Man U

Jose Mourinho explains why he didn’t start Rooney vs Arsenal


You’d have to have been living under a rock to have escaped hearing about Wayne Rooney’s activities over the last week or so.

It’s no secret that the England captain enjoyed a drink after his side’s 3-0 win over Scotland, a fact which has been blown out of all proportions in some quarters.

The 31-year-old subsequently missed the friendly with Spain, but that was because he had suffered an injury.


Yet, he was fit to return for Manchester United against Arsenal, though Jose Mourinho opted to put him on the bench.

Rooney did actually make an impact when he came on, but Mourinho was quick to confirm why he didn’t start – and it had nothing to do with his drinking, or any injuries.

“I thought we were going to have the ball,” Sky Sports quote Mourinho.

“Arsenal are a team who let the opponents play.

“I thought we would have space and the ball would arrive quite easily to the attacking players.


“I believed ones like Mata, Martial and Rashford were faster than Wayne, better attacking opponents one to one in the last line. I thought it was the best option.”

Rooney’s international career has been called into question since pictures were released of him on a late-night session, but he clearly still has something to offer at club level.

The former Everton man initially apologised for acting inappropriately, but later hit out at the media for criticising him. Unfortunately, this is a story which just doesn’t seem to be going away, regardless of how he plays, but his performance against the Gunners at least put rumours to bed that his off-field antics were affecting him.

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