Jul 26, 2014, 11:40 AM EDT
No player wants to admit his club won’t be in the running for trophies. Especially when you’re a player that’s attempting to secure captaincy of your squad. And with Wayne Rooney having admitted he’d love to captain Manchester United, there’s little surprise that he’s also certain they can make a push for the Premier League title:
Of course we can win the title. Last season was a bad one, we know that, but we are confident we can put it right. We have to believe we can win the title.
Last season, Manchester United could only manage a rather paltry seventh-place finish, keeping them out of European play for the 2014-2015 season. It was a disappointing season for the club, particularly after they won the league title in 2012-2013.
But the lower finish also gave the Red Devils the impetus to make much-needed changes. They secured Louis van Gaal as manager before the World Cup began, and the Dutchmen went on to thoroughly impress as he took Netherlands through to the semifinals.
The new manager’s honest, direct approach in training pleases Rooney, who repeatedly labeled van Gaal’s style “enjoyable.” The forward is also keen on the idea of playing a 3-5-2 formation, as he likes the idea of fielding two forwards — and seeing how it resulted in a 7-0 victory over the LA Galaxy earlier in the week certainly didn’t hurt.
Of course, United have taken other steps to put them back on the path toward the title. They’ve already signed defender Luke Shaw and midfielder Ander Herrera, and are being linked with a host of other players, many of them part of the Dutch national team. There are also rumors that United might buy Angel Di María, Arturo Vidal (don’t rule it out just yet), Edinson Cavani, and more. Whichever players are purchased this summer, they’ll be chosen with an eye toward van Gaal’s preferred playing style and with his desire to make teamwork a priority in mind.
So yes, Rooney may have been simply saying what was expected of him when he stated that Manchester United can win the title. But how many out there are disagreeing with him?
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