Thursday 27 June 2019

Rooney wants United players to stop 'hiding' from on-field responsibilities

Wayne Rooney has launched a scathing assault on Manchester United's underperforming players and told them to get their priorities straight. (Martin Rickett/PA).
Wayne Rooney has launched a scathing assault on Manchester United's underperforming players and told them to get their priorities straight. (Martin Rickett/PA).

James Ducker

Wayne Rooney has launched a scathing assault on Manchester United's underperforming players and told them to get their priorities straight.

United missed out on Champions League qualification for the third time in six seasons after finishing sixth in the Premier League, 32 points adrift of champions Manchester City.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is preparing to overhaul the squad this summer and has already written off a title challenge next season after admitting the club faces a huge rebuilding job.

Rooney has claimed too many of the squad seem more concerned about social media profiles than delivering on the pitch as he warned them to stop hiding behind agents and PRs.

"The way the game has gone has changed - society has changed," said Rooney, United's top scorer with 253 goals in 559 appearances over 13 years.

"You've got players losing a game and then posting on social media about their new clothing range or aftershave, which I find remarkable. So, when fans speak up on it and say, 'Why are you posting that?', they always have the marketing people to blame. Take responsibility. The marketing people work for you.

Instructions "I have people who do similar stuff for me and they would never do anything without my instructions. You're sitting at the top of that business, you have to take responsibility. These players almost like to find someone to hide behind, whether that's on social media or the pitch."

Solskjaer is looking to bring in as many as five players while many could leave and Rooney, who now plays for DC United in America's MLS, said the Norwegian has to become a feared presence if United are to get back on top.

United's squad have reportedly been told to return to pre-season training as early as July 1 by Solskjaer and Mike Phelan, who are alarmed at the players' poor fitness levels.

"To watch United struggle is always tough," said Rooney, who was speaking on his own podcast. "I think the players need to fear someone. They need to fear Ole, they need to fear Michael Carrick - they need to respect them but fear them also."

Telegraph.co.uk

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