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New United boss Louis Van Gaal has no concerns over captaincy decision

New Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney

New Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney

  • by Paul Hirst
 

Louis van Gaal is sure Robin van Persie will have no problem accepting Wayne Rooney as the new captain of Manchester United.

When Van Gaal was appointed United boss in May, bookmakers made Van Persie favourite to take the captain’s armband at Old Trafford.

Van Persie captained Van Gaal’s Holland team at the World Cup and the two Dutchmen have a very good working relationship.

It came as something of a surprise, therefore, that the new Red Devils chief named Rooney as his captain on Tuesday night following the club’s sixth and final win of pre-season.

Van Gaal, who named Darren Fletcher as vice-captain, did not tell Van Persie of his decision to his face, but the United boss is sure his compatriot will have no problem with the snub.

“It was not difficult,” Van Gaal said when asked if it was hard to overlook Van Persie.

“I didn’t say it to him. He was not there at that moment.

“I told it personally to Wayne, then I had to choose the vice-captain, then I had to say it to my players. This is a different situation to the Dutch national team.

“I think you always have to choose a native captain. I don’t think there’s any problem.”

It was Rooney’s work-rate and application in pre-season that won him the honour of following in the footsteps of club greats such as Sir Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona.

But before he handed Rooney the armband, Van Gaal reminded the player - who has had his moments of ill-discipline in the past - he must be a fine ambassador for the club away from the field of play, as well as on it.

‘’His attitude, of course,’’ Van Gaal said when asked why he selected Rooney.

‘’That is on the pitch and on the training ground and I have explained to him also outside the pitch is also very important for me.

‘’And he accepted the responsibility and I like very much how he did train and also how he performed in the game and how he performed to his fellow players.’’

 

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