Wayne Rooney has had his say on a week that rocked the football club at which he made his name.
Jose Mourinho got the boot after two-and-a-half seasons in charge, with interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer getting off to a great start with a 5-1 win over Cardiff on Saturday.
Rooney, who spent 13 years at Manchester United, appeared on BT Sport to cover the game, and following the revelation that he had texted Solskjaer prior to the game, he shared his thoughts on why the decision to pull the trigger on the Mourinho era was correct.
“Something had to change, so it was the right decision,” Rooney stated.
“I stay in touch with a lot of people at the club, I speak to them quite a lot. To be a successful club you need to have everything right. That relationship between some of the staff and players wasn’t great.
“Bringing Ole and Mick [Phelan] in, that will change things. The staff are smiling and happy and that rubs off on the players. I think it’s a good move for the club and gives them more time to get the right man in the summer.”
“The difference with Mourinho is he gets one goal ahead and he tries to hold on to it. Now we see them taking a lead and going for more.”
Rooney spent a season under the Portuguese, and was certainly aware that the malaise at the club extended far beyond the manager, acknowledging that the players need to rise to the occasion as they had done in Wales.
“The only thing that brings smiles is winning football games and being successful. Ole knows that. It’s a big opportunity for Ole to show how good of a manager he is. Some of the players need to step up.”
It’s noteworthy that Rooney stayed in contact with and relayed the feelings of his former teammates, who were evidently unhappy in recent months.
“Manchester United is a big part of my life and it was not nice watching what was going on. Once Ole got the job, I dropped him a message of congratulations. I gave him my feelings on what needed to change, speaking to some of the players.
“The first thing was get the lads enjoying playing football, that’s what they wanted. Ole’s the guy to get them doing that.
“It wasn’t just the players, it was the whole football club. I’m sure Ed Woodward was the same as the staff, the kitchen ladies, the kit man, everyone, they were not enjoying it.”
Now that a new structure is in place, it’s up to the players to prove that they don’t belong on the scrapheap along with their former manager.