Michael Owen said it annoyed him to see Wayne Rooney give up his penalties duties to Paul Pogba during Manchester United’s 4-1 win against Fenerbahce on Thursday night.
Rooney has been the designated penalty taker at United for 12 years, but it was Pogba who stepped up to take on the responsibility when Juan Mata was fouled in the box.
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It left United fans confused to see their captain step aside and Owen is disappointed to see Rooney give over so easily.
‘It grates with me,’ said Owen on BT Sport.
‘He still should have taken the penalty.
‘He’s the centre-forward.
‘Twelve years ago playing against Fenerbahce in his first game for United Wayne ripped the ball off Ryan Giggs.’
Rooney started his first game since September against Fenerbahce and could have notched up two goals had he taken the two penalties that were awarded to United in the game.
Instead Pogba and Anthony Martial took both spot kicks and after scoring just once this season, Owen thinks the United captain passed up an excellent chance to gain back some confidence.
‘Wayne is struggling for confidence,’ said Owen.
‘He’s the goal-scorer.
‘If he’d scored two pens tonight he’d be be ahead of Ruud van Nistelrooy in the European goal-scoring charts and one behind Sir Bobby Charlton in the the all-time United goal-scorers’ list.
‘He has to want to score. When he was younger he was nasty.
‘He wanted to score. He was desperate.
‘He gets a penalty. He should be all over it.’