to be Rooney’s last season at Manchester United and, honestly, it’s probably warranted.

Before you ask – I absolutely rate Wayne Rooney. I’ve seen him score some wonder-goals and perform at a world class level. He is a fierce, determined and passionate footballer and England’s best striker.

But, at Manchester United, is he indispensable? Even the most ardent Wayne Rooney supporter would admit that when fully fit, Robin Van Persie is a better player than Wayne Rooney; a fact that Sir Alex recognized when he signed the Dutchman in his final season in-charge at Old Trafford. So, simply based on footballing terms, and even before we mention Van Gaal, Wayne Rooney is not the central cog of the United machine.

Van Gaal has publicly declared his admiration for RVP and declared him captain of the Dutch national team. With Vidic, Rio and possibly Evra leaving, there is a dearth of leadership and senior dressing-room figures within the squad. Wayne Rooney certainly has a claim to the United armband – he has been at the club for a decade, amassed over 400 appearances and scored over 200 goals. He has also won multiple trophies, including a Champions League crown. He is also, undoubtedly, a team player who can motivate his teammates with his workrate and passion; the sort of player every English fan adores. However, Van Gaal recently stated that he believes that RVP has similar moral values and understanding of the game as the ex-Ajax coach. If there ever was an endorsement of a captain, that was it. Therefore, it is likely that RVP will be United’s next captain.

Where does this leave Wayne Rooney? Van Gaal is a shrewd manager, and he will undoubtedly attempt to make the RVP-Rooney partnership work. However, just like during Sir Alex’s last season, the system will be built around the strength of Van Persie playing as the most advanced striker. Add to that the additional complexity of finding an attacking role for Rooney in a team that involves Kagawa, Mata, Janujaz, Lingard, Powell, etc who can play the role behind RVP.  With Chicharito, Welbeck and the emerging Wilson, United is a team stacked in the two striker positions.

These complications will contribute to a possible loss in form for Rooney and that will catalyze off-the-field nonsense that will involve his agent Paul Stretford. Unlike Moyes, however, Van Gaal is not one to tolerate any player power. Van Gaal’s ego is too big to make any exceptions; something even Sir Alex did on occasion (with Ronaldo and with Rooney the first time around). Van Gaal’s managerial is riddled with high-profile bust-ups with players whose ability far exceeded Rooney’s (Rivaldo, Ribery and Luca Toni are great examples). In other words, Rooney’s eventual sulking will be the end of his United career.

It is possible that Rooney will be able to put his team before his own ego; certainly, he was a key part of the support cast that propelled United to UEFA Champions League success in the Ronaldo era. However, since then, Rooney has had a taste of being the main man, and it has proven to be an addiction for Wayne. It is also possible that Rooney reemerges as an important player if RVP has another injury-ridden season.

However, in the absence of those two scenarios, I expect Wayne Rooney and Paul Stretford to flirt with the likes of PSG and possibly even Chelsea. Certainly, given the friendship between Van Gaal and Mourinho, it is possible that a move to Stamford Bridge may happen in January in what could prove to be the most protracted transfer swap of all time (Juan Mata).

Wayne Rooney belongs in a category of footballer that includes Carlos Tevez and Luis Suarez; self-motivated footballers with an insatiable desire for victory. That independence also has a dark side – a narcissistic voice that tells him that he deserves to be Mr Manchester United. But, Manchester United is changing. And, Wayne Rooney may be the first of many high-profile casualties.

12 thoughts on “Wayne Rooney May Get Pushed Out At United Due to Louis Van Gaal’s Favoritism For Robin van Persie”

  1. Well said. There is no grey area for Rooney now. It’s either he plays at his world class best or warm the bench or sod off. Van Gaal will cry no tears for Wayne like his old boy Moyes. Wayne’s gonna have to make some very tough choices.

    1. Thanks pal. Yup, Rooney will not be allowed to have his usual 3-month dip in form. Van Gaal isn’t particularly patient, especially when he sees how much money Wazza is siphoning off each week.

    1. Playing 2 Strikers is even worse. Sure he’ll start but regardless of who we sign in midfield we need to play a true #10 at #10 and that’s not Wayne Rooney.
      He should’ve left last summer. He should be fighting RVP for the starting spot.

    2. No doubt – especially given RVP’s injury record that Rooney will play a part! But, van gaal be willing to massage his ego? I don’t think so – and that, in my opinion, is the central problem (and the reason I wrote the article).

  2. “…can propel United to heights forgotten.”

    What heights have been forgotten. We are talking about ONE bad season. Get a grip.

  3. United have rarely played with 2 strikers in the last few years. Welbeck (unless deployed as an AM) or Chicharito will not start alongside RVP. Neither will Rooney.

    I know this sounds ridiculous but Rooney should be United’s James Milner. He should be a utility player who can play effectively anywhere in the midfield, as an option when a defensive presence in the front 4 is needed, etc. He works his butt off and is very talented. His problem is he doesnt have a specific best position and United have a better player at all 4 attacking positions (RVP Mata Kagawa and Januzaj)

    1. That’s a great shout! And a wonderful experiment that I would like to see.

      But, the real question becomes – Will Rooney want to play in that deeper role? As it would certainly undermine his central (often lone) striker role with England.

      Rooney definitely has the toolkit to be a top CM. But, i think it might be too late to make that transition on a regular basis. Sure, he can play there in a few games, but long-term?

      1. Milner doesnt play cm very often. Usually in a wide position where the fullback needs help, but he plays there when we change formation in game or occasionally as a fill-in.

        Problem is rooney makes almost 3x what milner does.

    2. then why buy Kroos or Fabregas if you want to play Rooney deeper? Seriously? If you aim to buy quality midfielders, you don’t need Rooney playing deep, you want him upfield especially to play the counter. I like RVP, but aside from 2012-2013 season, he is injury prone. If you have a top midfielder and no, not Mata, not Kagawa, I’m talking about an atheltic, strong midfielder, you would want Rooney to play ahead of him and not droppoing deep all the time.

  4. You just know that Van Gaal will make an example of someone before too long and it’s odds on to be Rooney. He’s well past his sell date and may well be sacrificed as part of the rebuilding.

  5. Why Rooney is more valuable than Van Persie.

    Rooney – English, one of the few remaining world class players for England

    Robin Van Persie – Dutch

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