He’s not far off becoming Manchester United’s highest ever goalscorer – a record he already holds for his country – but Wayne Rooney is far from loved at Manchester United at the moment.
The United captain was played on the right of a midfield three in his team’s 3-1 defeat at Watford, and contributed little, as did the majority of his teammates. Even the sainted David de Gea appeared to make a mistake.
But the most obvious target is Rooney and frankly, people are fed up.
We can spend another 150 odd million but if we continue to base our midfield around Fellaini and Rooney we are going nowhere fast.— Neil Bernstein (@nbernste) September 18, 2016
For most fans though it’s nothing new. Wayne Rooney hasn’t dominated a Premier League season in years.
This is getting ridiculous. Rooney hasn't 'played well' for years. Playing well does not equate to an assist but going missing for 89 mins.— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) September 18, 2016
When he burst on to the scene there was passion and seemingly always a moment of brilliance, but the most alarming thing about his decline seems to be a loss of instinct.
He rarely shoots, often seems to take the wrong option when on the ball, and ends up slowing down attacks more than contributing to them.
Is it all down to him? Probably not. The manager needs to shoulder the responsibility for the way the team is playing. But you can’t ignore Rooney’s impact on the players around him.
Paul Pogba had an improved performance – although was still nowhere near the level he should be – and some fans thought that changing formation to accommodate Rooney had a negative impact on Pogba’s game.
Most expensive player in the history of football and he is played out of position to accommodate a clearly past his best Wayne Rooney. #Mess— Sarah Adams (@Mufc_Sarah) September 18, 2016
To be fair Pogba performed well in a three for France at the Euros, but the question still stands. Is it time to stop trying to fit Rooney into a team when he consistently under-performs? Is he getting in Pogba’s way, and lessening his impact on games?
Wayne Rooney has been in decline for 4 seasons! Still captain of club and country and plays every minute. Hysterical.— Jimmy Lee (@sirjamesoflee) September 18, 2016
Wayney Rooney is NO midfielder. He's a striker completely out of form. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to recognise this. #WATvMUN— Tetelestai (@farayimungazi) September 18, 2016
Rooney is NOT the only problem. Clearly. But you know if anyone else is consistently poor they'll be cut. That's why he is such an issue.— Hayles (@Hayles_101) September 18, 2016
There is no agenda against Rooney. Stating the blindingly obvious truth isn't having an agenda. He's atrocious and doesn't offer anything.— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) September 18, 2016
Strong words, but will they be sentiments echoed by his manager when United face the champions Leicester in their next Premier League, by leaving Rooney out?
Craig Cathcart created more chances (1) from open play today than Wayne Rooney (0).
Craig. Cathcart. pic.twitter.com/O2ul2iP0J1— Kevin Blundell (@kevin_blundell) September 18, 2016
There are a lot of things wrong with the team but accomodating Rooney is probably the biggest mistake of them all.— Sav (@jonmikesav8) September 18, 2016
Leaving the captain out may not result in a drastically increased performance at first, but it surely can’t make things any worse.
And with Jose Mourinho in charge a big decision like that is usually not one he’d shy away from. Usually.
Lots wrong with United today, but - captain or not - it's telling that Mourinho sacrificed both full-backs instead of removing Rooney.— Seb Stafford-Bloor (@SebSB) September 18, 2016
As it stands it seems more than likely he’ll start against Leicester, and playing against a team of that energy could be the final nail in the coffin.
Although this does seems a little dramatic…
If Rooney starts the next game we need to just accept the fact that we're finished as a club.— Adam (@adxmjm) September 18, 2016
The only conclusion that can be drawn is that there’s no patience left for Wayne Rooney, from anybody, except possibly the most important person of them all. His manager.