Wayne Rooney’s loss of form this season has seen 68% of Manchester United supporters call on Louis van Gaal to axe the captain from the side.
Rooney hasn’t enjoyed the best start to the 2015/16 campaign and our article earlier this month suggested he was pushing his captaincy boundaries by failing to perform at his best.
Now it seems that even many Manchester United fans are beginning to turn on their captain.
According to 90min poll answered by more than 45,000 fans, as many of 42% of supporters have had enough and feel it’s time for a change of system. That means seeing Rooney dropped and summer signing Anthony Martial becoming the new attacking focal point of the team.
The French teenager has enjoyed a blistering start to his Old Trafford career after completing a surprise £36million move from Monaco on transfer deadline day and has already shown flashes of ability that prove there are many more dimensions to his game than simply being the ‘New Thierry Henry’.
Asking him to be the new talisman would certainly be putting a lot of pressure on such young shoulders, but Martial has previously insisted he tries not to pay attention to such things.
Overall, it’s actually 68% of fans who think Rooney’s place in the starting line-up ought to be reconsidered. However, the remainder of the respondents keen to see him dropped (26% of the total) feel it’s not really an option right now as there isn’t another individual in the squad with the right quality to replace him.
That is perhaps reflective of a perceived lack of depth at the top end of the pitch. Aside from Martial, home-grown teenager James Wilson is the only other central forward player in the first-team squad. The alternatives could mean Marouane Fellaini has to play in a more advanced position, or Ander Herrera wins back a regular role and the numbers in central midfield swell.
Rooney does still have around a third of United fans behind him, though. Of all those who responded to the poll, 32% firmly believe that the skipper is absolutely the main man and the best player at Old Trafford. In their eyes, dropping someone widely hailed as the best English forward in a generation would be nothing short of a big mistake.
Following on from that, it’s worth mentioning that this is an individual who recently became England’s all-time top goalscorer, breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s record that had stood, untouched, for 45 years. He’s also just 15 goals shy of breaking the same legend’s record tally of 249 for United in far fewer games. At just 29 years of age, he has plenty of time left to achieve even more.
Van Gaal has expressed limitless faith in Rooney ever since he took over as manager in 2014 and fans will find out if he continues to keep that faith when United face Everton at Goodison Park when domestic football resumes this weekend.
For more fan views, to join the conversation or to cast your vote via FanVoice visit www.90min.com
By Jamie Spencer