Club legend accuses Manchester United stars of ‘hiding behind injuries’ amid poor form

Wayne Rooney accuses Manchester United players of using injuries as excuse to not play

Wayne Rooney went after the Manchester United players with a shocking statement after his former side’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday night.

Speaking on Sky Sports alongside fellow United legend Roy Keane, Rooney claimed he “100 per cent” believed that a fair few of the players currently listed injured by the club were fit enough to play but were choosing not to.

“As we look at the injuries they’ve picked up, some of those players can play, 100 per cent.

“When you have the European Championship coming up and an FA Cup final, it’s easy for players to stay out of it a little bit, get back for the final and make sure they’re ready for the European Championship. I’ve seen it myself over the years.

“The players who are injured are not filling themselves in any credit at the minute. The manager is going to take all the stick for that.”

Rooney, as quoted by Sky Sports

Quite a remarkable thing to say

Of all the things one could say about Rooney during his playing career, no one could ever fault him for giving his all on the pitch on days both good and bad. So, it’s safe to say Rooney knows what it’s like to play through the tough situations.

But it was this very intensity coupled with his courage to play through injuries that played a crucial role in curtailing his career in its twilight years, not to mention that, not only United have had a very dodgy record when it comes to looking after their players over the past half-a-decade or so, players in general are more prone to muscular injuries these days due to the ever-burgeoning footballing calendar.

So for Rooney to come out and go after the players for being reluctant to play through injuries, if that is at all the case, is very tone deaf.

Wayne Rooney accuses Manchester United players of using injuries as excuse to not play.
Rooney for Manchester United: 559 appearances, 253 goals, 140 assists. (Source: Transfermarkt) (Photo credit should read SOREN ANDERSSON/AFP via Getty Images)

One of the defining qualities of Sir Alex Ferguson as a manager was that he knew when to adapt his system and playing philosophy with the changing times. Not only did he have the wisdom to change his setup, he also had the wisdom to realise when it he who needed to move on when he retired in 2013.

A lot of what made Sir Alex one of the best of his time, the bad-cop treatment of players for one, is something that simply does not fly in modern-day football anymore. He understood this as he stepped down; his players who shone back in the day do not.

There’s a reason very few players who played under Sir Alex have managed to establish themselves as highly-rated topflight managers. Rooney is another example here, though one has high hopes of Michael Carrick.

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If Rooney is interested in getting another managerial gig after the Birmingham City disaster, he may want to re-evaluate how he goes about blaming players as a pundit.