Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney was involved with some controversies surrounding his off the field behaviour while with the England national team, but the club manager has now revealed that his talisman is now way past the problems and is expected to lead the side against Arsenal on Saturday.

Wayne Rooney led England to an emphatic 3-0 win over Scotland last week, however the win was marred by some newspaper allegations that the skipper had been drinking in the early hours of the following morning. While it raised huge uproar amongst the fans, the United manager Jose Mourinho has been little affected and a casual attitude was evident in his appearance during the weekly press conference.

“Over the last 2-3 days, nothing happened,” Mourinho said on Friday. “He trained like everybody else, he wants to play like everybody else. He’s ready.”

Rooney has been severely criticized by the Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn following this incident. He later apologized to the England coach Gareth Southgate and sorted things out. The Red Devils boss, although seemed pretty disappointed with the way FA handled the matter, stopped short of commenting on the matter. “What happened with the national team, happened with national team. I don’t comment. They belong to the national team, what happens good or bad, I don’t like to comment,” the Portuguese said.

Following the international break, the club managers are often worried how the teams would shape up after a long gap, and the Manchester United boss was no exception. He commented, “Sometimes the players come back stronger than when they left, maybe something good has happened, results, performances for instance. But other time, there are injuries frustrations, they didn’t play etc. In this case, we know what they didn’t do well, but the national team is a different shepherd and is closed now until the end of February.”

Mourinho, on the other hand, did not comment on Chris Smalling. It is now an open secret that the two are not getting along well and the defender would probably be one of the players to see the door during January transfer window.

When the reporters wanted to know about the condition of Smalling, Mourinho said, “You cannot ask. You have your sources, you believe your sources, you respect your sources and we have had that for 15 days, so I am not going to speak about Smalling.”

However, the new United gaffer said that Luke Shaw, another player he is rumoured to have problems with, has worked well and is ready to play. “I don’t have any problem with him. I don’t say if he plays tomorrow, but he is my player, he has potential and he needs to learn and improve. But he is a player who has my confidence and, with five games in two weeks, he will have opportunities.” were Mourinho’s words about the former Southampton player.

Photo by Andrea Sartorati

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