Rooney will find it tough to reclaim striker’s role: van Gaal

Manchester, Nov 28 (IANS) Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal feels Wayne Rooney will find it difficult to reclaim the centre-forward role given the current form of the newly-signed Anthony Martial.

“It is how Martial played when he was in the striker’s position. I have to compare every player, then I think with playing like that, we are stronger. I shall always line up the strongest team of that moment. But that moment the other week can be different,” van Gaal was quoted as saying by the Guardian on Friday.

Martial has been an instant hit at Old Trafford after arriving from French club AS Monaco earlier this season.

Rooney on the other hand, has struggled to find form and has switched to the withdrawn forward’s role. The 30-year-old has been a shadow of his former self and is yet to find the net this season.

The United manager however, was quick to defend Rooney, asserting that the veteran England striker is a valuable member of the team.

“As a manager you are never happy with the form and shape of a player. You cannot always be top of the bill. You always have something you want to be better, as a team and also as an individual player. You may think and criticise players or a team or a manager, but you have to do that with arguments, and not as a person,” van Gaal said.

“There is always something to improve the quality of a player, the quality of a team. Wayne is doing a lot, has a very great contribution in the team. So as a manager, I am satisfied with him,” the former Holland coach added.

United have been criticised for their style under van Gaal, which many feel is responsible for their poor scoring rate this season. But the Dutchman insisted that he is happy with the build up play and believes that the issue is profligate finishing.

“As a manager, you cannot train that,” The 64-year-old said.

“You can put them in a situation — we are doing that, we are training in the third or fourth phase. That is also the communication between the players. As a trainer-coach, you cannot give patterns for that.”

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