Wayne Rooney can turn Manchester United’s fortunes around with his rediscovered aggressive streak, according to ex-midfielder Paul Scholes.
The Red Devils captain played an integral part in Manchester United’s lightning-quick start against Chelsea – a period of play which saw Louis van Gaal’s side hit the woodwork twice via strikes from former Blues midfielder Juan Mata and Anthony Martial.
Although Manchester United eventually ended up firing another blank and extending their winless run to eight games, Scholes was happy with Rooney showing the characteristics of old and wants to see more of the same in 2016.
“It is a much better Wayne Rooney,” Scholes said on BT Sport after the 0-0 draw with struggling Chelsea.
“To have a placid Wayne Rooney is just not the same.
“The aggressiveness was there. His movement, his touch was brilliant when it came into him and his passing was great as well.
“The only thing that was missing was the goal.”
Rooney’s improved display could have easily ended on a sour note as he collided with Oscar studs first in the latter stages of the match and was deemed lucky to escape a red card from referee Martin Atkinson.
The 30-year-old, who was named Man of the Match, revealed he apologised to the Brazilian midfielder when quizzed about the late challenge.
“It was accidental,” admitted Rooney to BT Sport.
“I knew straight away I caught him and could’ve caused him a bit of damage, so I apologise.
“I apologised on the pitch, nothing was meant and I think the referee saw there was no intention of hurting him.
“He’s given me a yellow card which I probably deserve.”
Louis van Gaal, who is adamant that the Manchester United team are ‘fighting’ for him, is preparing his troops for a home game against Swansea before entertaining Sheffield United in the FA Cup.