Swansea vs Manchester United: Wayne Rooney compared to Paul Scholes by Swans manager Garry Monk

Monk says he always expected the Manchester United captain to end up in midfield

Swansea manager Garry Monk says he has always expected Wayne Rooney to end up in midfield like Paul Scholes - but fears the England captain will be a striking threat to his team on Saturday.

Rooney returned to the Manchester United forward line in Monday's 3-1 FA Cup win at Preston after being controversially deployed in midfield by manager Louis van Gaal for several weeks.

The United captain responded by scoring his first goal for 10 games, albeit a penalty after he won a controversial spot-kick, and Van Gaal might now keep him in attack at Swansea with Radamel Falcao badly misfiring and the on-loan Colombian's place under huge pressure from a fit-again Robin van Persie.

"I've thought for a number of years Rooney will end up in midfield with his range of passes," Monk said ahead of United's Barclays Premier League visit to the Liberty Stadium.

"I can remember Scholes doing it, starting out as a forward and dropping back into midfield and Rooney is the same.

"But he's such a threat in both areas, he has the quality to make the midfield tick and score goals.

"I can see why he's played where he has but I probably expect him to play in a more forward role on the weekend."

Scholes.jpg
Paul Scholes

 

Monk admits it is difficult preparing for a United side who have changed personnel and systems consistently under Van Gaal this season.

"They have such a big squad and array of talent they can change it up to many different combinations, so we won't know until the day," said Monk, who masterminded Swansea's 2-1 win at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season.

"We've prepared for different scenarios and that's all we can do.

"They have another option to go to [Marouane] Fellaini and it's a big strength of his but he can play a bit as well.

"We have an idea of possible formations and teams but you don't want to over-complicate things by giving too much information.

"We want to concentrate on what we do best as unless we're at our best level it doesn't matter what the other team does because you're not giving yourself a chance."

Swansea go into the game having won only one of their last seven in the league and on the back of a 2-0 defeat at West Brom.

Monk withdrew Jonjo Shelvey just after the hour-mark at The Hawthorns and the England midfielder was clearly disappointed as he left the field.

That evening Shelvey's former pop starlet fiancee Daisy Evans took to Twitter to suggest Monk did not know what he was doing, but the Swansea manager insists he has no problem with a player he has previously criticised in public this season.

"No player wants to come off, Jonjo is passionate and I spoke to him afterwards," Monk said.

"He understood the situation and there are no problems between us."

PA

Comments