As expected, the end of the transfer window has resulted in a decrease of United news, and thus less frequent Stretty Stories posts. However, today we have quite a few stories in the press. Ryan Giggs is a candidate for the soon-to-be-vacant Wales job, Rooney will play for England today, Nike stand by Rooney, and United have their sights set on Ninis.
I’m leaning pretty heavily one way on this issue, but I can also see the positives to the other side. If only the Wales manager position had become vacant a season or two from now, there would be no issue. It is being reported that with John Toshack will be stepping down as manager of Wales and has earmarked Giggs as his successor. It is unlikely that Giggs will accept the distraction of a managerial role while still playing for United, but Wales are hoping to involve him somehow in their new coaching system. It has been suggested that Giggs may work under a caretaker manager and then be appointed to the role once he hangs up his boots. I think it’s hugely beneficial to United that players like Giggs and Paul Scholes have retired from international football. And while coaching wouldn’t have the physical toll on Giggs that playing would, it would still be a massive distraction. Until Giggs decides to retire from playing, I would prefer he be distraction free; however, I do like the thought of Giggs getting some coaching experience. Managing Wales could put him in contention to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson someday. Players-turned-managers such as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Roy Keane are already good candidates to be the gaffer at Old Trafford, but I’d love nothing more than to see Giggs claim that role in the future. I think managing Wales could go a long way in making that a reality, but for the time being I hope he just sticks to focusing on United.
Despite all the controversy surrounding Wayne Rooney, Fabio Capello has confirmed that his star striker will feature in England’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland today. I actually think this could be the best possible move for Rooney. While there are issues at home he needs to attend to, it’s important he also remain focused on his football. When Tiger Woods’ affairs became public, he took a break from golf to focus on his family. When he returned his game had clearly suffered in his absence, and he still ended up divorced. If the allegations are true, Rooney should definitely work on mending his family, but he also needs to keep playing the game he loves. It will only make things worse if he takes a break from football and then comes back in poor form. I definitely support Rooney’s determination to continue playing despite all the allegations.
In the wake of allegations against Rooney, there have been rumors that he may be at risk of losing multiple endorsement deals; however, it is being reported that Nike will stand by Rooney. This is, after all, the same company which stood by Tiger Woods after allegations of his affairs surfaced. Ultimately, I doubt there are many people who would refuse to buy a product endorsed by Rooney simply because of his personal actions, so I think Nike are making a smart business move sticking with the striker.
It is being reported that United are set to trigger the £8 million release clause of Sotiris Ninis’ contract at Panathinaikos. Sir Alex has apparently targeted Ninis as Scholes’ long-term successor. While they’re both in fantastic form, Giggs and Scholes are both edging closer to retirement, so I think bringing in young midfield talent is a good idea. The doubts surrounding Owen Hargreaves’ future also suggest a new midfield signing may be a positive addition. With the transfer window closed, Ninis would join United either in January or next summer, but United officials are reportedly already working on securing a deal. I think it’d be good to agree to a deal and then leave him at Panathinaikos for the season to gain more experience.
In today’s The Sun, Scott Sutter is saying that Rooney’s actions are giving footballers in bad name. Even if the allegations prove to be true, John Terry, Steven Gerrard, and Ashley Cole were all already guilty of giving footballers a bad reputation before Rooney. Rooney is accused something wrong and suddenly he’s the one to blame destroying footballers’ credibility. How quickly Mr. Sutter has forgotten the transgressions of other English superstars.
Congratulations… Darren Fletcher! The Scotland captain will make his 50th appearance for his country today against Liechtenstein!
Discuss all today’s news and rumors in the forum.
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