Nick Potts Rooney complaining to referee Michael Oliver.
# out of form
After another abysmal performance, it's about time Wayne Rooney was dropped
The Manchester United captain was particularly poor in their defeat to Watford.

IT WAS ABUNDANTLY clear to anyone watching yesterday’s Premier League meeting between Watford and Manchester United that Jose Mourinho has a number of pressing issues he needs to address.

Louis van Gaal’s successor began life at his new club with four wins from his first four matches (when you include the Community Shield), but those results may have papered over the cracks to a degree and the defeat at Vicarage Road means that’s now three losses on the trot.

Finding a solution to get the best out of their world record signing Paul Pogba will be top of the Portuguese coach’s list of priorities, as the French midfielder continues to underwhelm since his £90 million (€105m) return from Juventus.

However, just as important, and also interlinked, is the predicament Wayne Rooney’s continued inclusion in the team poses.

The 30-year-old’s ability to influence games has been on the wane for sometime and, against Watford, he was pretty dismal from start to finish — although he certainly wasn’t the only one.

Watford v Manchester United - Premier League - Vicarage Road Nick Potts Nick Potts

Despite insisting back in July that Rooney would play as a striker and not in the deeper role he had been shifted to in recent times, Mourinho named him in a three-man midfield with Paul Pogba and just ahead of Marouane Fellaini.

And, throughout an error-ridden 90 minutes, the club’s longest-serving player was guilty of misplaced passes, poorly-struck shots, heavy touches, a lack of pace and a couple of clumsy challenges.

He also appeared to be in no man’s land as the Hornets scored their first and second goals.

Rooney Watford YouTube YouTube

Rooney Watford 1 YouTube YouTube

It’s not like United are short of midfield options. Juan Mata came just after the hour-mark yesterday, while Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick were both left on the bench.

Then there’s Morgan Schneiderlin, a man they paid £27m (€31m) to bring in from Southampton a year ago to do the holding role, who didn’t make the match-day squad.

And that’s before you even mention outcast Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Further forward, Mourinho has favoured Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front with, Mata, Herrera, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Henrikh Mkhitaryan Ashley Young and the out-of-sorts Memphis Depay are all competing to fill the roles behind him.

Persisting with Rooney hasn’t worked and it’s about time he was left out of the starting XI to give others a chance to prove their worth.

Here’s his individual highlights from yesterday:

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