Wayne Rooney believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coaching team need to strike fear into those Manchester United players that have shown they are happy to hide.
After enjoying a remarkable caretaker stint when replacing divisive Jose Mourinho late last year, things have gone awry in the last few months under the 1999 treble hero.
United won just two of their 10 matches following Solskjaer’s permanent appointment in March and the drop in performances have been as alarming as the results, with the 2-0 home loss to Cardiff a fitting end to the season.
There are set to be numerous personnel changes at Old Trafford this summer but the club’s all-time top scorer believes the issues run deeper than that.
A veteran of the Sir Alex Ferguson era, Rooney believes Solskjaer needs to strike the balance between fear and respect to get the best out of the group.
“It’s a tough one because to watch Manchester United struggle is always tough,” the DC United forward said.
“When Ole came in, he did a fantastic job and you could see the players were given that bit of freedom and you could see they loved it and they earned the right to win game with how they were playing.
“But then all of a sudden, I don’t know whether it’s players being linked to other teams or players down tooling… I don’t think it is that but for some reason they just didn’t perform the last seven, eight games of the season, which has cost them.”
Asked how United change it, Rooney said: “I think the players need to fear someone.
“They need to fear Ole Gunnar, they need to fear Michael Carrick – they need to respect them but fear them also.”
Rooney knows more than most what it takes to flourish at United, having scored 253 goals across 559 appearances during a medal-laden stay between 2004 and 2017.
A team-mate of manager Solskjaer and first-team coach Carrick during that time, he was also in the dressing room with a number of the current crop and believes there is not enough accountability on the field or away from it.
“The way the game has gone has changed; the society has changed,” he said on the Wayne Rooney Podcast.
“You’ve got social media. You’ve got players losing a game and then posting something on social media about their new clothing range or aftershave, whatever, they are bringing out, which I find remarkable.
“So, when fans speak up on it and say, ‘why are you posting that?’ they always have the marketing people to blame. Take responsibility. They work for you. Them marketing people work for you.
“I have people who do similar stuff for me and they would never do anything without my instructions.
“If that’s what you’re doing, you’re sitting at the top of that business, you have to take responsibility for that.
“These players almost like to find someone to hide behind, whether that’s on the social media or on the pitch and that’s what they’re doing.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
David Beckham spoke to OTRO on his relationship with former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
The former England captain recounted an occasion when he was instructed just before a game to shave off his new daring hairstyle.
Beckham admitted Ferguson success came because ‘he was always able to change’.
Ferguson was appointed as United manager in November 1986 and stayed in charge until 2013, winning a total of 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League titles.
He is considered one of the greatest coaches of all time.
Manchester United have released their new 2019/20 home strip, with a sleek and stylish design created by adidas.
The new United home kit pays homage to the incredible 1998/1999 season in which the club made history by becoming the first club ever, and since, to win the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League; completing the iconic treble.
History was made 20 years ago to clinch the treble, following an epic Champions League final, which saw United battle back from behind to defeat Bayern Munich 2-1 in Barcelona, with goals from Teddy Sheringham and, now Red Devils manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The minutes of when those famous goals were scored – the 91st and 93rd respectively – are shown on each sleeve of the new adidas jersey for the forthcoming season. The dates of the three title wins are also displayed along the bottom of the shirt.
An all new commemorative crest design of bold black with gold stitching, taking inspiration from the one worn that season, completes the shirt.
Available from adidas stores, adidas.com and official club stores exclusively from Thursday, for a period of seven days, the shirt is accompanied with white shorts and black socks.
The new United home kit will be worn for the first time on pitch in an anniversary game v Bayern at Old Trafford on May 26 – exactly 20 years to the day of the Camp Nou final. It will feature players who played in the famous match. Price: Dh399.