Wayne Rooney perhaps did not see his substitution coming against Aston Villa and expected himself to go through the game.
He was surprised and distraught at the same time when Van Gaal called for him to be replaced by Jesse Lingard and so were some of the Manchester United supporters as well, after all it was Rooney who paved the way for the goal that gave 1-0 advantage to the Red Devils and eventually gave them the victory too of that same margin in that Villa game.
It might have gone to the name of the finisher Rashford at the end, but, it was all about the switch of the United’s talisman which made that opportunity, and gave the fans who had paid upto £200 each (direct through the club or through an official ticketing website) what they wanted to see.
Van Gaal was not in disagreement with it either that the goal was a result of Rooney’s brilliant play and it’s him who should take the most of the accolades, but, the Dutchman also defended his call of calling the striker back saying that the lack of training had started to show on the 30-year old and he was struggling to win the balls.
Van Gaal said, “I know Wayne would be angry. He was willing for the full match, but, I saw it was turning out to be a little bit of struggle for him around that mark. He had very little training.”
“However, I must mention him in context of that goal because I think that switch by him was the most important part in that whole process. First 45 minutes, I would say decent from Wayne, not quite the same later on, but, that he didn’t want to leave meant he was hungry which is really nice”
Rooney, because of looking a tad heavier than normal, had to take a few taunts from the visiting fans as they compared his appearance to that of their own player Gabriel Agbonlahor.