SIR ALEX FERGUSON ripped into Wayne Rooney “15-20 times a season” towards the end of his time as Manchester United manager, Gary Neville has revealed.
Rooney, 38, is the Red Devils’ all-time record scorer with 253 goals in 559 games across an iconic 13-year period.
But as his career progressed, he started dropping deeper into midfield as oppose to leading the line.
Speaking on Stick to Football, he said: “I remember Sir Alex and Wayne Rooney, towards the end of his Manchester United career when Wayne started to drop in a bit.
“He used to stop turning and running at people and stopped running behind. He became more of a link player, playing the long passes.
“That was one of the last things I remember, and Sir Alex must have had a go at Rooney 15-20 times a season for the last few seasons about him dropping too deep.
“Sir Alex wanted Rooney to stay up front and turn at players and take the ball on the back foot, as those were the bits that made him more of a street footballer.”
Rooney scored 18 goals or more in six out of seven seasons from 2006 to 2012.
Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United career in numbers
Here are Wayne Rooney’s statistics from his 13 years at Manchester United:
Premier League titles: 5
FA Cups: 1
League Cups: 3
Champions Leagues: 1
Europa Leagues: 1
Club World Cups: 1
In Ferguson’s final year in charge, he racked up just 16 goals in Man Utd’s 2012/13 title-winning season.
And that became a more regular total for Rooney as he would not reach the 20-goal mark in any of his final four seasons with the club.
This was predominantly due to him dropping deeper, illustrated by the number of assists he began to rack up.
In the 2013/14 season under David Moyes, where Man Utd finished a dismal seventh in the Premier League, Rooney provided 12 assists.
This was a tally bettered only by Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez.
Rooney is fourth in the all-time list of most Premier League assists behind Ryan Giggs, Cesc Fabregas and Kevin de Bruyne.
And he is third in the all-time goalscorers list, with only Alan Shearer and Harry Kane eclipsing his total of 208.
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