Wayne Rooney scolded Pogba & Lingard for dancing after Man Utd loss

Wayne Rooney was there for the good and the bad times at Manchester United.

Rooney enjoyed the memorable run of Premier League titles between 2006/07 and 2010/11, and Sir Alex Ferguson’s final triumph in 2012/13.

But he also witnessed the start of the down years. Things haven’t been right since Ferguson’s retirement nine years ago.

Rooney’s departure in 2017 – initially on loan before he left permanently the following year – meant a change of scenery. 

Having been there for the incredible highs, being a part of a suddenly struggling United side couldn’t have been easy for the former England international. 

By the end, he was no longer surrounded by experienced teammates with a history of winning titles. A new generation was coming through and there was a misalignment in their mentalities.

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Rooney scolded Pogba & Lingard

Rooney opened up on this when he reflected on his final season at the club in his column for The Times.

Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard, two players known for expressing themselves, were the victims of this culture shift after Rooney found them dancing to music in the changing room one day after a defeat.

“I do remember one time, coming into training at United the day after a defeat, still feeling very annoyed and walking into the dressing room with Michael Carrick,” Rooney wrote in his column last year.

“We found Jesse and Paul dancing in there with the music on. I went over, turned it off and took the speakers out of the dressing room – because that’s my mindset, that’s how I’ve grown up in football.”

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Man Utd’s culture change

There will be plenty out there who believe Pogba and Lingard shouldn’t have been dancing the day after a defeat.

But that’s not what Rooney was getting at. Football has changed since he entered the game and he wasn’t angry with the pair – it’s just not the way he would react to a defeat.

“Paul and Jesse accepted it, because I was the senior player, but in hindsight they were not doing anything wrong, not hurting anyone, and it was just my old-school mentality kicking in,” Rooney added.

“As Rio Ferdinand has said, players of our generation just have to get used to this generation and what has changed.”

The culture at Old Trafford sure has changed in the past decade. 

But the difference between winning and losing matches doesn’t come down to players dancing in the dressing room. There’s a whole lot more to it than that.

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