• Premier League

Rooney takes the blame for United's opening day stutter

ESPN staff
August 18, 2014
Van Gaal failing to learn from Moyes' mistakes

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney knows he started life in his new-found role "badly" but the striker is determined to bring success back to the club.

New manager Louis van Gaal endured a horror start to the Premier League season as United limped to a 2-1 defeat to Swansea on Saturday; the first time in more than 40 years the club has lost an opening top-flight fixture at Old Trafford.

Rooney, who was named new United captain by Van Gaal just days before the start of the season, admitted shouldering the blame for such losses is something that comes with the armband. Despite scoring an overhead kick and hitting the post in the loss to Swansea, the forward is first to recognise a need to improve - but he insists he will prove to be the right choice as captain.

United set to spend, spend, spend

  • Manchester United are preparing to step up their transfer business following their horror start to Premier League life under new manager Louis van Gaal.
  • United could spend up to £100 million in their pursuit of Real Madrid winger and long-time target Angel Di Maria, while a deal for Sporting Lisbon left-back Marcus Rojo is thought to be close.
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"I just had a bad game and I was the first to say that when I got into the dressing room," Rooney said. "I didn't play well. You have those days but being captain is always a responsibility I have had in me, especially on the pitch.

"It will be a little bit different now off the pitch with new responsibilities. I have always felt I am a leader on the pitch so it won't be a major difference on the pitch to what I normally do and that is to help us win games.

"I have always been vocal either on the pitch or in the dressing room. There have been times both for England and United when I have been told to be quiet. It has always been a part of my game and I think it is important that players speak to each other. You have to communicate.

"That is the only way you are going to help each other. The time is right for me to be captain and I am ready for the responsibility. Only time will tell whether I can be a successful captain but I will certainly be giving everything I can to help this club win trophies."

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