Rooney claims Manchester United are well below their high standard

Wayne Rooney admits Manchester United have fallen below the club's high standards this season as uncertainty grows around Louis van Gaal's future.


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United beat Crystal Palace to win a record-equalling 12th FA Cup, but the triumph was soon overshadowed by speculation Van Gaal was on the verge of leaving the club.

Reports suggest Van Gaal will be replaced at the United helm this week by former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

United have steadfastly refused to comment on speculation regarding their managerial situation, while the Portuguese kept his counsel when asked about the job by Press Association Sport over the weekend.


Turgid performances and a failure to qualify for the Champions League have left Van Gaal vulnerable at Old Trafford, and Rooney accepts expectations have not been met.

"He has been under pressure. I think we all have," the Red Devils captain said.

"That's part of playing for Manchester United and managing Manchester United - it is a massive club.

"You have to set standards and we fell below them this season.

"But we have to make sure as players we get back to those standards and make sure we are back challenging for the main trophies."

Van Gaal remained defiant during his post-match press conference at Wembley, insisting he wanted to stay and knew nothing about Mourinho taking over.

Rooney also said the 64-year-old gave no indication about his future to the United players following their FA Cup victory.

"He hasn't spoken to us about it and I think it's unfair after we have just won the cup to speak about his future," Rooney said.

Van Gaal, however, fuelled speculation on Sunday. When asked by a Sky Sports News reporter if he would stop to speak outside the team hotel, he refused and said as he walked away: "It's over."

Given the brevity of the comment, it was not immediately clear whether that meant the former Holland manager had been told his time at United was at an end.

Van Gaal still has a season remaining on his three-year deal, while Mourinho has been out of work since paying for Chelsea's abysmal title defence in December.

If Mourinho does land the Old Trafford job, former United defender Phil Neville expects him to bring success - if not over a long period.

"I can't see him staying too long at Man United, maybe two or three years - that seems to be his shelf-life at a football club,'' Neville said.

"When Jose finishes at a club it tends to be a pattern where he falls out with a few players, he gets disgruntled and the team dips.

"It happened at Chelsea, it certainly happened at Real Madrid where there were rumours he fell out with a few players.

"It's a pattern with Jose. He comes into a club, he gets success but he doesn't stay for too long."

Twenty-time English league champions United have failed to finish higher than fourth in any of the three seasons since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

Mourinho has a proven track record in England, having won the title three times with Chelsea, and Neville believes the former Real Madrid coach will already have a plan to achieve success again.

"He's a proven winner, a proven champion. United fans want a team that will challenge for the league title, not a team that finishes seventh or fifth, and Jose is probably the man for the job," Neville, part of David Moyes' coaching team at United, said.

"Knowing Jose as I do, I think he will have done his homework and he's meticulous in his planning.

"Don't be surprised if United in the next month, and particularly before the Euros, sign three or four players and when he gets to pre-season he has his squad already in place.

"He knows who he wants and at the start he will demand United sign those players for United to become championship challengers again."

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4 min read
Published 23 May 2016 at 9:03am
Source: PA Sport