David Moyes says Wayne Rooney is now calling the shots at Manchester United as he seals his place as one of the club’s “great legends”.
The Old Trafford boss has seen the striker’s game and character develop since giving him his debut as a 16-year-old at Everton. Now 28, Rooney led by example against West Ham, setting up goals for Danny Welbeck and Ashley Young in the 3-1 win.
And despite uncertainty about the frontman’s long-term future, Moyes said: “Do you know what I see more than anything in Wayne? I see leadership. “I see somebody who wants to take responsibility for the team. I see somebody who cares for how he plays and how the team plays.
"Maybe if he is not quite at the top of his form, I will need him to drop in at times and he has no problem doing any of the jobs. He is getting to an age now where he realises he is not a boy anymore. He is one of the senior men in the team. He is actually on the verge of being one of the great legends at this club".
“I think he is saying I have got to take responsibility for results and for performances and make sure the players are doing it on the pitch. The players are responding. In the dressing room now, Wayne is one of those beginning to call the shots.”
With Robin van Persie out through injury, United have been reliant on Rooney. But Welbeck, with his third goal in two games, has offered welcome support and style in attack. “He is beginning to make a contribution to the goal tally which we want,” Moyes said of Welbeck. “Because of that, it is certainly helping Wayne and Robin as well.”
With a high-tempo passing game and four straight wins, Phil Jones feels they are now playing in the “United way” again under Moyes.
“The last four games have been an indication that we are getting to that stage,” the defender said. “We are in a good place at the moment.”