Manchester United are one of England’s biggest and most successful clubs but the 20-time Premier League champions have lost their way in recent years. Since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club, United have won just one trophy – the Community Shield in David Moyes’ first match in charge. It has been a bleak period for United’s ardent supporters, made even worse as their ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City have enjoyed plenty of recent success.
This season, the Red Devils have been incredibly inconsistent. Defensively, they have been very reliable and Chris Smalling is starting to blossom into one of the best defenders in the Premier League. Many people criticised Louis van Gaal’s decision to stick with the likes of Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo but have been forced to eat humble pie after Smalling’s phenomenal start to the new campaign.
In attack, however, they have failed to inspire confidence. While young Anthony Martial has been an inspiration at times, Wayne Rooney has struggled and is clearly lacking self-belief at the forefront of United’s attack. The England international, who surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton’s long-standing national team goals record earlier this season, has been United’s most disappointing player at the start of the campaign and many are calling for Rooney to be dropped ahead of their upcoming fixture against Crystal Palace.
At 30 years old, Rooney is approaching the end of his long career. However, his rapid decline is a major worry for United’s supporters. Rooney has been their focal point for such a long time but it appears that, after averaging over 50 matches a season for the last twelve years, he is beginning to burn out. United have offered Rooney a testimonial in August – a decision that has been criticised in the public domain. Many fans wanted the striker to have his testimonial in June before moving on to another club for the start of next season.
United are certainly title contenders this season but they will need Rooney to up his game if the Red Devils are to beat both City and Arsenal to the crown. At the moment, they are one of the leading candidates for success and you can keep up with all of the latest news and odds via Bookmakers.co.uk. Martial is a great talent but his best years are ahead of him. For now, United are reliant on Rooney turning his form around and chipping in with a few goals.
Unfortunately for the Red Devils, Rooney looks a spent force in a very slow, lethargic attacking unit. United would be wise to replace the England international with a pacey forward in the summer, perhaps Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. He’s simply no longer good enough to compete at the top level and, if Rooney continues to get into the side on merit, he will drag United down the Premier League table.