Roy Keane launches stinging Rooney attack and slams him for getting involved in wrestling
By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Roy Keane has slammed “awful” Wayne Rooney and criticised him for appearing at a wrestling event earlier this month.
United laboured to their fourth goal-less draw in seven matches on Wednesday night to place their Champions League hopes in jeopardy.
Louis van Gaal’s team must win at group leaders Wolfsburg in their final match in a fortnight’s time to guarantee qualification for the knock-out stages.
Former United captain singled out Rooney as being one of the principal disappointments and also questioned his lifestyle off the pitch.
“You got the impression the players were waiting for something to happen, rather than going and making it happen,” Keane told ITV Sport after the match on Wednesday night. “Wayne [Rooney] was on about lack of composure and quality, but I think he was as guilty as anybody. He needs to step up to the plate.
“You look at Wayne’s legacy at Old Trafford, it’s absolutely fantastic, his goals record is brilliant. But now he’s the captain there’s more responsibility and I think he’s got to do a lot more.
“I always question certain players what are they doing off the field. Last week I saw him slapping a wrestler and I’m thinking ‘Why is he getting involved in all that nonsense?’ There’s no benefit to him. I’d have a look at that side of it.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“It’s certainly not helping him. I wouldn’t begrudge him going out and enjoying himself, but if you’re not at it yourself you’ve got to have a look and lead by example. He didn’t do that tonight. He doesn’t look sharp, he looks awful.
“Mentally he doesn’t look really sharp, physically he doesn’t look in great shape. He needs to have a look at himself.”
Rooney theatrically slapped WWE superstar Wade Barrett during a Raw event at Manchester Arena on 9 November.
Footage shows the British professional wrestler and former bare-knuckle boxer climbing down to confront Rooney before England’s record goalscorer knocked him down in a theatrical climax to the mock battle, resulting in huge cheers from the crowd.
Rooney has struggled in front of goal this season and has only scored once in his last six games, and only two in total in the Premier League all season.
United now travel to Wolfsburg in a fortnight knowing only three points will guarantee their place in the top two in group B.
If they slip up, a win for PSV against CSKA Moscow would throw them out of the competition.