Louis Van Gaal unconcerned by Wayne Rooney’s red mist
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal refused to discuss Wayne Rooney’s suitability to captain the team after the England forward was sent off against West Ham United.
Despite United getting vital three points to move up seventh in the Premier League table, Rooney's sending off dominated the news.
Just a day short of the 10th anniversary of his United debut, Rooney was shown the sixth red card of his career for hacking down Stewart Downing in the 59th minute of his side’s 2-1 win on Saturday( Sept 27).
The offence occurred inside West Ham’s half, but Van Gaal was reluctant to talk about either Rooney’s reasons for committing a foul so far from goal or the wisdom of his appointment as captain.
"For me, that is neither a good analysis by you and neither a good question," the Dutchman snapped at a journalist during his post-game press conference.
"It is my right not to (answer)."
Louis van Gaal (left) leaving the pitch after the match against West Ham. Photo: Reuters
He added: "Maybe you don’t want to hear it, but maybe you do know that in professional football you make professional fouls and I have seen it today five or six times."
While Van Gaal maintained that Rooney’s challenge was merely a professional foul, he was at a loss to explain why the 28-year-old had swung his right foot at Downing with such force.
"He only wanted to trip him, but he has to explain that," said Van Gaal.
"He said to me he wanted to do that. You are right, I saw that also, but you can’t change it now. It’s a great miss because he played very well. I was very pleased with him. He scored a good goal."
Rooney had opened the scoring with the 176th league goal of his career, moving him above Thierry Henry into third place in the all-time Premier League scoring chart.
Robin van Persie doubled United’s lead, but Diafra Sakho pulled a goal back before half-time and West Ham were also aggrieved that a late equaliser from Kevin Nolan was ruled out for offside.