Wayne Rooney feels too many underperforming players at Manchester United are looking for “someone to hide behind”, with there no fear factor at Old Trafford anymore.
The former Red Devils striker has watched on from afar in 2018-19 as those at Old Trafford have endured another forgettable campaign.
Things started badly under Jose Mourinho, improved briefly upon Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking the reins, but ended with a whimper during a run of two wins in 12.
Serious questions have been asked of several members of a supposedly star-studded squad, with the likes of Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku coming in for criticism.
Rooney has queried the focus of those on United’s books, with there seemingly too many off-field distractions, and called for greater authority from those in the dugout.
The former England international enjoyed considerable success during Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign with the Red Devils and believes that kind of guidance is needed once more.
United’s all-time leading goalscorer told the Wayne Rooney Podcast of goings-on in Manchester and his hopes for the future: “I think the players need to fear someone.
“They need to fear Ole Gunnar. They need to fear Michael Carrick. They need to respect them but fear them also.
“The way the game has gone has changed, society has changed. You have got social media.
“You have got players losing a game and posting something on social media about their new clothing range, their new aftershave, whatever they’re bringing out, which I find remarkable.
“When fans speak up on it and say ‘why are you posting that?’ they always have the marketing people to blame, [but] take responsibility.
“They work for you. Those marketing people work for you. I have people who do similar stuff for me and they never do anything without my instructions.
“If that is what you’re doing, you’re sitting at the top of that business. You have to take responsibility for them.
“These players almost always like to find someone to hide behind, whether that is on their social media or on the football pitch and that’s what they are doing.”
Rooney left Old Trafford in the summer of 2017, bringing a memorable 13-year spell at United to a close.
He would return to his roots at Everton for a solitary season before making a move to America in June 2018.