Former Manchester United defender Gerard Pique defends Wayne Rooney amid criticism

by Sam Koster

Gerard Pique has defended Wayne Rooney‘s performances amid criticism from some sections of Manchester United fans.

Despite breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record for England in September, Rooney has struggled with his club form throughout the season, and has scored only two goals since the start of the Premier League campaign.

Speaking about his former teammate, Pique was quick to lavish praise on Manchester United’s captain.

“Sometimes we have phone calls, texts,” Pique said.

Gerard Pique

“He’s a fantastic lad. When I was there [at United – from 2004-08] he was really young and I was really young too and he helped me a lot. He involved me in the team, helped me to learn English. He was the joker in the dressing room. I have great memories.

“He’s not as quick as he was, maybe, but he will always score goals – he scored a hat-trick against Brugge, he scored against CSKA (Moscow). He has kept scoring.

“It’s true he’s getting older, we all have to accept that, but he has the ability to play for a long time. And, you know, when you don’t score sometimes it is not because of you. Sometimes it’s maybe the team is not creating chances for you. Not everything, always, is about your performance. It’s about the team performance. When the team is not playing well then normally you will not play well. It’s all about the team.”

Man United fans will be pleased to hear of Pique’s comments, as it shows that he still holds both the club and player close to his heart. However, it is Rooney’s form which is the real issue here, something which Pique will not be able to change.

Wayne Rooney

Not only has Rooney struggled for goals this year, but his general form has also been poor, and very unlike the player United fans have come to love in past years. Supporters have criticised his ball control, passing and shooting over the course of the season, all of which have been below Rooney’s normally high standards.

United fans however, will hope that this is just a rough patch of form for the Englishman. A player such as Rooney firing on all cylinders could be key in any potential hunt for silverware this year, something which fans are becoming increasingly impatient over. However, with the domestic season now heading into the Christmas period, Rooney’s form must pick up sooner rather than later if he is to help in United’s quest for trophies.

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