Manchester United are set to visit Wayne Rooney and Derby County for a FA Cup fifth round clash Thursday night, and it should be a media circus. It’s not everyday a club and English legend, in the last stop of his playing career, takes on the club where he truly made a name for himself.
It’s the most anticipated and hyped FA Cup 5th round tie of all, and United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did not shy away from discussing the headline topic at his prematch press conference today. “He gave absolutely everything for this club and we all appreciate what he’s done, but any goal he scores against us will be chalked off his goal tally, so he doesn’t want to score too many,” said Solskjaer (transcript via Goal).
“Wayne will show what he can do, he wants to prove there is still fight in an old dog. We’ve got to be on our toes, don’t give him any space in and around the box, or in midfield, because you can see his Scholesy-like passing range.”
“He’s been a fantastic player for Man United. And he played here for so long. He’s the club’s top scorer, he won so many trophies.
“For me, I don’t think the fans underrate him, I think everyone really, really appreciates what he did for us, he’s still very welcome, he’s still around the place, he still comes to Old Trafford, so he will get a good reception from our away fans in that game.”
OGS also discussed Rooney’s designs on becoming a manager once he finally retires from playing: “I think he just wants to stay in the game, as many of us do, and he’s a great person, he makes everyone feel good – whether you are 80 or 10.”
“He’s even my Noah’s favourite player, not just because what he did as a player, but the kind of human being he was in and around the place.”
“I’m sure when he becomes a manager he’ll affect his players. When he’s coaching, he’s so enthusiastic about the game and he knows the game.”
Manchester United at Derby County FYIs
March 5, 2pm, Pride Park
Manchester United Starting XI Prediction: go to this link
United team news: go to this link
TV: BT Sport
Form Guide: Derby County – WLDDL Man United – DWWDW
Referee: Craig Pawson
Prediction: Manchester United 2, Derby County 0
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation.