Wayne Rooney has bemoaned the drop in standards at Manchester United in the years following Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Man United have failed to make the top four in three of the four years since Ferguson left in 2013, never really looking like mounting a serious challenge in that time. This period of decline has coincided with the biggest period of spending in the club’s history as a number of expensive players have been brought in to wildly varying degrees of success.
Former United captain Rooney, who recently completed a return to boyhood club Everton, has suggested that these signings made it harder for him and (new captain) Michael Carrick to maintain the standards set by Ferguson:
“There are standards that you have to keep when you are at Manchester United.
“That came from the manager Sir Alex Ferguson when I went to United and it was then passed down through the dressing room by the likes of Giggsy, Gary Neville and Scholesy.
“Over the last few years, it was down to me and Michael Carrick to keep the new players maintaining those standards.
“That became more difficult over the last few years, with some of the players who joined the club. There are traditions at United that have to be maintained. It’s become harder, but that’s not my problem anymore. I’m just ecstatic to be back at Everton.”
Although the above was meant as a word of advice for new signing Romelu Lukaku, many have pointed out the irony of Rooney referring to dipping standards given his own decline in the past few years:
The absolute cheek of Rooney to talk about standards and the players bought at MUFC. His standards were atrocious for years before his exit.
— Alex Shaw (@AlexShawESPN) July 16, 2017
I’m not even sure where to start with this from Rooney.
Remarkable that he’s having a go at ‘standards’ after his last few years at United. pic.twitter.com/lh49qw9SgA
— Red Voices (@RedVoicesMUFC) July 16, 2017
Rooney is right about standards dropping post Ferguson, but he didn’t even maintain his personal standards, much less United’s.
— ARYAN (@theunitedmanc) July 16, 2017
Rooney talking about standards slipping at United, and some of the players we’d signed not being up to it.
Yet they kept him out the team 🤔
— Stephen Howson 🇾🇪 (@MrStephenHowson) July 16, 2017
The Rooney-less Man United began their pre-season tour of the United States on Saturday night with a 5-2 win against LA Galaxy, as manager Jose Mourinho looks to build on last season’s Europa League win and restore the standards set by Alex Ferguson during the glory years.
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we chatted to Shelbourne manager Owen Heary and looked ahead to Irish sides’ big week in Europe, as well as the usual League of Ireland news.