Manchester United have started the season promisingly. Two wins from two Premier League games and a decent 3-1 victory over Club Brugge in the Champions League play-off, means the start to this season, is much better than that of last season at least.
Memphis Depay showed what he is capable of against Brugge and looks an exciting talent. Chris Smalling has started the new season in great form, Adnan Januzaj is back scoring crucial goals and Morgan Schneiderlin has slotted in to the midfield nicely. However, there is one player, who has played in every game so far this season and struggled in each of them, and his name is Wayne Rooney.
Rooney has been given the chance by manager Louis van Gaal, to operate in what is considered to be his favourite role of striker. Having played off the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Dimitar Berbatov and Robin van Persie in recent years, Rooney now has his opportunity to shine as Manchester United's leading man. However, so far this season, there has barely been a glimmer, from any of his performances.
His touch has been off, his passing has been poor, failing to link up the play like a good striker should and his touches inside the box have been minimal, so what's going wrong?
Perhaps the fact that Rooney has been operating from deeper positions in recent years, has changed his mindset when out on the field. Gone has the pure instinct of simply wanting to score goals and in place of it, a more languid style of wanting to come deep and hold on to the ball for longer periods of time, something which you can not do as a central striker. The raw power and pace that Rooney possessed when first playing at Old Trafford seems to have left him, the fear he put in to Premier League defender's, when he picked the ball up around the edge of the box has all but gone.
Playing as Manchester United's sole striker also comes with huge pressure attached to it. Your game is analysed every week, from every angle, if you are not delivering the goods, the press let you know about it.
Wayne Rooney is clearly in a rut at the moment and it may only take one goal to jump out of it. The problem is, that goal seems to be a long way off at the moment and you only get so many chances at Old Trafford.