Saturday, 23 October 2010


After the John Terry England captaincy debacle earlier this year, I was blogging about the possibility of the captain's armband going to Wayne Rooney. Married, family man, talisman of the team, player of passion and loyalty, hero to supporters and youngsters alike. And then tabloid stories emerged on Rooney's dalliances with prostitutes during his wife's pregnancy. England performances hit an embarrassing level and his form for Manchester United reaches new depths of crapness. Sir Alex benches him with an 'ankle injury' which is a euphemism for 'sorry Wayne, but you ahem.. couldn't score in a brothel', and suddenly Wayne wants out. In a week of breathtaking cynicism and opportunism, Wayne looks across to the Saudi-trillions blue side of Manchester and all of sudden United are forced into looking to cash in on their talisman rather than see him sail off into the sunset on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling. The grubby goings on this week expose more of what is wrong with modern day football, footballers and money-obsessed agents.  I doubt that Rooney will never be spoken of in the same terms as Best, Charlton, Greaves, Moore. The footballers who as boys, played their football on the streets and who grew into men with nobility, with club and country loyalty and were worthy of being hailed as heroes.   
The situation brought out Sir Alex Ferguson to call a press conference of never before seen humbleness and paternalism. He appeared genuinely hurt by Wayne's 'infidelity' and seemingly took the slant rather personally. Players have often crossed Ferguson and wanted out of Old Trafford. Stam, Heinze, Whiteside, McGrath, Beckham, Ince, Van Nistelrooy to name but a few could testify to Ferguson's ruthlessness. Ruthless and media-manipulating he may, but Ferguson is also a pragmatist. He realises all too well that Manchester United needs Wayne Rooney and pulled out all the stops to keep him. It's said that Ferguson spoke personally to Rooney and reminded him of the club's history, its traditions, the success and trophies, the romance of Old Trafford and what it means to pull on the red shirt. He reminded him that to cash in now for a move to Eastlands might considerably strengthen his bank account, but would he want to be a pariah and remembered for all the wrong reasons. Despite their often lack of brains and their unnerving ability to be swayed by the riches, footballers also have huge ego's and perhaps the penny dropped that a move from a place like Old Trafford might not the brightest idea. Of course, a hefty increase in salary with a promise of world class players being bought to increase the challenge for cups and premierships have have helped, but Rooney decides to stay and all is now rosy again on the red half of Manchester. 
Or is it? As a diehard United fan, I for one don't feel in mood for celebration at Rooney's decision to stay. I haven't heard much of an apology to the United fans yet. I will wince when Rooney scores and goes running off towards the corner flag clutching his shirt and kissing the Red Devils badge with gusto. Do what the club pays you millions to do and score shedloads of goals. Show some passion and commitment in helping United win the premiership and Champions League and we may just forgive you. For now....   


  1. Should have let him go, if you ask me. More arse than class.

  2. Disgusting. Manchester United will always be bigger than individual players. They should have let him go - greedy bastard. I'm surprised at Alex Ferguson. It was all a big ploy to get a pay rise and boy did he succeed. And all this when the rest of the country is having to tighten their belts. I was beginning to warm to him last season but not any more. He's a greedy, immature little sh*t and I hope he gets his comeuppance in due course.

  3. The Wayne Rooney debate this week has certainly stirred up some strong feelings from the fans and neutrals alike hasn't it? All in the same week when 500,000 public sector workers lose their jobs and we're told of our Wayne securing £1m a month for essentially kicking a ball around for 90 minutes a week. Wouldn't it make a refreshing change for the clubs to impose a 'Charity' clause to the players contracts? Say 10% of players wages go to 'Help the Heroes', or community sporting facilities for all? Of course it'll never happen....