Marcos Rojo is determined to make the left-back position his own, insisting he’s desperate to make the most of the opportunity handed to him by Luke Shaw’s serious injury.
With the former Southampton man in fantastic form at the start of the season, Rojo looked set for a place on the bench, with some rumours going as far as suggesting the Argentina international could even leave Old Trafford after just one season. However, Shaw’s season-ending injury against PSV Eindovhen has given Rojo an unexpected route back into the starting XI and he shown the kind of consistent form that Louis Van Gaal demanded.
Manchester United are not on the level they were six years ago as the retirement of experienced players has hurt them badly, according to Cristiano Ronaldo.
The former United number seven said United have changed since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure and while Louis Van Gaal has steadied the ship since arriving at the club, a lot of work remains to be done.
Louis Van Gaal said he was unfazed by the criticism aimed at his decision of replacing Anthony Martial and keeping faith with Wayne Rooney on Tuesday night.
The United manager’s decision to replace the Frenchman with Marouane Fellaini halfway through the second half with the score still 0-0 was soundly booed by a large section of fans. However, Van Gaal feels his decision was vindicated as Rooney secured United’s winner shortly afterward.
Manchester United took a potentially decisive step towards reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League after a late Wayne Rooney goal secured a precious 1-0 win against CSKA Moscow.
United looked more enterprising than they had done at any stage against Middlesbrough and Palace but remained too prone to spell of sterile possession, while fans vented their frustrations again as Louis Van Gaal replaced Anthony Martial with Marouane Fellaini.
Here are five talking points from last night.
Former Manchester United midfielder Andrei Kanchelskis has dismissed Louis Van Gaal’s tactics as “disgusting”, accusing the Dutchman of forcing his players to play like robots.
United have failed to score in their last three consecutive games and Kanchelskis, who watched United’s 1-1 draw against CSKA Moscow two weeks ago, was extremely critical of his former side.
Louis Van Gaal has yet again come out in defence of Wayne Rooney, claiming the Manchester United captain should not simply be judged on his contribution in front of goal.
Rooney has scored just two Premier League goal this season so far and has come under intense scrutiny for a series of disappointing performances, which have seen fans calling for him to be dropped. Van Gaal, however, insisted the 30-year-old was being unfairly criticised.
Strongest XI: Man United vs CSKA Moscow
There is no denying that Manchester United have a problem right now and although Louis van Gaal doesn’t seem to accept it, fans are well aware how much Wayne Rooney‘s presence is hindering the team.
It’s more the indirect presence of him than his performances themselves because of how it displaces Anthony Martial’s position. The Frenchman scored three goals up front for Man United but has since gone a few games without finding the back of the net because he is now stuck out on the left wing.
Seemingly, the only way for Martial to go back in as the No.9 is without Rooney. For some reason, van Gaal doesn’t even want to play United’s captain in the No.10 role – technically, that could see both play but if we are to have one isolated striker then that has to be Martial.
Rooney up front is not the sole cause of United’s problem right now but one game without him and Martial leading the attack is exactly what everybody wants to see.
Patrice Evra has claimed Sir Alex Ferguson was absolutely certain Cristiano Ronaldo would return in the summer of 2013.
Ferguson announced his retirement soon after United clinched their 20th title in April 2013 and was replaced by David Moyes, who only lasted nine months in the job before being sacked in April 2014, with United languishing in seventh.