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Manchester United icon Wayne Rooney has pinpointed the current struggles of the club to a significant absence of leadership within the squad, particularly in maintaining high standards.

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Reflecting on his own experience, Rooney recalls joining United as a teenager in 2004, where he was surrounded by seasoned winners like Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, and Roy Keane. These stalwarts not only exemplified a winning mentality but also served as mentors whose standards he emulated.

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As that generation transitioned out, Rooney found himself among a new leadership core, including Darren Fletcher, Wes Brown, John O’Shea, Michael Carrick, and Rio Ferdinand, whom he regards as his closest allies in football.

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In Rooney’s estimation, United has lacked such leadership since his departure. Despite the presence of experienced champions like Casemiro and Raphael Varane, he questions the dearth of vocal leaders essential for consistently extracting the best from talented players like Marcus Rashford, who have displayed inconsistency in recent seasons.

In a candid conversation with Gary Neville, Rooney emphasized the importance of a leadership continuum within the club. He highlighted the pivotal role of a core group of five players capable of steering the team’s direction.

Rooney expanded on this notion in a more extensive interview, underscoring the ongoing ambiguity surrounding leadership within the current United setup. While Bruno Fernandes holds the captaincy, Rooney raises questions about who truly embodies leadership on the pitch.

He specifically pointed out Marcus Rashford’s reserved demeanor and emphasized the need for senior players to demand more from him during challenging moments. Rooney observed a concerning trend wherein United’s morale dips swiftly after conceding a goal, indicating a lack of resilience and leadership to rally the team.

In essence, Rooney’s assessment underscores the imperative for United to cultivate a robust leadership culture to navigate through turbulent times and reclaim their winning pedigree.

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