Rooney blasts Mourinho over treatment of Man Utd youngsters

Joe Williams
Man Utd legend Wayne Rooney glares at Jose Mourinho

Wayne Rooney has hit out at Jose Mourinho for treating the Man Utd academy youngsters like “they didn’t exist” during his time at the club.

The legendary Portuguese manager spent two-and-a-half seasons at Old Trafford before being sacked in December 2018.

Despite winning the League Cup and the Europa League in 2017, he failed to take Man Utd nearer to winning the Premier League title.

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Rooney was part of the Mourinho side which won those two trophies before moving on to Everton that summer – but the former England international accused the Portuguese coach of overseeing “a divorce between the first team and the academy”.

“The distance between the academy and the first team and the manager, especially under Mourinho, was huge,” Rooney said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.

“It was almost as if they didn’t exist, if you like.

“Having the relationship they had with Sir Alex [Ferguson] for 26 years and then not being allowed anywhere near the first team… It’s almost like there was a divorce between the first team and the academy.’”

Meanwhile, current interim boss Ralf Rangnick wasnt to help rebuild Marcus Rashford’s confidence but admits the Man Utd forward will have to take a lot of “the steps himself”.

Despite Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani absent for the Red Devils’ clash against Leicester City on Saturday, Rangnick still left Rashford on the bench and decided to play Bruno Fernandes as the furthest player forward.

“Marcus, it’s no secret that he is not having his best time right now,” Rangnick said after the match. “It has to do with rhythm and confidence, it’s our job to help him to get this confidence back.

“The only thing we can do is speak to him regularly and tell him what we expect from him and what he should do. The rest has to be done by himself.

“It is possible to develop within a couple of weeks a level of confidence where you can be a different player again.

“We all know that Marcus can play better, but in the end he has to take the steps himself.”