Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has spoken glowingly of Wayne Rooney’s leadership skills after his half-time rant in the win over Liverpool last Sunday.
After a disappointing display in the opening half at Anfield, Rooney scored a late winner for his side to secure a 1-0 win as the Red Devils continue to enjoy an upturn in form.
However, the United captain has received further praise by his coach after he was involved in exchanges with his teammates which in turn resulted in a much improved display after the break.
“Not only Wayne Rooney is doing that, there are several players doing that and that is what I want,” Van Gaal said, as reported by Sky Sports.
“The players are self-responsible, not only the manager. That is also why I have made this approach to the players and so on because responsibility for the result and commitment is very important that your team is showing that.
“The fact that Rooney is scoring and we have won our games, or at least we drew versus Newcastle away. There is a parallel. I have said that always, he is not always only important as a player but also as a captain. I’m very happy with him.”
Van Gaal went on to reveal that he had seen a similar situation during his time at Ajax, with Frank Rijkaard similarly criticising his teammates during their European Cup final clash with AC Milan, After a frank exchange with Clarence Seedorf among others, the Dutchman helped the Dutch giants to a victory.
Nevertheless, Van Gaal will hope to see Rooney continue to play an influential role both on and off the pitch for the remainder of this season, as United look to close the gap on Premier League leaders Arsenal and attempt to put their difficulties behind them.
The Dutch tactician came under significant criticism during December as United went eight games with a win, but they are now five games unbeaten ahead of their clash with Southampton on Saturday.