Rooney: United are not one-man team

English Champions Manchester United face Arsenal in a match likely to have a huge bearing on the Premier League title race on Sunday with United forward Wayne Rooney laughing off claims United are a "one-man team."

Second-placed United head for the Emirates to play third-placed Arsenal chasing a fourth successive title before a League Cup final against Aston Villa and the resumption of the Champions League in February.

Rooney has been in outstanding form, scoring 21 goals so far this season, hitting all four in the 4-0 win over Hull City last week and the clincher against Manchester City in their 3-1 League Cup semi-final second leg leg victory on Wednesday.

While some critics have said Rooney is carrying the side, he told The Sun newspaper, he disagrees.

"I don't look on us as a one-man team or see it as a great burden on me, it's nonsense. If I don't get the service, I can't score. If I don't, I expect others to, and we've done that well.

"We've shared the goals out well and it's certainly not just about me. We expect to win as a team, not as individuals.

"And I don't need to say too much at all to people who think that United are starting to slide.

"Chelsea have a game in hand, but we're still up there, in a good position in the Champions League and the final of the Carling Cup. I can't see any slide from us at the minute."

None of Rooney's goals have been scored from outside the penalty area this season, with manager Alex Ferguson saying earlier this week he had told him to concentrate on playing in the penalty area more.


Rooney added: "It's so important to get the support of others when you're playing up front on your own, or it can be pretty lonely up there.

"Those who said I'm not an out-and-out goal-scorer are probably right. I always feel I could score more. I didn't used to get that many from inside the six-yard box in previous seasons.

"But I've worked on my movement to create space and it's paying off. So far this season I've managed it - in fact I can't remember a goal I've scored from outside the box - and those tap-ins are down to the whole team, not one player."

Arsenal defender Sol Campbell, who has returned to the club at the age of 35 and played in the FA Cup defeat at Stoke city last week and as a substitute in the 0-0 draw against Aston Villa on Wedesday, said the Gunners will have to watch Rooney closely.

"He's the talisman for United. He's always going to pop up, he's always dangerous. "As a top striker, you have to watch him. In a flash, something can happen and they're in. It's a challenge.

"That's what it's all about. We're at the business end of the season. It's a big two weeks for the club.