Rooney out?

Supplement panel give their verdict on Rooney

Last Updated: 26/08/12 11:48am

Wayne Rooney is not necessarily on the brink of leaving United, but there are frustrations over his form, John Dillon told The Sunday Supplement.

"This may be a gee up for Rooney, it may be a signal to the market - but Rooney doesn't seem to be in control of his talent or his fitness."

John Dillon

Quotes of the week

Rooney was dropped for United's match with Fulham on Saturday after a poor display at Everton on the opening weekend, before an injury sustained after coming on as a sub ruled him out for up to four weeks.

It has since been reported in the press the England talisman could be sold by the Old Trafford outfit, following concerns about his form and attitude.

"The reports seem to feed off some comments Alex Ferguson made in his programme notes on Saturday," said the Daily Express' Dillon, referring to comments from the United boss saying the club would not be shy to move a top player on, if the time is right.

"This may be a gee up for Rooney, it may be a signal to the market - but Rooney doesn't seem to be in control of his talent or his fitness.

"He comes in fits and starts. He's 26 now, he's been playing in the Premier League for 10 years but he doesn't seem to have advanced in terms of manipulating and directing his talent in the right ways. It all seems to be based on instinct and he hasn't made that advancement that could make him a truly great player.

"Perhaps Ferguson has wearied of that and perhaps, with Robin van Persie in place, he can send that message more strongly than at any other time.

"If they are willing to sell, then it implies there's a problem there. In which case, I can't see them getting the reported £50m."

Not yet

However, Sam Wallace from the Independent doesn't believe things are so bad for Rooney and United at the moment that his departure is imminent.

"When Robin van Persie signed a lot of people talked about this dream partnership between him and Rooney, but I always thought Van Persie was there as a major alternative for Ferguson in the big games," he said.

"Over the past few years Rooney has been such an important player for United - although, obviously his relationship with Ferguson has had its ups and downs - and there's never really been a situation where Ferguson has felt he could leave Rooney out of big games.

"However, Van Persie gives Ferguson a serious alternative. If he feels Rooney isn't on form or whatever he can go into a big game against one of the top teams and start with Van Persie.

"I would hesitate to say it's as dramatic as 'Rooney's at the crossroads of his career'. He scored 27 goals last year and is still the premier English talent. But it's always feast or famine with Rooney. If he misses games he tends to lose form.

"He's won a lot at United and the next contract will be for the peak of his powers, but to sell him now would be such a huge decision for United. I don't think we're at that point yet.

"He was poor at Goodison Park last week, but as soon as he has a 5/10 game, because of his profile, his salary and everything, all hell breaks loose. As soon as he's off his game for one or two matches it's seen as a crisis. But he's been through this before."