Roy Keane thinks Wayne Rooney has got to do ‘a lot more’ as captain of Manchester United and has criticised both his mental and physical shape right now.
Rooney returned to the starting XI against PSV Eindhoven having sat out Man United’s 2-1 win over Watford at the weekend and simply didn’t do enough from his No.10 role.
By the end of the game Rooney looked exhausted and Keane has questioned his overall commitment to the position and what a captain has to do to inspire his team-mates.
“It seemed a strange atmosphere at Old Trafford tonight, they lacked cutting edge,” Roy Keane said after Man United’s draw with PSV.
“You got the impression the players were waiting for something to happen, rather than going and making it happen. Wayne [Rooney] was on about lack of composure and quality, but I think he was as guilty as anybody. He needs to step up to the plate.
“You look at Wayne’s legacy at Old Trafford, it’s absolutely fantastic, his goals record is brilliant. But now he’s the captain there’s more responsibility and I think he’s got to do a lot more.
“I always question certain players what are they doing off the field. Last week I saw him slapping a wrestler and I’m thinking ‘Why is he getting involved in all that nonsense?’ There’s no benefit to him. I’d have a look at that side of it.
“It’s certainly not helping him. I wouldn’t begrudge him going out and enjoying himself, but if you’re not at it yourself you’ve got to have a look and lead by example. He didn’t do that tonight. He doesn’t look sharp, he looks awful.
“Mentally he doesn’t look really sharp, physically he doesn’t look in great shape. He needs to have a look at himself.”
Keane is saying what a lot of United fans are thinking and it’s about time somebody associated with the club has done it because Rooney is not good enough anymore and genuinely looks past it.
Even previously when Rooney had cold streaks he would always turn it around but we’re in November now and he’s been pretty much atrocious all season.
Rooney fans will no doubt get on my back for criticising him more so than any other players from last night but he’s our captain and there’s an added responsibility with that. He needs to lead by example but it’s now reached the stage where I think we’re better off without him in the team.
He’s not the only player right now who deserves criticism but I’m really beginning to question whether Rooney is now on the downward spiral permanently or if this is just the biggest crisis of confidence he’s ever had in his career.