Manchester United's Jose Mourinho an 'easy target' for criticism - Wayne Rooney
Former Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney said Jose Mourinho has been made "an easy target" for the club's troubles at Old Trafford.
"The manager can do so much but then it is down to the players on the pitch to produce. Probably collectively it is a bit of everything coming together, but Jose is an easy target," Rooney said, according to the Mirror.
Mourinho has come under intense pressure after a disappointing start to the season that sees his team seven points behind Premier League pacesetters Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Sources have told ESPN FC that the manager believes the lack of reinforcements is the key reason for United's poor start and has urged executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to rectify that situation in January.
Rooney, who plays for MLS side D.C. United, spent 13 seasons at Manchester United, including the 2016-17 season under Mourinho.
The former England international added that no matter the reinforcements, it falls on both manager and players to overcome struggles.
"I know Jose is getting a load of stick but the players have to stand up. ... They have to be counted and they have to be better," said Rooney, who noted that he sees similarities to the situation that Louis Van Gaal, Mourinho's predecessor, found himself in.
"[Van Gaal] took a lot of stick but behind closed doors ... I said to the players we have be doing better," added Rooney.