Gary Neville: Wayne Rooney will struggle to keep No.10 role under Jose Mourinho

by Tanveer Arayan


Manchester United great Gary Neville believes Wayne Rooney will struggle to keep a fixed No.10 role under Jose Mourinho this season.

The Englishman was moved to the right wing in the second-half on Man United’s derby 2-1 derby defeat to Manchester City.

Mourinho had switched his formation to a 4-3-3 after the first 45 minutes with Ander Herrera behind Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini.

Speaking about his role, Neville claims he will have to play in different positions to get the most out of the team.

“I always look at the clock when I say something to think at what point in the game will Jose Mourinho be thinking of a change,” he said.

“I think it was 18 minutes in [when Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford warmed up].

“The game wasn’t going well. City were dominant and they didn’t have the counter-attack or the energy to be able to compete and it didn’t surprise me [Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard were withdrawn].

Wayne Rooney moving from No.10, he [Mourinho] said he’s a No.10. He’s now a right winger. He’s having the same deliberations around Wayne Rooney‘s position that the last four or five managers have had that have managed him.

“Do you play him No.10? Do you play him at centre forward? Do you play him in midfield? Do you play him on the left wing?

“The reality is Wayne Rooney will have to play in different positions and Jose Mourinho has obviously seen that today. He wanted to get more strength into midfield with Pogba and Fellaini in front of Herrera and Rashford came on on the left.

Neville has always defended Rooney in recent years, having played alongside him at United, England and even coached the forward for four years at international level.

He played at No.10 in United’s 2011 Champions League final defeat to Guardiola’s Barcelona and Sir Alex Ferguson was believed to be frustrated as he didn’t press forward.

Rooney once again failed to apply pressure to City and Mourinho will be considering where he can make best use of the Englishman’s abilities.

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