Rooney’s continual inclusion in Manchester United’s starting XI has many fans scratching their heads every week, and Stan Collymore has told talkSPORT that his situation with United is similar to how Steven Gerrard’s last season with Liverpool panned out.
He said: “Remember with Steven Gerrard, a lot of Liverpool fans were saying ‘he’s done, we need to move him on’. But the first bad result without Gerrard in the side, it’s bring back Gerrard. And I think that is why Wayne Rooney plays every single week for Manchester United. Because if he is dropped for any period of time, and United weren’t to get a result, the simple thought is that Rooney must play again.”
Rooney has scored two Premier League goals this season in nine games, and has come under major criticism for a series of ineffectual performances as United’s striker.
This came to the fore once again on Sunday, with Rooney leading the line against Manchester City - and managing just one shot in the entire game.
His place in the side has forced the impressive Anthony Martial out onto the wing, and fans are starting to get bored of Rooney’s continual selection by head coach Louis van Gaal.
However, Collymore believes he is being continually selected because if he is not playing, and United do poorly, the only fix would be play Rooney again.
This is how Gerrard was treated at Liverpool in his last season at Anfield, where fans were pleading for him to be dropped, but when performances did not improve, pleaded for him to come back into the starting XI.
This lack of consistency resulted in a poor season for Liverpool, and although the Red Devils are trudging their way to some form of success this season, there is a sense that they are not far away from going on a run of poor form.
Van Gaal is continually selecting Rooney for some reason which no fan can see, and whilst Gerrard’s poor season at Liverpool ended with him leaving Merseyside, there is no apparent future in which Rooney leaves Old Trafford at the end of this season.