Rooney has always been known as a vocal presence on the pitch, and he has told the official United website why he started giving his fabled pre-match team talks.
He said: “I've always been quite vocal in the dressing room before games and I felt at the time it was right for me, after we’d lost to Arsenal in the cup, to put a few points across to the players which I thought might help the team.
“It just felt like the right time for me to say something.”
It was following that defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup that the Red Devils have truly excelled, having been stuttering along in the top four for much of the campaign. Victories over Spurs, Liverpool, Aston Villa and, most recently, Manchester City, have all-but guaranteed Champions League football for United, and have made City the strugglers in the top four.
There certainly seems a better sense of cohesion at the club which was not present in the early months of the season, and although tactical changes have improved the on-pitch performance, there is no denying that Rooney has played a key role in this revival.
Louis van Gaal may win a wealth of praise for his role in rejuvenating Ashley Young and Michael Carrick, and bringing Ander Herrera into a consistent first-team role, but Rooney’s work should be praised for the mentality change.
There is now a sense that the United players understand what it means to play at Old Trafford, and Rooney, still just 29, is the elder statesman of the Red Devils who has brought around this change.