Wayne Rooney has been accused of disrespecting his former club after suggesting that standards at Old Trafford have slipped since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down as manager.
Speaking to the Mirror, Rooney was asked if he had any words of advice for Romelu Lukaku, who disembarked Goodison Park for the red side of Manchester.
“There are standards that you have to keep when you are at Manchester United.
“Over the last few years, it was down to me and Michael Carrick to keep the new players maintaining those standards," Rooney continued.
“That became more difficult over the last few years, with some of the players who joined the club. There are traditions at United that have to be maintained. It’s become harder, but that’s not my problem any more. I’m just ecstatic to be back at Everton.
“Playing for Manchester United is a test of character, as well as your ability.
“Romelu has to be strong enough to take up that challenge. If he does that, then, with the ability he has got, he will be a success. But if he doesn’t face the challenge, if he worries about things, then it will be more difficult for him."
The comments didn't go down particularly well with the United faithful, who saw his comments as a slight on the club and took the opportunity to have a dig back.
Rooney's right, we had dropped our standards. But under Mourinho we've got them back. And that's why he's now a squad player at Everton.— Stuart (@__Bingo) July 16, 2017
Rooney talking about standards slipping at United, and some of the players we'd signed not being up to it.— Stephen Howson (@MrStephenHowson) July 16, 2017
Yet they kept him out the team 樂
The absolute cheek of Rooney to talk about standards and the players bought at MUFC. His standards were atrocious for years before his exit.— Alex Shaw (@AlexShawESPN) July 16, 2017
Thought these comments were disgraceful & disrespectful from Wayne Rooney. Hasn't been gone 5 minutes & he's taken shots at ex-teammates. pic.twitter.com/GdQrrbJxri— Adam Joseph (@AdamJosephSport) July 16, 2017
Rooney's status as a United legend has been questioned by some fans despite him being their record scorer, largely due to the fact that he handed in a transfer request on more than one occasion under Ferguson and his level declining in his later years.
This latest interview has not done much to help his reputation at the club where he achieved so much.