Saturday, 28 November 2015

Wayne Rooney Does Not Have Form To Replace Anthony Martial, Says Louis van Gaal

Louis van Gaal has refused to react to Roy Keane’s disapproval of Wayne Rooney but admitted his captain is not playing well enough to take the centre-forward place from Anthony Martial.

In the summer Rooney and Van Gaal said the striker would be the No9 for the season. The Liverpudlian was content at the prospect, stating he was confident of surpassing his best-ever 34-goal tally for the club in a single campaign.
Wayne Rooney has struggled for form this season and often been asked to play at No10 for Manchester United.
Wayne Rooney has struggled for form this season and often been asked to play at No10 for Manchester United. 
However, Rooney has struggled for form and often been asked to operate in the No10 berth. The 30-year-old has seven goals and is the side’s top scorer. Yet during United’s 0-0 draw at home to PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, Keane was scathing about Rooney, saying: “Mentally he doesn’t look sharp, physically he doesn’t look in a great shape. He has to have a look at himself.”

That was brushed off by Van Gaal. “I don’t want to give the honour to answer this question because it is too much honour for the one who says things.”

The manager said it will be difficult for Rooney to score 25 goals as the England international is not currently the No9. “At this moment, he doesn’t play in the striker’s position, Martial is playing there,” he said. “But it is possible he shall play other matches there. It is dependable not always on the quality and shape of the player at the moment, but also the gameplan. And we have to decide that every week.”

Van Gaal said Martial’s form was blocking Rooney. “It is how Martial played when he was in the striker’s position,” the Dutchman said. “I have to compare every player, then I think with playing like that, we are stronger. I shall always line up the strongest team of that moment. But that moment the other week can be different.”

Van Gaal said he always demands more of his squad. “As a manager you are never happy with the form and shape of a player,” he said. “You cannot always be top of the bill. You always have something you want to be better, as a team and also as an individual player. You may think and criticise players or a team or a manager, but you have to do that with arguments, and not as a person. There is always something to improve the quality of a player, the quality of a team. Wayne is doing a lot, has a very great contribution in the team. So as a manager, I am satisfied with him.”

Van Gaal’s side has been criticised for their style. He is happy with the buildup play and believes the issue is profligate finishing. “As a manager, you cannot train that,” Van Gaal said. “You can put them in a situation – we are doing that, we are training in the third or fourth phase. That is also the communication between the players. As a trainer-coach, you cannot give patterns for that.”


Jamie Vardy is aiming to score for an 11th consecutive Premier League match when United visit Leicester City on Saturday. “It shall be difficult [to stop him] I think but we can do that because we have a lot of clean sheets already [14]. Also against PSV, it was a clean sheet. I was not satisfied but it was a clean sheet.”

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