Papers: Rejuvenated Rooney
Fletch: Fans needn't worry about Wayne
Manchester United fans needn’t worry about Wayne Rooney. The United striker struggled with England at the World Cup – but will be straight back in the groove when he pulls on the famous red shirt. That is the prediction of team-mate Darren Fletcher, who is confident Rooney will revert to type now he is back at Old Trafford. “When we kick off, Wayne will be the fantastic player we have come to know down the past few years,” said Fletcher. “He is a tremendous player and a real talisman for the team. And I think playing for Manchester United definitely brings out the best in him.” Rooney cut a forlorn figure in South Africa, out of touch and frustrated as England squirmed through the group stage then crashed out to Germany. But he shone for United in the Community Shield win against champions Chelsea. And Fletcher, a team-mate throughout Rooney’s five years at Old Trafford, is sure England’s loss in the World Cup will be United’s gain. Fletcher said: “We all know Wayne’s game and he knows ours. We have played together and trained together for a long time now, for five or six years. Wayne’s form last season was fantastic and we obviously hope it will continue this season, which I’m sure it will, because he is simply a top-class player.”Bill Thorton, Daily Star
Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen writes in the Telegraph that Sir Alex cannot rely on Rooney to carry them again. The former Liverpool defender adds that "United will have to find somebody else to come up with the goods to ease the burden on Rooney this season."
Michael Owen tells the Mirror that the title race will once again come down to a straight fight between United and Chelsea. The Sun also features quotes from the striker who reckons he's "still got four or five years at the top." Meanwhile, Gary Neville dismisses big-spending Manchester City as serious title contenders.