Wayne Rooney says Alex Ferguson did not need to control the dressing room at Manchester United as a select group of senior players did the job for him.
Former United captain Rooney became the Red Devils’ all-time leading scorer during 13 trophy-laden years at Old Trafford between 2004 and 2017.
Legendary boss Ferguson was known for his exemplary man-management skills at United, but Rooney explained how he and other experienced pros ensured new signings quickly fell into line with the team ethos.
‘That would never be allowed to happen,’ Rooney told the ‘Men in Blazers’ podcast.
‘The likes of Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand, myself – players who had Man United in them and wanted the best for that club – would never allow anyone to mess that up.
‘We controlled the dressing room ourselves. Alex Ferguson didn’t really need to control that. The players had the trust of the manager to do that themselves.’
Rooney also feels that criticism aimed at current United boss Jose Mourinho over a perceived negative style is unwarranted, particularly as Ferguson’s sides purposely played on the counter against certain opposition.
‘People talk about our team – especially in relation to Manchester United now – and say it was ‘attack, attack, attack’. But we actually weren’t,’ he said.
‘A lot of games we played on the counter-attack, drew teams into us and then broke with pace. We did it to Arsenal.
‘It wasn’t all ‘let’s just go out and attack’, it was a bit more calculated against certain opponents which brought the best out of myself.
‘We had the team built to hit teams on the break and we were devastating at it.’
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