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Paul Parker labels Wayne Rooney 'awful' and urges Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal to drop him

Former defender says the only thing remarkable about the captain's latest performance was how much he was paid for it
  • @simonrice

Paul Parker is the latest former Manchester United player to not hold back when discussing his former team - with Wayne Rooney the focus of his ire.

The former Old Trafford defender labelled Rooney "awful" and says that he should be dropped by Louis van Gaal.

The comments come following the arrival of Radamel Falcao on transfer deadline day. Coupled with the signing of Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid, there appear to be too many pieces in Manchester United's attacking puzzle.

However, Parker has identified the piece he would remove.

"As for Wayne Rooney, he's been awful," Parker wrote on his Yahoo! Sport blog. "There he was at Burnley this weekend, supposedly captaining the team - but I saw a player interested only in himself, doing nothing to try and lift his game or inspire his team-mates.

"The only thing in any way remarkable about his performance is that he collects £300,000 a week to play that badly."

Paul Parker during his time at United


Parker, who made over 100 league appearances for United between 1991 and 1996, explained how he would set the team up.

"Once Van Persie is fully-fit again, Rooney must be the person to be dropped from United's new attacking line-up: for me, it'll be RVP and Falcao every time. And though there's lots of talk about him playing in the hole behind that front two, I think that'd be a huge mistake - why would you have Rooney there when Juan Mata or Angel Di Maria would do the job so much better?"


Parker is not the first former United player to criticise Rooney, with Paul Scholes suggesting in the summer that the striker could have passed his peak. Despite that, Van Gaal opted to make Rooney the club's captain following the departure of Nemanja Vidic, a factor that could make dropping the striker difficult. However, Parker does not agree.

"That'll leave Van Gaal with a big call to make: dropping Wayne Rooney," he wrote.

"He's always shown in his career that he's not afraid of the big decisions; he showed it most recently with his goalkeeper substitution for the shootout at the World Cup, and he'll have to show it once again because the way things are looking there will be no place for Rooney in that starting line-up soon."