England’s World Cup dreams are over for another four years, but Manchester United fans have a few reasons to be happy despite the nation’s early exit.
Below are three reasons for fans of Louis van Gaal’s side to smile despite those years of hurt showing no sign of ending.
A rested Rooney
Wayne Rooney may have received a fair share of criticism this summer but in truth he fared relatively well. He finally broke his World Cup scoring duck and he could have had more than that with chances against Uruguay and Italy tantalisingly close.
But whatever you think of the United striker’s performances for England, he is now set for a prolonged rest prior to the start of a new domestic season.
With Robin van Persie likely to be the main man under van Gaal, Rooney’s role is likely to be in behind the Dutchman, and with the likes of Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa also pushing for a starting-berth he will want to show what he can do from day one.
That extra rest this summer could come in very handy.
A Shaw thing?
Luke Shaw’s mooted move to Old Trafford continues to be little more than a rumour, and yet with England’s time in Brazil at an end, United now have the chance to finalise a deal that would see them secure one of the most talented teenagers in European football.
He will not come cheap, but soon to be back on these shores, a £30million switch from Southampton could now be on the cards, enabling him to join up with his potential new club at the beginning of their pre-season campaign.
All eyes on the defence
With Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand moving on to pastures new, United’s only recognised senior centre-backs are currently Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones. Like Rooney, the latter two are now heading home sooner than expected. But in so doing it gives them an extra rest and also ensures they will not be sent on a late summer break just as van Gaal begins his new role in earnest.
With a number of new centre-backs linked with United, Jones and Smalling will not want to be left behind in terms of pre-season preparation.