EPL

Rooney confused by Keane defence of 'unwanted distraction' Ronaldo: 'Roy wouldn't have accepted that'

By Sports Desk November 11, 2022

Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has slammed Cristiano Ronaldo for his behaviour this season and questioned why other former team-mates are defending him.

Ronaldo was left out of the United squad for a 1-1 draw against Chelsea in October after refusing to come on as a substitute in the previous game against Tottenham, where he also left the dugout before the final whistle.

The veteran forward has since returned to the side, captaining United in their most recent Premier League match at Aston Villa.

But speculation around Ronaldo's future persists after he pushed for a move away from Old Trafford ahead of the season, and Rooney warns he will be an "unwanted distraction" if he does not change his attitude.

"I don't think they're a better team with him in the side. I just think the things he has done since the start of the season are not acceptable for Manchester United," Rooney told talkSPORT.

"We've seen Roy Keane defending him, Roy wouldn't have accepted that at all. It's a distraction that Manchester United don't need at the minute, it's time to rebuild.

"Cristiano needs to get his head down and work, be ready to play when the manager needs him. If he does that, he'll be an asset. If he doesn't, I think it will be an unwanted distraction."

Ronaldo and Rooney arrived at United in consecutive years in 2003 and 2004 as two of the most exciting young players in world football.

And Rooney now wants to see United pursue a 2023 equivalent in the form of Jude Bellingham, who he was immediately impressed by when facing the Borussia Dortmund midfielder during his time at Birmingham City.

"I played against Bellingham when he was at Birmingham and I was at Derby, he actually man-marked me during that game," Rooney said. "I think he was about 16, maybe just 17, and what I really liked about him is every time I passed the ball off, he'd leave a stud in on me.

"And I remember thinking that he's got something about him, just to show the character to go out to Germany and take that league by storm.

"That mentality to perform, obviously he's been captain in quite a few of the games as well, he's going to be a huge player for England. Even though he's young, he can put some of that character into some of the rest of the squad.

"I hope Manchester United are targeting him. I hope he doesn't go to Liverpool or Manchester City. I'm sure they're doing their work, he's probably the hottest youngster in world football at the minute.

"I'm sure United are looking at that as well, I know they tried to get him a couple of years ago. He's a player that United could really do with at the moment."

Related items

  • Columbus Crew v Sporting Kansas City: Vermes looking to improve 'soft' defending Columbus Crew v Sporting Kansas City: Vermes looking to improve 'soft' defending

    Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes wants to see a better defensive display when they travel to Columbus Crew in the MLS on Saturday.

    Sporting KC sit second from bottom in the Western Conference, having won just three of their 19 games so far.

    After back-to-back losses to LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake in which they conceded four goals in both, Vermes admitted they needed to rectify the situation as soon as possible.

    "I can't deny the fight of the guys, but defensively, it's too soft," he said. "Unfortunately, it's similar to what happens in a lot of games.

    "We can be fighting back in a game and give away a nothing goal. There's a ton of chances that could put us way ahead, but we can't be giving up the goals that we give up. That's it; that's the game."

    Columbus, meanwhile, are right in the mix in the Eastern Conference, sitting sixth with 27 points.

    A 2-1 defeat to Inter Miami snapped their four-match winning streak in the MLS, but head coach Wilfried Nancy is confident they can quickly put that result behind them.

    "It has been good games, good performances," head coach Wilfried Nancy said. "[The last game] was also a good performance, but we were not good at certain moments. This is again something that we did well. We have grown a lot regarding these kinds of games."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Columbus Crew – Cucho Hernandez

    Cucho attempted 10 shots in the Crew's defeat to Inter Miami on Wednesday, his third game with at least 10 shots since making his MLS debut in July 2022.

    All other players in MLS have three total games with 10+ shots in that time (Raul Ruidiaz, Hany Mukhtar, Julian Carranza, one each).

    Sporting Kansas City – William Agada

    Agada scored two of Kansas City's three goals on Wednesday, his fifth multi-goal match for Sporting. Only five players have recorded more multi-goal games in the team's history.

    MATCH PREDICTION: COLUMBUS CREW WIN

    This will be the Crew's first regular-season home match since losing to FC Cincinnati on May 11. Columbus are winless in four straight MLS home matches after winning 12 of their previous 14 home league games.

    Kansas City have lost nine of their last 10 regular-season matches (W1), including losing six in a row on the road in league play. This is the first time in the post-shootout era (since 2000) that Sporting have lost nine times in a span of 10 such matches.

    However, Kansas City have lost just one of their last 12 matches against Columbus (W7 D4) dating back to October 2012, though three of the last four meetings have ended in draws. This will be the first meeting between the sides in Columbus in one day short of five years (June 23, 2019).

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Columbus Crew – 64.2%

    Draw – 19.1%

    Sporting Kansas City – 16.7%

  • Page sacked as Wales manager Page sacked as Wales manager

    Wales have sacked manager Rob Page following the country's failure to qualify for Euro 2024.

    The 49-year-old was initially given the job on an interim basis in November 2020, taking over from Ryan Giggs, before being appointed permanently in September 2022.

    Page took charge of 45 games for the national team, winning 15 of those matches.

    He oversaw the team at two major tournaments, reaching the round of 16 at Euro 2020, and led Wales to the World Cup for the first time in 64 years, though they exited in the group stage after earning only one point.

    Wales were agonisingly short of qualifying for a third consecutive European Championships, losing on penalties to Poland in their play-off final in March.

    Despite being backed by the Football Association of Wales (FAW) following that result, Page then came under heavy criticism following a goalless draw with minnows Gibraltar and a 4-0 thrashing by Slovakia in their June friendlies, leading to his contract being terminated.

  • Romeu named new head coach of Barcelona Femeni Romeu named new head coach of Barcelona Femeni

    Barcelona have announced Pere Romeu as their new head coach following Jonatan Giraldez's departure.

    Romeu, who was an assistant coach at the club in the last three seasons, has signed a two-year contract until 2026.

    The 30-year-old takes over following a successful season for Barcelona in which they won the quadruple, lifting the Champions League, Liga F, Copa de la Reina and the Supercopa de Espana Femenia.

    Giraldez had confirmed in December 2023 that he would be leaving the club at the end of the campaign, and it was announced in January he would be joining NWSL club Washington Spirit.

    "I have been with the team for three seasons, and I know their day-to-day life. I'm 100 per cent ready," Romeu said in his first interview as head coach.

    Romeu coached in Barcelona men's youth set-up between 2017 and 2020 before joining Romanian side Viitorul Constanta as an assistant coach before making the move back to Catalonia to join Barcelona Femeni in 2021.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.