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If Manchester United’s painfully blunt defeat against Tottenham Hotspur highlighted one thing about this Louis van Gaal side, it proved that they still need a certain Wayne Rooney.
The club captain has missed United’s last 12 games with Marcus Rashford coming in and starting the previous 10 games in place of the injured Rooney. The youngster has done admirably for someone of his raw inexperience but, of course, he’s no proven and experienced talent like Roo.
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There’s no denying that Rooney – like so many other world beaters who break onto the scene so early – is declining in ability and impact. How rapid of a decline that is, well, that’s merely a matter of opinion.
But to even begin to suggest that, when United find themselves in the current situation of dire football, lack of world-class players, fan unrest and a manager who sometimes feels like he’s related to the Chuckle Brothers…
— fcnaija (@fc1naija) March 17, 2016
…that they don’t need England’s all-time top scorer and a guy who is six away from becoming United’s seems slightly foolish.
The withdrawal of young Rashford at half-time against Spurs for Ashley Young – who went up top despite Anthony Martial being on the pitch – told you everything about the problems that have plagued United under van Gaal: injuries, lack of talented options, lack of belief in players and toothless.
Sure, Rooney doesn’t quite offer the same consistency or intensity in regards to the attributes that United are currently lacking, but at least he possesses them.
The problem Rooney is finding isn’t one unique to him, and it’s one that centres around football fans’ inability to not deal in extremes.
“Well, if Wazza ain’t banging in 25 Premier League goals a season anymore, then what’s the point of having him?”
Every generic football fan
Sure, the argument has merit but what about the assists? What about the impact of someone with Rooney’s CV barking orders to an eager to impress Jesse Lingard? How about how the sight of the England international effects the opposition defenders? After all, they’re facing the second highest Premier League goalscorer of all-time.
Ultimately, we are too quick to make heroes but, equally, we are too quick in taking away their status.