Wayne Rooney has tonight been named the Manchester United captain by manager Louis Van Gaal following United’s 2-1 win over Valencia at Old Trafford. It was their sixth win out of six pre-season games although van Gaal described the performance as unsatisfactory and their worst of the pre-season although he enjoyed the reception from the fans.
“I think it was our worst match to date.” van Gaal admitted to MUTV.
“The boys wanted to show the capacity we showed in the United States perhaps a bit too much. There were a lot of wrong passes, wrong choices and we didn’t press so well.
“The fans expect a lot but you can’t change everything in three or four weeks. And the players can’t change either.
“We have to wait and see and develop. We need time but we have won every game up until now and that’s fantastic when you see our opponents.
Rooney, who missed a penalty on the night, was proud to be named captain and told the official website:
“It is a huge honour for me – and for my family – to be named captain of this great club. It is a role I will perform with great pride.
“Team spirit has always been very high in our dressing room and I am very grateful to the manager for the faith he has shown in me.
“I look forward to leading the team out on Saturday at our first match of the new season.”
Experienced midfielder Darren Fletcher scored on the night and was named as vice captain by van Gaal. He told the official website:
“I am delighted to have been named as vice-captain.
“It’s a very proud moment for me and my family. Wayne and I have always worked well together and we will continue to work closely together in our new roles.
“I would like to thank the manager for putting his trust in me.”
United manager Louis van Gaal had been expected to name Robin Van Persie, his captain when he was manager of the Netherlands, as United captain but once again bucked expectations. He explained his decision:
“For me it’s always very important the choice of captain. Wayne has shown a great attitude towards everything he does.
“I have been very impressed by his professionalism and his attitude to training and to my philosophy.
“He is a great inspiration to the younger members of the team and I believe he will put his heart and soul into his captaincy role.”
“Darren Fletcher will become the vice-captain. Darren is a natural leader and will captain the team when Wayne isn’t playing.
“Darren is a very experienced player and a very popular member of the dressing room, I know he will work well alongside Wayne.”