Disingenuous Rooney banking on fans’ support

What is a man to do? So many books to shill, so little time to do it. Good job, then, that an injured Wayne Rooney can dedicate time not to getting fit – by his own admission that’s never been a strength – but to selling his new tome, My Decade in the Premier League. And how better to achieve that goal than to feign a long-held love for his employers, or offer platitudes of regret for trying to engineer a move away? After all, there are Manchester United supporters customers followers who still buy into the man and myth; perhaps even the book. Priced at £12.99 from anything but a good book store.

Still, with Rooney celebrating a decade at the top there is no better arbitrary anniversary on which to tell the player’s ‘story’ once again. Not least, with United fans in mind, the tedious lie about the player’s commitment to the club – nearly two years on from October-gate when player and agent conspired to join Manchester City.

So, it was to the media that Rooney turned this week, and the player’s latest in a rather long line of ‘autobiographical’ titles released by Harper Collins. No surprise either that amid the tedium of trite clichés, and heinously bastardised tense, Rooney once again visits his October 2010 request to leave United.

Except Rooney’s book reduces the episode, which brought scorn from the terraces and a masterful press conference performance from Sir Alex Ferguson, to a mere three paragraphs of deliberately misleading prose.

“In September 2010 my ankle puts me on the sidelines,” says Rooney, in that odd use of the present tense in recalling the past that only appears in sports biographies.

“I get frustrated with myself, my game, my injury, and everything around me. I’m stuck in a cycle of bad form but I can’t get out of it. And that’s when I make the biggest mistake of my football career.

“In October, I release a statement which publicly questions my happiness at Old Trafford. Am I better off elsewhere? Everyone makes a fuss. There are discussions inside United to sort out the issue, people outside United chuck their opinions around, but the thing is, nobody really knows what’s going on in my life. None of them understand where I am in my career. They don’t know where my head’s at. The only person who really knows what’s going on in there is me, but even I’m not sure what I want.”

“Then the manager has his say. ‘Sometimes you look in a field and you see a cow and you think it’s a better cow than the one you have in your own field. And it never really works that way’. He’s saying the grass isn’t always greener, and he’s right. I like what’s in my field. I’m wrong. United want the same as me: trophies, success, to be the best.”

Except, of course, Rooney’s field was considerably greener for being fertilised by the new £200,000-per-week contract that precipitated the player’s about-face, and City’s transfer disappointment.

None of this is new of course. Rooney has now often spoken of his “mistake” in requesting a transfer during a four day stand-off, although in the pantheon of negotiating tactics, the Scouser’s principal public relations failure was in taking the issue to the media.

Still, two years on and Rooney spent the past week publicising his wares, appearing in print and broadcast press, while the Mirror serialised the player’s book. The striker is seemingly unaware of the damage caused to his United legacy – a player who never be more than another expensive import for whom United is a business and not a passion. Fans, save perhaps for the ‘follower’ community, have come to expect little else from the Premier League product.

Yet, it still grates when Rooney feigns contrition, or worse still, fatuously compares himself to those who have genuinely forgone greater wealth elsewhere to play for the club.

“Sometimes as a player you make bad choices and bad decisions, and I think that’s what happened,” Rooney told Sky Sports this week.

“I want to still be playing here in the next 10 years. You look at Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, how successful they have been. They are an example to us all. That is the idea, that is the plan, and hopefully that will be the case.

“I love playing for Manchester United and as long as I am wanted to play for this football club I will be here for a long time. It is a great football club and, let’s be honest, where else can you go from this football club? It is probably the biggest team in the world.”

Eight years on from the £27 million transfer that brought the player from Goodison Park to Manchester Rooney’s place at the club is less secure than it was during October-gate. Predictable rumours of a transfer away from Old Trafford spread when Sir Alex dropped the player for United’s home game against Fulham.

And although a departure this summer was never on the cards, there will be little surprise if United eventually cash in on a player whose star has probably peaked.

