In the Thick of It, the entirety of the blame was shifted upon civil servant Terri Coverly for the culture of leaking that had bloomed at the fictional government department, with the entire practice justified by the necessity to circumvent the communication "blockage" that Coverly had become in the department.
This is an apt metaphor for Wayne Rooney: part-scapegoat, part-blockage. Rooney's legs are not what they once were, and as a result, doesn't have the pace to play out wide for United. Therefore he plays centrally, in the zones in which Zlatan and mainly Paul Pogba can wreak havoc. Yet the ball has to go through Rooney, who's touch has deserted him, thus slowing everything down. Up to today, Rooney has become red-tape at United, an administrative necessity: the ball must be passed to Wayne before he examined it and approved of it to be sent elsewhere.
Now, however, it looks over: the Manchester Evening News are reporting today that Rooney is set to be dropped for the visit of Leicester, with Mourinho likely to revert to the 4-3-3 that proved successful in his first spell in charge at Chelsea.
The paper expects Mourinho to pick Marcus Rashford to the left and potentially Juan Mata to the right of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick in midfield, allowing Paul Pogba be freed up.
It was inevitable.