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Rooney and United enduring tough times

ESPN staff
August 2, 2014 « Pellegrini: Lampard an important player for City | Wenger banking on Arsenal cash boost »
United set to play Real Madrid in front of record crowd

Life may have become fascinating at Manchester United under Louis van Gaal but Wayne Rooney admits making the required adjustments has been tough and Carlo Ancelotti has predicted a title-less first season.

As United prepared to play Real Madrid on their pre-season tour of the US in front of up to 109,000 fans at Michigan Stadium, there were mixed messages from within the club and from outside.

Evans in contention for United captaincy

  • Jonny Evans has emerged as a shock contender for the Manchester United captaincy having already impressed new manager Louis van Gaal.
  • The Dutchman is thought to have been captivated by Evans' attitude and the defender could usurp current favourites Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney to the armband.
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"It's been great," said Rooney, who is pleased to be getting the chance to play a central role under Van Gaal. "The manager has come in and we are playing a new system and learning that and trying to get better.

"Over the next few weeks we will get better. It's been tough but the results will come I hope."

Van Gaal, who has already predicted a three-month struggle for United at the start of the season, said he was wedded to the 3-5-2 formation he has been working on and still wants to give the current squad a chance to prove they can play it before making new signings, even though the season starts in two weeks.

Asked if having only signed two players was a problem, Van Gaal said: "I want to give the current players an honest chance. We are winning everything, maybe we don't need other players. Anyway, the transfer window still has a month left."

Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti did the double in his first season at Chelsea but has doubts about the immediate impact the Dutchman will have at United.

"They signed really good players this year but to build a team is not so easy,'' Ancelotti, who dodged a question about whether he had been approached to take charge at United, said.

"The Premier League is a very competitive league and it will not be easy to win it the first year because there are a lot of teams who are really competitive and they want to win."

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