Manchester United news: Jose Mourinho dropped Wayne Rooney against Arsenal for his lack of pace

Rooney hit out at the furore around his antics on England duty

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho has revealed the reason he dropped Wayne Rooney for Manchester United's draw with Arsenal was because he wanted to play were more pace, rather than anything to do with his captain’s antics while away on England duty.

Rooney was recalled to the starting line-up after a month absence for the 3-1 win over Swansea before the international break and had been expected to start given Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s one-match suspension for collecting five yellow cards.

United took the lead against the Gunners at Old Trafford on Sunday through Juan Mata, but were pegged back in the 89th-minute thanks to an Olivier Giroud header.

Rooney issued a public apology on Wednesday after apparently getting drunk at a wedding party in England’s team hotel only 24 hours after the Three Lions’ win over Scotland.

But Mourinho insisted the late-night drinking indiscretions had nothing to do with his decision to leave out the 31-year-old, who came on as a second-half substitute before being booked for dissent, revealing he wanted players who were better in “one to one” situations .

“I thought we were going to have the ball. Arsenal are a team who let the opponents play. I thought we would have space and the ball would arrive quite easily to the attacking players.

“I believed ones like Mata, Martial and Rashford were faster than Wayne, better attacking opponents one to one in the last line. I thought it was the best option.”

Rooney reacted furiously to the furore over the pictures of him published by The Sun, describing them as “disgraceful” attempts to drive him out of the England team, while warning he would not let them “write my obituary”.

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