Sunday 25 September 2016

Former Ireland midfielder offers lame defence of Wayne Rooney

Published 05/12/2015 | 18:01

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney with son Kai and Sam Johnstone sat in the stands
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney with son Kai and Sam Johnstone sat in the stands

Former Ireland midfielder Andy Townsend reckons Wayne Rooney is off form this season because there is not enough pace in the Manchester United team.

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Rooney, who did not play in today's 0-0 at home to West Ham United, has come under increased pressure this season for his performances and worrying lack of goals.

But Townsend has put all that down to what is happening around him, somewhat vindicating Rooney from responsibility for his own form.

"Manchester United do not have anywhere near enough pace in that team," Townsend said on BBC Radio Five Live .

Andy Townsend
Andy Townsend

"They've bought Martial , who is quick and who definitely stretches opponents, but he's a young boy and he's still coming to terms with it and what it's all about playing for Manchester United.

"Memphis Depay doesn't want to run in behind, he wants everything to feet, wants everything easy, far too easy.

"Since Valencia's gone out of the side they've lost a bit of dynamic down the right side, Darmian looked like he was getting to the byline, looked like he was getting beyond people and all of a sudden he's found himself out of the team.

"United are playing in third gear and that is one of the biggest reasons what hampers Wayne Rooney right now."

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