Matt Le Tissier believes Manchester United's more conservative style of play under Louis van Gaal has contributed to Wayne Rooney's worst ever slump in form.
With United sat just a point off the top of the Premier League table, the Southampton legend appreciates that the Dutch boss is achieving results but feels his ethic has had a detrimental impact on Rooney's game.
Le Tiss predicts...
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England's all-time leading goalscorer, whose goal tally has reached double figures in each of his previous 11 campaigns at Old Trafford, has found the net just twice in the league this season and does not have a single assist to his name.
Le Tissier told Sky Sports: "Rooney is probably suffering a bit from United having changed their emphasis from 'we will win every game because we've got the best players' to one that says 'we're not going to lose first and foremost'.
This is probably the longest slump we've seen. I don't remember him having ever struggled for this long.
"He suffers because they don't attack in the same numbers as when they believed they could outscore whoever they came up against.
"This is probably the longest slump we've seen. He has had dips in form before but I don't remember him having ever struggled for this long."
Rooney's goals and assists
United have attracted criticism for being too defensive under Van Gaal but Le Tissier feels that results are far more important than entertaining as they continue to rebuild following Sir Alex Ferguson's departure.
He added: "That's what the manager's job is, getting the right results. United are used to winning with more swagger and style but at the end of the day if they finish in the top four or even win the title, nobody looks back and says they were boring.
"This season is more about making sure they're in the top four again given where they've been since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club."