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Why Dropping Wayne Rooney Could Be the Remedy to His Disappointing Form

16/10/2015 17:34 BST | Updated 16/10/2016 10:12 BST

Becoming your country's all-time record goalscorer is quite the achievement. Especially when it concerns a nation like England.

Wayne Rooney became the Three Lions' leading man last month. He powered home a penalty kick against Switzerland to notch his 50th international goal, and to break a goalscoring record that the legendary Sir Bobby Charlton had set more than 45 years prior.

It'll be a record he extends, too. Rooney has a long time left on the international scene, as he's only set to turn 30 later on in October. He's the captain of his nation, the linchpin and the experienced head in a team laced with talented youngsters. Regardless of form, you can bet that he'll be starting England's opening Euro 2016 match next June (injury permitting; I've got to cover my own back here).

While you can't label his last Wembley moment as bittersweet, the big '50' certainly ticked up at an odd time during the Croxteth-born attacker's career. Rooney is bang out of form at both international and club level and looking closer at his recent showings in red, he has been since this season started too.

Rooney's rot even extends back through the end of Manchester United's 2014/15 Premier League campaign, so it's not as if the former Evertonian has been powering through to grab his big moment with both hands. It's more appropriate to suggest he limped there. No pun intended, even considering the recent injury he's been carrying.

Everyone with anything to say on Premier League football will have their own opinion on Rooney's current predicament. Many suggest he's finished and that he's a burnt out former top-level player who simply can't handle the rigours of his elongated career at the top.

In fact, 42% of 45,000 United fans recently polled by 90min.com called for Louis van Gaal to wield the axe on his skipper. Others swear blind that Wayne Rooney is undroppable.

Where the solution may be found, though, is somewhere in between.

There's no getting away from the fact that Rooney was utterly rotten during United's 3-0 humbling at the hands of Arsenal prior to the international break. His first touch was poor - and we've seen that before in big games when he's not been at his best - but the most alarming thing was that Rooney was so easily shrugged off the ball by his opponents.

That's not Wayne Rooney. Sure, he's not the ravenous hustle-and-bustle-style attacker that he was in his teens, but what he is known for is his desire. He chases down lost causes and won't be willing to allow a moment's peace.

The player himself admits that he's changed his game since becoming captain. He thinks about the game more, he's more wary of his own behaviour and of setting an example. But perhaps it's getting to him a little more than any of us had anticipated.

What Rooney needs is a spark back into life. United have a huge run of games to take care of over the next couple of weeks, starting with a trip to Merseyside to face Rooney's former club Everton this Saturday. CSKA Moscow follow in the Champions League before local rivals Manchester City - likely without Sergio Aguero and David Silva - make the trip across town.

He's tried to play through his bad spell. Rooney ended a Premier League goal drought that had bugged him since April with an ugly bundling home of the ball against the simply doomed Sunderland at the end of September. But even the age-old 'just need anything to go in' type of goal hasn't seen Rooney hit another hot streak.

It may just be time for Louis van Gaal to become less forgiving of his captain, in some attempt to snap him out of the comfort zone he's found himself falling into. Should that come over the next couple of weeks, you can bet that would reignite the fire in Wayne Rooney's belly.

Rooney loves the big matches. But he's simply not delivering in them. And to boot, he's only scored four times in 18 appearances against his boyhood side. It's the time now to try something different, in order to get United's number ten back firing in the long-term.

That's not to suggest this should be a permanent demotion, but one clear message to send to Wayne Rooney that his failure to deliver is to the detriment of the team as a whole, and to the individual careers of the players fully deserving of their chance to step in as a possible replacement. Here's to you, Ander Herrera.

United have tried everything else. And while Wayne Rooney will break Sir Bobby's Manchester United long-standing goalscoring record in the near future, we'd all love to see him take that honour with the vigour he's been known for down the years.

Don't limp through this one too, Wayne.

For more fan views or to join the conversation visit www.90min.com