English Premiership

Rooney backed as captain

2014-08-15 21:17
Wayne Rooney (AFP)

Manchester - Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has urged Wayne Rooney not to let the burden of the club's captaincy weigh heavily on his shoulders.

Van Gaal handed the armband to Rooney and he will skipper the Red Devils for the first time in a competitive match in their English Premier League opener against Swansea City on Saturday.

The Dutchman also revealed that he has warned Rooney to lead by example off the pitch as well, where his attitude has been questioned in the past.

"I said to Wayne maybe it was too much for you as a captain but 'let it fly' I say," Van Gaal said.

"Because in the United States in pre-season, he scored a lot of goals, made a great amount of assists so I wanted to say that to Wayne.

"Why was he picked as captain? His attitude, of course. And that more or less, more on the pitch and on the training ground and not so outside of the pitch, but I have explained to him also outside the pitch is also very important for me.

"He accepted the responsibility and I like very much how he trains and also how he performed in the friendly against Valencia and how he performed to his fellow players."

Van Gaal also reiterated his frustrations at United's demanding pre-season tour to the United States which has disrupted his preparations for the new season.

"We have started more or less in the US and not here," Van Gaal said. "Only a few players have trained here since 7 July and on 18 July we went to the US when I was here.

"Before that, my assistants were it and it was a small group. After a World Cup, all of the players are coming in different moments and it is very difficult to train.

"They are at different levels and we have a big staff so we can do that. But we also have to travel, we have also to deal with jetlag and a lot of matches in 14 days.

"There were not only 350,000 fans there, but we had to play five games. It is a lot. A human being cannot survive everything so it is also dependable on the player himself. I have given the reasons."

Van Gaal confirmed that Dutch striker Robin van Persie will not feature against Swansea as he builds up his match fitness.

He will also be without left-back Luke Shaw (hamstring) while defenders Jonny Evans (knock) and Antonio Valencia (leg) and striker Danny Welbeck (knee) are doubtful.

Despite the injury problems, Van Gaal will persist with a formation that includes three centre-back which means youngster Tyler Blackett is set to be given his debut while Reece James will start at left-wing back.

The United boss has also vowed to entertain the United supporters at Old Trafford as they prepare to get their first glimpse of his managerial regime against Swansea.

"I think that we can give pleasure to the fans - that is the most important thing," he added.

"That the fans shall understand how we play and the way of playing will give pleasure to them. Football nowadays is not just a commercial business but also to entertain the people.

"People are coming to the stadium. When there are no fans anymore nobody shall come, even the broadcasters won't come anymore, so it's very important we please the fans."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Burnley v Stoke City, Turf Moor 21:45
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 22:00
Huddersfield Town v Chelsea, The John Smith's Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Swansea City v Manchester City, Liberty Stadium 21:45
Newcastle United v Everton, St. James' Park 21:45
Southampton v Leicester City, St. Mary's Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 22:00
West Ham United v Arsenal, London Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth, Old Trafford 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Huddersfield Town, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.