Wayne Rooney
United boss Van Gaal defends the form of star striker Rooney
Wayne Rooney

United boss Van Gaal defends the form of star striker Rooney

Published Aug. 17, 2015 10:41 a.m. ET

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has staunchly defended the form of Wayne Rooney, after the striker was widely criticized for his early season performances.

Van Gaal was speaking before Manchester United's Champions League play-off against Club Brugge, and responded angrily to questions about Wayne Rooney's performances in a lone striker role.

Rooney has not yet had a shot on target this season, and has touched the ball as many times in his own box as in the oppositions'. Van Gaal expressed his disbelief that some could be doubting Rooney's ability.

"We have a long way to go this season, but we have had a better start than last year and also two clean sheets. That says about our structure and balance, so I have confidence that we will develop ourselves to a much higher level and I expect that also from my players


"All the media has written for one year that I have to put him in the striker's position, so it's amazing that after two games you're doubting your own opinions, I cannot understand that. I have always confidence in my players."

How about six goals in all competitions for his club in 2015, Louis?

Van Gaal also spoke about the progress of Adnan Januzaj, who was facing the media alongside his manager.

"He has to compete with 24 players last year, and he is 20 years old. The characteristics of a young player is that he's not consistent and he has to show that this season. It's possible, but at a club like United, you never have a guarantee of a position in the top 11. Every player here knows that, and because of that we have a very good team spirit."


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