Ferguson: Rooney can become complete player
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes Wayne Rooney is still developing as a player.
Rooney had a disappointing FIFA World Cup™ for England and failed to find the target as they exited the tournament at the last 16 stage after being beaten 4-1 by Germany. His form was in stark contrast to the previous domestic campaign when he scored 34 goals in all competitions for United.
But Ferguson expects his talismanic striker to kick on when the season opens in August. Ferguson told ESPN: "He had an improvement in terms of his timing and movement in the penalty box. His positioning also improved from the previous season.
"He got us over 30 goals and if he does that again and adds a little bit to his game then that is what we expect. The boy has got an incredible armoury of talent and what we have to do is to wait for that maturity.
"We also do nurture it and try to advise and coach in a fashion which will improve his game. But the most important thing I think he needs now is maturity and, when he gets that, I think you will see the complete footballer."
Ferguson blamed fatigue for the disappointing performance of a number of star names in South Africa and re-iterated the need for a winter break to help club and country. He said: "The FA has to give the country the best possible chance of doing well in the World Cup.
"Because of the nature of our game and because of the demands from television to have a programme every week, I have been talking about a winter break but nothing has happened. They must realise that, going into the World Cup, they have handicapped their team."
United face Philadelphia Union tonight at Lincoln Financial Field in the second match of their tour and Ferguson could be tempted to give Nani a run-out after the Portugal winger's recovery from a dislocated collarbone. Nani said: "For me it is a great opportunity to have a very good pre-season. That is the most important thing. Also it is always a pleasure to play a new team."
Union have secured back-to-back-victories against Toronto and Neil Lennon's Celtic after a difficult start in their first season in MLS. Manager Peter Nowak said: "It is a great feeling for an expansion team to go against a prestigious club.
"This is what we need to gain experience as a team, to get together and play very well. It is a learning process. This is when you gain experience. This is when you measure what you need and what kind of work needs to be done."