Nick from the excellent Man United Youth website turned his focus to first team matters, and Wayne Rooney’s statement confirming he wants to leave Manchester United. Read on for his blunt opinion of our fallen hero’s poorly chosen words.
So Wayne Rooney’s had his say (or has put his name to what Paul Stretford has had to say…). He wants out of Manchester United because he hasn’t been given the required assurances about the club’s ability to attract big-name players in the future. Consider me unconvinced.
Don’t get me wrong – Rooney obviously has something of a point regarding the future of the squad. Replacing Giggs, Scholes, van der Sar, Hargreaves and perhaps even Ferdinand (and arguably Ronaldo/Tevez) is a serious concern moving forward, especially with the obvious financial constraints the club is operating under thanks to the disastrous ownership of the Glazer family. I can understand some frustration on that score, and many of us share the same concerns. In other circumstances Rooney would perhaps be applauded for speaking out and bringing the club’s financial plight into clear focus (and if there’s anything good that’s come of all this, it’s that), but it all just seems a little too convenient right now. There was nothing else he could have said in today’s statement (alas, he was hardly just going to admit that he fancied the extra £100k a week), so regardless of how much of a point he has, it’s hard to find any real sincerity in his words.
It’s even harder still when you remember Rooney’s complaints originated in August. Three months previously United had finished second in the Premier League by a point. A month before that we’d exited the Champions League to the eventual runners-up on away goals and in fairly unfortunate fashion. While the squad wasn’t strengthened with big names in the summer, the same could arguably be said of all of our domestic rivals, with the obvious exception and anomaly that is Manchester City. In Rooney’s statement, he lavishes praise on Sir Alex Ferguson and proclaims him to be ‘a genius’.
Taking all that into consideration, it’s hard to have much sympathy with Rooney’s position – is one season without the league title too much for you to bear Wayne? If Sir Alex is – in your own words – ‘a genius’, why are you bailing out without even giving him a chance to show how competitive this group of players can be, or how he can bring on young players like Hernández, just as he did with you six years ago? It’s not like we’re talking about Fernando Torres or Cesc Fabregas here, starved of league titles and trophies for a number of years. It’s not like you haven’t won medals galore over the past few years. You’re 24, you can’t give us at least another year after everything the manager and the club have done for you (as you yourself acknowledge)?
You have to laugh at Rooney’s declaration that he has ‘complete respect for Manchester United’. Effectively dismissing his teammates as not good enough in public, playing like an absolute drain once his heart was set on a move, publicly rebutting the manager’s attempts (despite everything) to defend that woeful run of form, releasing this statement two hours before the team play a Champions League game… respect eh, bloody hell! If, as seems increasingly likely, Rooney already has his sights set on a move across Manchester, any declaration of respect for MUFC is disingenuous to say the least. Loathsome might be more accurate.
It remains to be seen how this all pans out over the coming weeks and months, but it now seems likely that Wayne Rooney has played his last game for Manchester United. He could have been a legend at one of the most illustrious clubs in world football, talked about alongside some of the greatest ever to play the game – a big fish in the biggest of ponds. Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time goalscoring record would surely have fallen. Ryan Giggs’ still-increasing appearance tally may even have come under threat. If he has spurned all that in order to move to the Council House, it’s to be hoped for his sake that an extra hundred grand in his pay-packet every week, legend status alongside Shaun Goater and Georgi Kinkladze and the prospect of the hollowest of success is worth it.