Jose Mourinho explained Wayne Rooney’s lack of pace was the reason the Manchester United captain did not start Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal in the Premier League.
Rooney provided two assists for Zlatan Ibrahimovic in United’s previous Premier League game, a 3-1 win at Swansea City, but Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were preferred in the Swede’s absence due to suspension.
The United captain came off the bench as Olivier Giroud’s powerful late header cancelled out Juan Mata’s opener and Mourinho indicated he wanted quicker players to feature in his attack.
“I thought we were going to have the ball,” Mourinho said. “Arsenal are a team who let their opponents play.
“I thought we would have space and the ball would arrive quite easily to the attacking players.
“I believed ones like Mata, Martial and Rashford were faster than Wayne, better attacking opponents one to one in the last line. I thought it was the best option.”
Rooney has had a difficult November, being omitted from the England team for a friendly against Spain and coming under fire after being pictured drinking while on international duty.