‘Frame’ game is a struggle for Wayne Rooney, says Sir Alex Ferguson

Rooney has not played more than three successive Premier League games all season

Sir Alex Ferguson has said Wayne Rooney’s “frame” means that he is affected more than other players by time out of team and that he wants to see more goals from the striker, whose season has been stop-start.

Rooney has scored only three goals heading into December, one of those a penalty, which is his second worst start to a Premier League campaign. Only two years ago, when Ferguson sent him to Nike’s Portland HQ after the striker’s domestic crisis that autumn, was worse, with two penalties to show for the first four months of that season. The 27-year-old has not played more than three successive Premier League games all season, with tonsillitis ruling him out of United’s last away game which brought defeat at Norwich.

“I think he's going through a period that all strikers do - he's not scoring and it will change once he starts to [play] regularly,” Ferguson said. “It will become better for him. That’s what we're seeing. He's missing bits of games. He was off with tonsillitis again and I think Wayne is the type of player who can't miss games. The frame he's got, the type of person he is, he needs to play all the time.”

The United manager, whose side travel to Reading today, said that Luis Nani’s hamstring injury will keep him out for five weeks and the prognosis Shinji Kagawa knee injury – four weeks out at the last count – is worse than thought.

Ferguson passed up the chance to offer support to his old adversary Rafael Benitez amid the Spaniard’s struggle to win over fans at Stamford Bridge. “I think we're all subject to pressure as managers, we get used to it, “Ferguson said. This wry response prompted the suggestion, in fun, that Benitez might call Ferguson for advice in the same way that Reading’s manager Brian McDermott has done. “You never know,” Ferguson said, grinning. “Society has changed. There's a book United Unlimited [which includes] a photograph of Manchester United and Leeds United players in the middle of the pitch scrapping, jerseys torn apart, as the crowd is completely passive, no reaction from the fans. You don't get that now. It's a completely different response to everything that happens on a football field.” 

The manager revealed that Anders Lindegaard had simply done nothing wrong to enable David de Gea to retain his place in Berkshire today. But he rejected the notion that he was happy to choose his goalkeeper on a game-by-game basis. A wisdom tooth infection forced De Gea to drop out of the side for the defeat at Norwich two weeks ago and Lindegaard will  establish a five-game run in the side at the Madejski Stadium. De Gea will get his chance in the Champions League dead rubber on Wednesday, which may be Nemanja Vidic’s comeback game after knee surgery.

“[De Gea] is fine,” Ferguson said.” He's young, he got that tooth infection and had to get dental treatment, they had to take two of his teeth out and his jaw was swollen quite a bit so we gave him that time off. Anders has come in and done well. It’s one of those situations where there is no actuality reason to leave Anders out in terms of form and hopefully David understands that at the moment but there is no long-term issue.”

“I'm not happy to go game-by-game all the time. I really think that creates consistency. That's why I kept Anders in [for the 1-0 win over West Ham] on Wednesday night. I could easily have changed it again but he has done nothing wrong.”

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine