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Wayne Rooney tells Erik ten Hag to drop star duo for Liverpool clash

The Manchester United legend had his say on Monday’s starting XI


Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has revealed that, were he in charge for Manchester United’s upcoming clash with Liverpool, he would drop both Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford from his starting XI.

The Red Devils have endured a wretched start to the season, losing both of their opening games, including a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Brentford, and Rooney warned that if they repeat that performance they will suffer an even bigger defeat against Liverpool than the 5-0 they suffered against Jurgen Klopp’s side last season.

Wayne Rooney

“Play like they did against Brentford, and United will suffer an even worse result than their 5-0 defeat by Liverpool last season,” Rooney told The Times. “I don’t expect that to happen, by the way — I can’t see United winning, but I believe there’ll be a reaction and they’ll lose by the odd goal, or even snatch a draw.

‘If that [Brentford performance] had happened to any of the United teams I played for, I think fans, journalists and every other team in the country would have been shocked, but people weren’t with this side. The most worrying thing is that neither the result nor performance surprised me.’

Drop Ronaldo and Rashford?

And, in the hunt for a better performance against Liverpool, Rooney has revealed that he would drop a pair of forwards, in the form of Rashford and Ronaldo.

“I wouldn’t play Cristiano Ronaldo, and I wouldn’t play Marcus Rashford,” Rooney explained. “If I was in Ten Hag’s position my main concern would be getting energy on the pitch, and United’s failure to recruit a number nine means they relied on Ronaldo against Brentford, even though he hadn’t trained a lot with the team.

“He looked like he needs time to get match fit. Ten Hag needs energy from his side and that may mean dropping Ronaldo.”

Meanwhile, he is more concerned with the happiness of Rashford.

“As for Marcus, I think he needs to do a lot of soul-searching and figure out what he wants, for his own good, before anything else,”, the Englishman added.

“Because watching him is a real concern: he looks like he wants to be anywhere but on a football pitch. I haven’t seen him smile on the field for a long time. His performances have dipped — he hasn’t been selected by England for more than a year.”

“He needs to look at himself and Ten Hag and the coaches need to figure out what’s going on, sit him down and have really honest conversations, because you can’t just keep rolling him out when clearly something’s not right.”

With Harry Maguire also being considered as one to be dropped for Monday’s clash, it could be a very different Manchester United that take the field against Liverpool.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.



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