Manchester United hero Wayne Rooney has raised concerns about the considerable influence former manager Sir Alex Ferguson continues to have behind the scenes at Old Trafford
Image: Stuart Robinson)
Wayne Rooney fears Sir Alex Ferguson’s lingering presence at Manchester United has placed added pressure on those who have succeeded him.
The legendary Scot stepped down as manager after 26 years in the job at the end of the 2012/13 season, bowing out in style with his 13th and final Premier League triumph. However, United have failed to win the title since then, hiring and sacking a string of bosses who have struggled to fill the sizeable void Ferguson left behind.
David Moyes lasted just 10 months in the role while the likes of Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have been and gone. Red Devils chiefs will hope for a more successful appointment this summer, when they unveil their next permanent manager who will take over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
Rooney admits it was an “impossible task” for Moyes to seamlessly take over from Ferguson as the morale in the dressing room took a huge hit upon the latter’s departure. The former England captain also harbors serious concerns about the influence the 80-year-old continues to have behind the scenes which could be making the managerial job even harder for incumbents.
“I thought that David Moyes had an impossible task of taking over Sir Alex Ferguson and you could see that even though we won the Premier League that season, you could see everyone was down because they knew that he was gone,” Rooney said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football. “He is still involved in some way and I think that brings pressure on to any new managers coming in and if you want to manage Manchester United, you have to do it your way and make your own decisions.”
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PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax’s Erik ten Hag are the leading contenders to become the next permanent United manager and Rooney named the former as his preferred pick. Regardless of who is appointed, the United icon pleaded with the club’s hierarchy to give their next boss the time they need to fully establish themselves.
Rooney added: “It needs someone to come in with that time to get that club back to where it deserves to be. It’s not going to happen if you keep changing manager every two years. Ferguson was like the godfather of the club, not just the players but the staff, the academy, he was on top of everything. When you lose someone like that from the club, someone else is coming in and it’s a massive change.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.