Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen has joined Paul Scholes in suggesting Wayne Rooney is not necessarily to blame for his poor form.
Rooney has scored only two goals in the Premier League this season and has regularly faced criticism for his performances, including on Sunday against Manchester City when he lost the ball more than any player in red.
However, Scholes has described the current United team as “a very difficult” one for a centre-forward to play in, and Meulensteen also has some sympathy for Rooney.
“You can’t throw it all at Wayne himself, it’s a combination of a few things,” he told talkSPORT.
“Wayne is an adventurous player who likes to have freedom on the pitch, to roam around and get involved and find his own way to get into the game.
“I think at the moment he’s a little more restricted, he doesn’t always get the ball when he wants it and where he wants it.
“Manchester United are going through a transformation from the style Sir Alex Ferguson liked to play.
“He wanted to play with a lot of creativity, a lot of freedom and, at times, risk, but now under Louis van Gaal it’s much more calculated. It’s more about working your way up the pitch, it’s more laboured and more pedestrian.
“Wayne’s stats in the derby may have looked poor, but a lot of players’ stats also looked poor.
“But I do feel that he is not totally himself when I see him play at the moment.”
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