Wayne Rooney described Jose Mourinho’s reign at Manchester United as a “divorce” between the first team and the academy.
Everybody knows that at Manchester United we believe in giving young players a chance. It’s a rich tradition at the club that was put aside by one former manager, as the club’s all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney revealed on Monday Night Football.
Rooney said that the distance between the United first team and academy was “huge” during Jose Mourinho’s time as manager at Old Trafford.
The current Derby County manager was asked by Jamie Carragher about why Mourinho and Louis van Gaal had failed to succeed at the club, despite winning silverware – something we’ve not done in five years!
“The distance between the academy and the first team and the manager, especially under Mourinho, was huge,” Rooney said on Sky Sports (H/t Football Daily). “It was almost as if they didn’t exist, if you like.
“Having the relationship they had with Sir Alex [Ferguson] for 26-years and then not being allowed anywhere near the first team… It’s almost like there was a divorce between the first team and the academy.”
🗣 "The distance between the academy and the first team under Mourinho was huge, it was almost like they didn't exist."
Wayne Rooney says it felt like a "divorce" between the first team and the academy when Mourinho joined Man United pic.twitter.com/Pe8c4dGIMH
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 4, 2022
Footage courtesy of Sky Sports Main Event
Mourinho will argue that he brought Scott McTominay through, but Van Gaal handed debuts to 15 United youngsters during his two seasons in charge – compared to the six youngsters Mourinho gave debuts to, despite being at the club longer than his predecessor.