Indeed, Robin van Persie’s arrival at United, together with a genuine ‘number 10′ in Shinji Kagawa, has placed Rooney under more pressure to earn his spot in Ferguson’s team than ever before. Moreover, with the Scouser out of the side injured for at least another fortnight, it may be mid October before the player is at his sharpest. After all, Rooney is notoriously slow to develop fitness after frequent spells on the sidelines.

And it has been telling that Rooney’s media circus has been greeted not with affection this week, but a certain sense of cynicism from fans, especially those growing weary of inconsistent performances, and proclamations of affection.

Better for the player to declare his love of filthy lucre than United’s red shirt. After all, another day, another dollar has been the mantra this week. Just one more product to flog.

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Comments

  1. Crip says

    I think the article is a little harsh on Rooney.

    As a player I do have concerns about him, I don’t think he’s become the player he should have become when he moved to us.

    However I think it’s a little unfair to suggest he was angling for a move to Citeh, it’s a completely unsubstantiated suggestion.

    On one hand we have United fans that deride the current state of the club in terms of it’s ability to compete in the transfer market and then those same fans deride a player who dared to publicly question United’s ambitions in the market.

    Equally so it’s unfair to suggest the likes of Scholes and Giggs shunned moves for greater wealth to stay at United. Firstly Rooney is STILL at United so the point could equally apply to him and secondly Giggs and Scholes were part of the most successful club in the country, where in the world would they have moved too? Which moves exactly did they shun? Had United not been as successful and players of their quality stayed at United, only then could you make that point.

    • says

      Crip – it’s very well substantiated. Struggling to understand the rest of your point though – are you comparing Rooney to Scholes and Giggs? When it comes to contract negotiations? Seriously? Lost all credibility right there.

      This episode was certainly nothing to do with ambition. It was a negotiating tactic. Fair enough, but it also strips away Rooney’s credibility. If he’s doing it for the money, better he doesn’t feign contrition now while marketing a book.

      • Crip says

        Ed, feel free to share this substantiation that exists, conjecture and hearsay do not lend themselves to substantiation.

        Let’s assume for a moment Rooney wanted big money, it would be very reasonable to expect his agent to open a dialogue with other clubs for no other reason to establish a benchmark figure as to what Rooney should be earning. I’m not implying this is what happened, I don’t know what happened but I think we can agree that this is a possibility that could have existed.

        Such a case does not actually suggest he wanted to move to Citeh but even IF he considered the idea because he didn’t feel the club was either a) competitive enough in the transfer market or b) not paying him the going rate. What really is wrong with that scenario.

        In the end a or/and b were fulfilled and he stayed at the club. As far as credibility goes? What credibility? So long as he’s giving he’s all on the pitch and not disruptive influence within the club, that’s all I ask for from any United player.

        I personally love my job but I imagine I would love it a little less if I wasn’t paid what I thought I was worth. Why should Rooney be any different? He loves to play for United and they pay him accordingly. No contrition there.

        Did he handle the situation badly? Absolutely yes. But it’s done with and I don’t believe he has done anything since to suggest he’s committed to the club.

        In terms of a comparison to Scholes/Giggs, my point here is simply Giggs and Scholes a) had no reason to move – club was successful and competitive in the market b) neither player was as commercialised as Rooney, by this I mean both were of a more demure nature and had they any issues with club, they dealt with them privately. Though do note, Paul Scholes once refused to play for United, a mistake he’s not castigated for AT ALL. And neither should he. Can you imagine the furore if Rooney ever refused to play a game?

  2. says

    I too think the article a little harsh. Though I agree that it begs the question: why write this?

    In theory he is yet to reach the pinnacle of his career (I certainly hope he has not) so why would he be writing his autobiography now? I mean, other than the obvious reasons of making money.

    Athlete autobiographies are almost always ridiculous (and horribly written), but it seems even more so when written before the end of a career.

  3. Nutlaar says

    An unbelievable amount of cynicism, lack of respect and a lack of faith in the club’s 4th highest record goalscorer of all time; and a man who at the age of 26 has played a pivotal role in helping us win 4 league titles and a champions league trophy.

    Ridiculous article.

    • says

      Nutlaar – that’s a non sequitur. What have goals, trophies or records got to do with commentary on Rooney’s motivations for doing the media rounds this week? He’s not contrite; he’s flogging a book.

      • Nutlaar says

        Non sequitur? I disagree. I quote, “A player who never be more than another expensive import for whom United is a business and not a passion”. Really? So cynical. A player could not achieve such success without a passion for our club. Do you honestly believe this is just “business” for Wazza?? Surely you know more about the lad than that.

        “There will be little surprised if United eventually cash in on a player whose star has probably peaked”. I think this comment shows a distinct lack of faith in, and respect for, a player who has done wonders for our club, and long may he continue to do so.

        His game has changed since he burst onto the scene as a wonderfully fearless, explosive and raw teenage talent – but I assume you know enough about the beautiful game to understand that what this man brings to our team, is still phenomenal. Only the genius that is Paul Scholes can have a greater impact on our all round play.

        I really don’t understand how you can think his star has peaked, when last season he bagged his highest goal tally ever, and was the driving force behind us almost clinching title #20!

        Granted, I am not focusing on his ‘book flogging’, because frankly, I don’t give a shit. As long as he continues to contribute on the pitch with his outstanding talent to this great club we all love, it doesn’t really bother me. Surely we need to focus on what really matters.

        • says

          Nutlaar – you can be successful and not care in the same way fans do. Hence the comparison between Rooney and Scholes/Giggs. I don’t expect it from players, but it just turns Rooney into a cynical profiteer – pleading contrition, comparing himself to Scholes/Giggs while flogging a book.

          As for his peak – given his weight/smoking/drinking/lifestyle issues he’ll burn out early. Sure, he may play well into his 30s but I bet the sharpness goes early and he doesn’t score more than 30 again.

          • Nutlaar says

            I back him to score 30 plus again, on more than one occasion. However even if he doesn’t, he will still be incredibly influential in the success of this team in the near future.

            The proof will be in the pudding – pun fully intended.

  4. Herbie Simms says

    I disagree that Rooney is under pressure to earn his spot in Ferguson’s team. What pressure? He was the leading goalscorer last season. Do we have a trend here? Berbatov was the leading goal scorer when we won the EPL and then SAF bought in Wellbeck and told Berbatov he was useless. SAF has now bought in Van Persie. Is he now going to tell Rooney he is useless? Berbatov left because of what SAF said to him, are we to believe Rooney will follow? Rooney started the season not fully fit and over weight. Once he is back in shape, he will be back to his very best.
    But the big story today is SAF has gone to the USA to meet with Pepe Guardiola. Coming out of Manchester news and Spanish news, he is now first choice to replace SAF next summer. Has anyone being reading up on this news story? Rumours are this is SAF last season. Guardiola has said that he would be interested in the job at Man. United and that could be the reason why he turned down the job to manage Chelsea. But from inside sources, David Moyes was first choice but that was before Guardiola had quit as Barcelona manager. This story seems to be gaining momentum as other newspapers are now picking up on this news.

  5. Allan says

    A little? Very harsh I would say.
    Yes, Rooney has put a transfer request in 2010. Yes, he did some damage in the heart of United fans.
    But there’s no reason to revive this now the problem is solved. He regretted his behavior, was forgiven by Fergie and was by far our greatest player last season. In fact, it’s fair to say he carried our whole team forward, while Chicharito and Welbeck produced very little, and Berbatov was left behind.
    What really matters now is that he dedicates himself 120% on field, he STILL IS a World Class striker and he’s looking forward to grab the trophy back for us. And that we all can be sure he’s more than capable of it.

  6. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    Commenter said:
    “What really matters now is that he dedicates himself 120% on field…”

    I’d settle for 100%, but he can’t even show up for the first game of the season fit and rarin’ to go.

  7. marlon says

    Pretty sure Giggs had an offer from Juventus back when they were a force in Europe.

    On Rooney, what a dumb negotiating tactic, if that is what it was. Surely he wasn’t expecting to stay at the club after saying all that. I think he was trying to leave on a wave of sympathy over the Glazer’s strangling the club, with him playing the fellow victim. He’s still a key player for United (how long ’till RVP is injured?) though and this book is just continuing in his quest to get richer. He is protecting his brand image by trying to rebuild bridges with the fans. Lying mercenaries seem the norm in football today (amazing how much of a dick Suarez is to look bad alongside this lot) and Rooney is just another one in the crowd. He might be our best player to behave like such a dick in public though.

    Coincidentally, since his comments we’ve had two consecutive summers with a £40m net spend.

    • says

      Marlon – you’re right and I do wonder how much cause and affect there was. Mind you we can’t expect it again given the spend promised by Edward Woodward

  8. Machedinho says

    Come on Ed fella. Leave it already! Rather get behind the player. Sick of all the Rooney criticism and hate over the last few weeks. Ok some will never forgive him for what he and his agent did and to be honest it took me a while to get over it but the lad has been such an important player for us ever since he came to united. He’s an incredible player and IMO the best player we have. He made a mistake and has admitted it many times. Rooney is on the way to Achieving greatness at the club and I’m behind him all the way!

    • says

      Machedinho – what the fuck does “get behind the player” mean? I hear this kind of bollocks a lot. So what – let’s never question a player’s motives, ever. Because, you know, they’re unfucking touchable. Demi-gods. No gods. Perhaps I should be rimming Rooney instead. You know. Tongue fully up his rectum.

      But, hey you can “get behind the player” by going out and buying his ghost written book. He’d love that. Probably come round and thank you personally.

  9. Macca says

    I also feel the article is a little harsh. The player was asking questions that many fans were at the time (and some continue to do so) about the clubs ambitions and activity in the transfer market. Wayne Rooney is an Evertonian and makes no secret about that and I respect him for it, so i dont expect him to be emotionally attached to United like Neville, Scholes, Giggs, Welbeck all are/were. Do I expect him to love our club? No. But I do expect him to respect it and although the events of October 2010 showed a lack of respect to the club, he ended up staying, signing a new contract and performing brilliantly since. He apparently recognises he made a mistake, fair enough.Why he did it nobody actually knows but him – negotiating tactic, head turned by agent, actually didn’t believe we had ambitions, who knows? If he goes on to break goal scoring records at United and helps us to be successful that is all I expect from him. I wonder what the reaction would have been if it was Giggs/Scholes who came out and questioned the ambitions of the club?

    • says

      Macca – sure, he was “asking the questions that many fans were at the time” – but he stopped pretty quickly when he was offered two hundred grand a week. Flip flopped for cash. That’s integrity for you.

      • Macca says

        Maybe, but that’s the modern day footballer for you. And he turned down the offer originally didn’t he and then said he made a mistake and realised he’d made an error? I don’t know. But as fans we get strung up by all this ‘loyalty’ rubbish, when in truth all players have their heads turned when offered more money – Roy Keane said he was very close to signing for Juve, then was offered a better deal so stayed. It’s all the same.

  10. Macca says

    Also, regarding his book and the timing of it, I’m sure he signed a mega money 5 book deal back when he was a lad that were to be released throughout his career.

  11. Sam says

    Kind of a stupid topic really. No one apart from the people involved know what truly happened, Ferguson at the time said that a contract offer had already previously been laid down to Rooney which couldn’t be bettered by many elsewhere. Also, we don’t know whether he really regrets his decision to leave; you can view his comments cynically or you can believe them and be accused of being naive. Either way both sides of the arguments are pretty hollow as they have no basis on solid evidence, just a putting together of two and two. I’d rather sit on the fence, and sit in the solace of conceding that I just don’t know.

  12. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Time will tell.

    Most United fans are still a bit sore over his flirtations with leaving… but to be honest, some could see his reasoning… not the change of heart, when he was offered a new contract… but Rooney was actually asking some of the same questions many fans were asking about Uniteds lack of ambition in the transfer market… and I genuinely don’t think he would have joined City… I think any links with City were just rumours and agent tactics… if he left United, I think it would have been for Spain.

    Rooney is not Beckham… Beckham is regarded as thick, but he’s actually very savvy when it comes to money and playing the press… Rooney isn’t… he actually is thick as shit, and I believe took some very bad advice from an unscrupulous agent… the agent doesn’t give a shit about Rooney’s standing with the fans, just the end result… a fat new contract… Rooney is the one who’s got to live with the fallout.

    Anyway… it’s done… and now he’s airing it all out in a book… bah… nothing unexpected about that… they all do it, or would if they were worth it.

    Some will forgive, some won’t… but if he gets back to playing football like he can, and is still banging them in for us 5 years from now… he’ll be there or there about, passing Charltons goals record… for most, that will make him a legend at United, and this will all but be forgotten.

  13. Stevie D says

    The thing I don’t get, who would want to read a Wayne Rooney autobiography anyway? FFS, he’s 26, his life is already catalogued in the tabloids every week….what further insights could he possibly provide, other than cliched footballing phrases that are recycled over and over again??? Baffling.

    And to champion Ed’s cause, his use of his native tongue is just tragic.

    While I think there’s still life in the prematurely old-dog yet, he has a lot of work to do over the next 10 years if he wants to compare himself to Giggsy or Scholesy.

  14. Dean Jackson says

    Great article Ed. Remember the volley against Newcastle? Who doesn’t, he hit it like that because he was pi**ed off… what will bring that anger and passion back I wonder?

  15. Oliver Smith says

    Very harsh indeed. Do you have a pre release copy of his book you’ve already read or have you just leapt to all this conclusions of how he’s “reduced the whole transfer saga episodes to a mere three paragraphs” because the newspaper only serialised that amount to get you to buy the book and actually find out the entire story? Yes Rooney is currently overweight, not at his best and since we’re kicking him while he’s down – he’s injured, too, what a bastard! Come on mate, you are acting as if he’s stuffing himself with pies and chocolate sat in WH Smith flogging his book… His publishers sent in a portion of the text to be serialised and the newspapers have gone bananas with it because it’s Rooney. I fully expect outsiders, journalists and everybody else to harshly judge based on out of context excerpts they read from papers with no other stories to print during an international break, but not from our own “support”ers.

    • says

      Oliver – when you are reduced to putting the word supporters in quotation marks (and you really should be using a ‘ by the way) it sums up your position well. Get haughty if you like, but supporting United doesn’t mean unchecked sycophancy. In any case – nothing is out of context. The context is Rooney selling a book and Rooney pretending to be contrite in order to sell that book. He did interviews with BBC, Sky, MEN, radio and plenty of other print press this week – might have been better working off that blubber. And yes I get pre-release copies of most United books from the big publishers.

  16. Damian Garside says

    Agree with Alf on Rooney’s intellectual limitations and susceptibility to bad advice. But I do think that — as strongly suggested in an article in the Guardian, that his best days are gone and he is into a big and fast decline. But view this in the light of my lack of real love for him as a player — he is nowhere near my pantheon of United greats, unlike CR, for example. There is too much of a brute lad culture in him for him not to allow his huge potential as footballer and athlete to dissipate before its time. Very sad for us, but true, as we shall all see.

  17. Herbie Simms says

    SAF can also, in some games start with Van Persie and Hernandez or Van Persie and Henriquez up front with Rooney playing behind the strikers and Kagawa wide left midfield.
    In the last game, Wellbeck was completely lost on that left wing. Cleverley had a great game yesterday for England. Jones is now out for 8 weeks. I agree with most that the article is a waste of time.

  18. Gabagool says

    Wouldn’t phase me too much if we sold him next year to be honest, cash in and get a top CM and a hungry striker.
    I reckon his best days could be gone.

  19. Denton Davey says

    Damian Garside @ 7:57: “his best days are gone and he is into a big and fast decline.”

    I totally disagree with that assessment.

    I reckon that the signing of RVP, though, was SAF’s way of beginning the “evolution” of TheWayneBoy into a box-to-box midfielder. Sure, he’ll lack a certain discipline in his positional play but TheWayneBoy is not a technical player like, say, RVP or Andres Iniesta but his “compete level” is off-the-charts – like Gennaro Gattuso, Daniele De Rossi or Roy Keane.

    Like those guys, Rooney plays with a fire-in-his-belly that can’t be taught or coached – the guy is a “baller”. If he wasn’t a professional athlete – and, therefore, a mercenary – he’d probably play for free on the local park.

  20. says

    Ed, I apologise for my grammar – thanks for the correction. I didn’t mean to come across as one of those United supporters who just stuff their scarf in their ears, knock back a few pints and remain completely oblivious to any problem associated with the club – I admit Rooney is a bit of a numpty, but he’s been a superstar since he was a teenager; can you imagine what that does to your psychology and perception, not having a clue about the real world? It’s the duty of a manager to keep his head straight and wake him up, which Fergie did. Undoubtedly Rooney cannot compare himself to Giggs and Scholes but he can aspire. He claims he loves the club in these interviews and if you think it’s because he’s trying to sell a book then hey-ho, I’ll happily be the sycophantic and not the cynic here because I’m not complaining about hearing him say it. I just can’t imagine he’s sat at home playing the Playstation and eating Mars bars just giggling with excitement that he has a book coming out. I think all he’s thinking about is getting back to being Wayne Rooney so he can play with this new, improved side which is what that whole spat was about – yes he got an improved contract with the inflation of football out of it but was he not just expressing his desire (the wrong way, yes) for some big, influential signings which is what we all wanted after Ronaldo left? It’s easy to say it’s all about money when somebody gets an improved contract but I genuinely believe there was more to it than that. Having said all this – I thoroughly enjoy your podcasts, by the way!

  21. squigs says

    You’d think Rooney had written the book himself. It’s part of a series of five books and what would you have expected him to say. This isn’t Roy Keane. It’s a book no right minded United fan is going to buy and I couldn’t care about his pledges of loyalty nor from an incident two years ago. Rooney scored nearly 30 league goals last season and talk of demise is ridiculously premature. He will be straight back into the team when fit any talk otherwise is nonsense.

  22. j-diz says

    My two pence. Rooney has been shite for a long time, ever since Ronaldo left really.

    Sure, he banged in the goals the season after Ronnie left, but his all round play has steadily been getting worse (what the hell happened to his touch / dribbling?!), and the only reason he scored so many was Tony V putting it on a plate for him.

    The season Valencia broke his ankle, Rooney scores 11 – Tony comes back, and he’s back up to 27. Any half decent striker who plays as much as Rooney does in a United shirt would get a bucket load of goals, so the fact he has been scoring hides the extent of his decline to a lot of people.

    I’d like to think he could re-capture his old self, but to be honest I don’t think it’s coming back. Maybe a move into midfield would do him good. I hope so. But if not, we should get rid of him while someone will still pay top dollar for him. There are plenty of better options right now.

    Remember the days when people used to talk about him as the 3rd best player in the world? What a joke – he wasn’t then, and he’s not even in the top 100 based on his last year of football.

    Oh, and about the whole book / contract saga thing – he’s an unproffesional (fat) mercenary (city) with no class (false media contrition). I’ll happily ignore all that if he plays to his undoubted potential, mind.

