Manchester United will not make progress under David Moyes until Wayne Rooney realises and accepts that he’s NOT Roy of the Rovers.
Don’t get me wrong, Rooney works harder for the United cause than anyone in red, but he’s trying to do too much in every area of the pitch.
In attempting to be all things to all people, he’s actually running the risk of being nothing to no-one. Take yesterday’s embarrassing defeat to Liverpool as an example.
I know things were going against United virtually from the outset, and Rooney wanted to rescue a desperate situation single-handed. A laudable ambition.
But the fact of the matter is he was tearing around the Old Trafford pitch like a headless chicken. Picking the ball up from deep, drifting left and right and even turning up at full back at times.
His teammates could not have known where he was going to turn up next and, surely, that has to disrupt the pattern of the team.
He would have been better employed lending a bit of striking assistance to Robin Van Persie. Okay, the Dutchman has complained recently about colleagues ‘invading his space’, but the man needed help.
When Van Persie flicked a ball on or looked around for someone to pass to, he was isolated and alone. Rooney, in the main, was conspicuous by his absence having tracked back to do the work of others.
Moyes needs to find a role for Rooney and stick to it. The player has to do the same, otherwise he will suffer more ‘nightmares’ like the 3-0 defeat. It could have been a lot worse.
"It's a nightmare. It's one of the worst days I've ever had in football," Rooney told MUTV. "Nobody wants to lose, especially in this way, in your own stadium. It's not nice."
Difficult as it may be given the indifferent form of so many United players, Rooney has to learn to trust his pals again and not attempt to do their work for them.