Manchester Untied balls: Rooney out, Van Gaal’s hell, England’s dream
Manchester United’s captain is injured. Wayne Rooney, for it is he, has knee ligament damage. The Sun nails the pun with “PAIN ROO KNEE”. The paper says Rooney will miss “a minimum” of eight Manchester United matches and England games against Germany and Holland.
United manager Louis Van Gaal says Rooney could have come off the field when he felt a twinge in their defeat to Sunderland, but opted to play through the pain. This gives the Mirror its headline: “Too brave for his own good.” Only an England captain could be praised for being injured.
Inside the Mirror, Rooney;s injury is Van Gaal’s “ultimate nightmare”. If it is, the hammer-headed Dutchman must sleep like a baby. In any case, he has five “likely lads” to replace Rooney: Donald Love, Regan Poole, Joe Riley, James Weir and Will Keane are all profiled. Problem is that only Keane is a striker.
The Express says Lingard and Martial will “get the chance to shine” in Rooney’s absence. The paper adds that Van Gaal could recall James Wilson from his loan spell at Brighton.
In the Mail, Ian Ladyman says Rooney’s injury is a mixed blessing for England, who can have him “fit and rested” for Euro 2016. Or, to put it another way, England will have their captain out of shape and not match sharp for Euro 2016.
Time, then, to bring on Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy.