We had all heard that Rooney had fallen out with Sir Alex Ferguson – and it was backed up when the retiring Scottish manager ‘rested’ him for the last few games of the season. With Fergie’s exit, Rooney was hoping for a new man to come in, wipe away the cobwebs, and start afresh. Unfortunatyely, it was one of Fergie’s men who took control, and he appears to have been given an in-depth briefing about the situation, and the way Rooney handled himself last season.
As he fell slowly further and further down the pecking order, with first RVP, and then Welbeck keeping him out of the side, Rooney will have felt more and more isolated. Whilst some players take that opportunity to ‘redouble their efforts’ (in Champ Man terms), Rooney chose to simply gripe and moan to his agent and the press, and slacken off on the training field. Hence the little ‘Unh’ tag next to his name on the squad list!
Having already taken David Moyes to court for defamation, you could tell that the new working relationship wasn’t going to be great, though it could have been overcome after a few wins and a few post-match press-conferences where Moyes would espouse how great Rooney really is. Sadly we never got the chance to get that far, with Rooney limping away from the Far East training camp, and out of action for another four weeks. And possibly out of United.
In the mean-time, Moyes has been talking up another of his strikers – RVP – instead of Rooney. That Fergie thought RVP was the better striker is a given. That David Moyes thinks it too just goes to prove that whilst the managers have been changed, the same work ethic and attitude continues – which is great for the likes of Welbeck and RVP, and probably United in general, but not so great for Rooney.
With the way things ended last season, I’m not sure Rooney has any right to feel ‘angry and confused’ that Moyes continues to pick van Persie over him. RVP picked up the European Golden Boot, whilst Rooney didn’t score as many as he would have hoped, and didn’t have the athleticism or stamina to match Danny Welbeck when it comes to defending from the front in the very biggest games.
It seems to me that Rooney has two options. One is to shut up, get his head down and prove himself on the training pitch and football field once more. The other is to move on to a new club, earn a bumper contract and signing on fee, and live the high life in London.
In my heart I think option 1 would be better for him in the long run, and there is still a chance for Rooney to be re-habilitated – though these are fading by the day. The problem with option 2 is that he is rolling the dice on his move to Stamford Bridge – better strikers than him (Shevchenko, Torres) have gone there and prematurely ended their careers in their strikers graveyard. Will Rooney Follow?
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