Wayne Rooney delighted with life under new Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal

The England striker expressed his happiness at Manchester United's successful pre-season following their 3-1 victory over Liverpool

Teddy Cutler@TeddyCutler
Tuesday 05 August 2014 17:04
Louis van Gaal works with Wayne Rooney during pre-season
Louis van Gaal works with Wayne Rooney during pre-season

When Louis van Gaal first surveyed his new Manchester United charges, he would have been forgiven for a few qualms over Wayne Rooney's adaptability.

Van Gaal's authoritarian style of coaching and man-management divides opinion amongst players. Many swear by the Dutchman's methods - but a significant group of others have been left alienated by the former Barcelona and Ajax boss over the course of his career.

Van Gaal demands, in the quintessential Dutch way, that his players be able to perform multiple roles on the field of play at any one moment in the match.

Rooney has had well-documented problems with being played out of position in the past. When Cristiano Ronaldo was in his pomp Rooney was often shunted out to the left wing - a role he performed to his utmost whilst yearning for a central berth.

Rooney however seems to have slipped seamlessly into life under Van Gaal. He has notched five strikes in three pre-season games and appears, at least for the time being, to be blissfully happy under Dutch rule.

"It's been a good few weeks. We've got a new manager who wants us to play a different style of football," he told the media.

"We've had to adapt. We've had some good results against top opposition so we can be pleased.

Wayne Rooney pictured during United's tour of the US

"I think the system suits the team, not only myself. The manager came in and had a look at the players we've got. He's done what he thinks is best suited for our team.

"He's a tough manager but he's been great since he came in. He's given us all a different way of looking at football, which we haven't had before. It's been great for us and hopefully that will continue.

"We wanted to win games, play well and obviously we've done that. We've won a trophy as well. It's always nice to beat Liverpool. We're happy with the work we've done out here [in the United States]; now we go on to Valencia and then the season starts."

Rooney has taken on extra responsibility during pre-season, captaining United in their 3-1 International Champions Trophy final defeat of Liverpool on Monday night.

He is expected to reprise the role against Swansea in United's Premier League opener, following hints from Van Gaal to that end.

"I am always looking for opportunities to give players the captain’s armband. Today Rooney played 90 minutes for the first time.

"Fletcher had already done it two times, then he was the captain, and Tom Ceverley, because he also had 90 minutes. I think you have choose, when it is possible, for the English style. That is when it is possible."

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