The Sunday Mirror’s Andy Dunn has suggested that the reason behind Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney’s problems this season is Louis van Gaal.
Speaking on the Sunday Supplement on Sky Sports, the panel were questioning whether or not the 30-year-old was still a starter for England at Euro 2016 given his issues so far this season.
Rooney has scored just two goals in 12 Premier League appearances this year, and ultimately has looked a shadow of his former self through a lack of confidence and understanding as to what role he is playing.
The England captain continues to drop back in order to pick up possession, but then has to sprint forward in order to offer a presence in the box. While he has struggled with that aspect of United’s attacking play, it is no coincidence that Van Gaal’s side have in turn failed to find the back of the net with any great consistency.
While there is still uncertainness surrounding Rooney’s role at United, the situation will have to improve over the coming months in order for him to ensure that he holds on to his place in Roy Hodgson’s starting line-up in France next summer.
Although Rooney arguably remains one of England’s most talented players, there is competition for places in the team ahead of next year’s tournament and his club form will be crucial in ensuring that he is the focal point of Hodgson’s plans.
Nevertheless, as discussed by Dunn, there perhaps needs to be a sense of direction and agreement on his position on the field for United in order for him to return to a high level of form. Van Gaal’s current tactics see his side play a slow and methodical style of football with a lack of goalscoring threat for the most part, and that may have to change if they are to sustain their title push.