Manchester United in crisis: Five ways Jose Mourinho can save their season

1) Drop Wayne Rooney

When Sir Alex Ferguson was willing to let Wayne Rooney leave Old Trafford back in 2013, it was because the Scot had seen coming what nobody else could.

That the England and United captain, scorer of 246 goals for the club, a throwback to the glory days of old, is no longer the player he used to be.

There came a time where Rooney was simply undroppable, particularly in the years after Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Real Madrid back in 2009. 34 goals in the 2009/2010 and 2011/2012 seasons made him the spearhead of Ferguson’s final great sides. 

But Robin van Persie’s arrival in 2012 changed everything. Ever since he was forced to play second fiddle to the Dutchman Rooney has looked out of sync with the rest of his team-mates – regardless of the manager. 

David Moyes and Louis van Gaal held him in high regard but 49 goals since Ferguson’s retirement is a poor return for a striker of England’s biggest club. Most United fans would now start Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial ahead of him. 

Rooney has been playing week in, week out ever since the age of 16. It looks like all that football has taken its toll and Mourinho cannot afford to carry a passenger – one on a handsome salary of £300,000 a week – if he is to turn the tables at Old Trafford. 

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