Thursday, 21 October 2010

It's going to be a long winter for Wayne Rooney

Less than six months ago Wayne Rooney was arguably the best player in the World. Rooney seemed well grounded at one of the biggest and most successful clubs in World Football and he was in the form of his life for club and country. The Manchester United and England star could do no wrong it seemed.

The United marksman enjoyed his best goal scoring season to date and he looked in fine form leading up to what was expected to be a landmark campaign in South Africa for the England star. The Finals in South Africa were set to provide the platform for Rooney to come of age and show the footballing world his brilliance.

However, today the picture looks very different for a man who is quickly becoming a fallen icon. Rooney's World Cup campaign was dreadful, his marriage is on the rocks following allegations about his private life, his United career is in tatters and his reputation as a level-headed sportsman have very much come in to question, all in quick succession.

After Rooney's torrid World Cup campaign he returned to Old Trafford for pre-season training to drop an almighty bomb-shell on United's Chief Executive David Gill, insisting that he wanted to leave Manchester United and would not be entering negotiations over an improved contract with United. It took until mid-October for the news to become public following a series of mis-quoted press releases regarding the United star's fitness and frame of mind, given the media frenzy surrounding him regarding his private life.

On Tuesday 19th October, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson revealed to the World in sombre mood, that Wayne Rooney - as early as August - had expressed his desire to leave Old Trafford. The United manager looked mystified and broken as he spoke of his utter regret regarding the strikers decision to quit a club that have been supportive of his career and private life, throughout his stay at the Lancashire club.

Wayne Rooney had cited the club owners lack of ambition and inability to secure the best footballing talent as his reasoning for wanting to leave Manchester United in a statement to counter Ferguson's press release.

Now it's Personal!
Such malicious claims from the former Evertonian are unjust when you consider United's history and until January at least, Rooney will be forced to share the turf at Carrington and Old Trafford with players whose abilities he has questioned publically and maliciously. The next few months could be difficult for Rooney who has clearly angered Ferguson with both his decision and comments and I expected that his Manchester United colleagues won't take to his comments too warmly either.

There is no denying Wayne Rooney is a class act on his day and he will be sorely missed at Old Trafford. He is a player with immense promise and his passion for the game is truly inspiring, but what I've come to learn over recent months is that (as Kiko Macheda recently stated) Rooney is a rather vulgar young man.

Last summer Carlos Tevez left the club on relatively sour terms, but by comparison with Rooney, Tevez will now look like a saint in the eyes of United fans. Tevez left for United's fiercest rivals Manchester City, which is reason enough to hold a grudge against the Argentinian, but Tevez never questioned the clubs ambition and attacked the standard of players United were bringing in. Rooney dares to stand up and insist the players being brought in by Ferguson and United are not good enough to share the field with him?!?!?

Rooney really needs to remember where he came from and how he has become one of the brightest talents on the planet. His timing couldn't be any worse to make such claims. During the World Cup and ever since, Rooney has been unable to perform even the simplest action, that should come naturally to a player of his quality. Nearly every attempt to get the ball under control has resulted in the ball bouncing awkwardly away from him, his goalscoring return has been feeble and he has looked a shadow of his former self for a while. Before he questions the standard of the players around him, he should really look at himself and sort out his own flaws before attacking others.

During Sir Alex Ferguson's reign at Old Trafford the Scotsman has had to wave goodbye to influential players of the highest calibre. Ferguson has lost stars such as Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, David Beckham, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and more recently Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, all of whom were players of extraordinary ability and were all stand-out performers during their time at Old Trafford. With every departure, United's reign was expected to falter, but under Ferguson's guardianship Manchester United have consistently finished strong in the Premier League and in Europe throughout Fergie's reign.

United are a club, Rooney is just a player and although his departure will be difficult to take, United's spirit and resilience always prospers. Whereas for Rooney, he seems set to secure a big money move away from Old Trafford which will no doubt prove lucrative for the Evertonian, but in my eyes the Nike advert he filmed before the World Cup captured a genuine image of where both his career and personal life is heading.

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