  23. AnantaxAnantax says

    Article was harsh but somehow fully deserved at the same time

    But if he continues to be influential to United (big if) over next few years and help us win several more trophies then I am quite happy to forgive…

  24. Damian Garside says

    I do hope I am wrong in thinking that he cannot restore himself to the player he was until very recently. But there are signs that bumpy as he is, he can nevertheless, only be too well aware of. This is why he expressed what he did in the book, not because he is being insincere, but because he is worried and senses himself at something of a crossroads, and maybe, psychologically needs the United fans support in order to get himself on track mentally and physically (cutting out all those ‘lad’ indulgences like bevvies and,junk food etc that gave led to him being so unfit, out of touch and out of shape, carrying extra weight. New players have created new formations none of which he would immediately fit into, which involves him re-engineering himself a bit, which is tricky and he possibly feels anxiety about this. Denton is right: we need his fire-in-the-belly style but we need it perfectly integrated into a new kind of team mechanics, which as we know, is one that is moving away from the axiom of a team needing a solid spine of striker- central midfielder- central defenders. It’s not the case anymore that through passion and fircefulness he can just play and win games sort of single-handedly, as if he were playing in the park for the pure love of the game.

  25. dozer says

    Rooney, as it stands hasn’t really changed over the years, it’s just that the blinkered fans have been awoken – I’ve always maintained that he’s a bit of a hypocrite.
    He’s not different from most players, there’s nothing wrong in wanting more money; but why pretend to be a saint when it comes to these matters?
    Ronaldo on the other hand was more honest and (rightly) proud. Fans didn’t like Ronaldo too much but I have always preferred Ronaldo more than Rooney – he had always made it clear that he wanted to play in Spain, and he rightly requested for a transfer when he felt it was time. He stayed on for an other year and gave his all.
    Fans were frustrated that Ronaldo was dicking about with his vague responses when asked about a transfer but he was just being decent enough not to make any such events public.

    Sir Ryan Giggs? No no no. Sir Paul Scholes say.

  26. 19 and Counting says

    Perhaps Rooney will say something to pi$$ off SAF in his new book and that will be the end of his United career – it might be anyways. We’ve seen it all too often in the past that SAF is not to shy away from selling his most-prized assets if he feels the time is right. Having said that, maybe this is the kick up the arse that Rooney needs to get back his fitness and passion for the game and he will go on to lead us to more trophies. I hope he does just that, but I could also see him leaving in January.

    We just need to be prepared that there are big changes for our club coming soon. Whether Rooney stays or goes, we’re going to lose amazing servants to this club in Scholes and Giggsy in the summer with Rio and Evra likely to be leaving as well. I’m not worrying about losing Rooney but instead all of our young players who have so much to prove and may or may not come good. Welbeck, Cleverley, Jones, Smalling, Evans, Rafael, and DDG are the future of the club….and that scares the hell out of me!

  27. Macca says

    I find it astonishing at how many are so quick to write him off at 26 years old and on the back of his most productive goal scoring season. Would there be this discussion if we hadn’t signed RVP? I doubt it. I can’t wait for him to be fully fit again (which he should have been for everton but quite clearly wasnt and was rightly dropped) and start to forge a devastating partnership with Robin. In terms of a decline in his ability, the lad has been playin week in week out since the age of 16 at the very highest level so I doubt he will go on until he’s 36/37, but he’s stayed clear, up to now, of muscle tears etc so I don’t see his body giving up on him any time soon. As for him turning into a central midfielder – I’m not so sure that will happen, I can see him growing into a shearer type player as he ages into his 30s.

  28. Biscuitbarrell says

    Great article. Why anyone would think Rooney’s motives were anything other than mercenary is beyond me. He cynically played on the disquiet about transfer spending to engineer a pay rise. He’s got zero respect for the shirt, and anyone who’s prepared to pay 12.99 for his rewriting of history, is a fool soon parted from their money.

    Renegotiate your contract – fine. Threaten to take your services elsewhere – no problem, that’s the modern world. Just don’t try and sell this love for the club bullshit. Don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining.

    The article isn’t harsh enough. The guy’s a disgrace.

  29. BiscuitBarrell says

    And he’s totally peaked. He’ll probably pull on the shirt in midfield for another 5 years but that’s a reflection of life under the Glazers rather than a player in his prime.

  30. Stevie D says

    I’m not one of the Reds who thinks Rooney is over the hill. However, I don’t think he’s played consistently well since he got injured against Bayern Munich in 2010. Yes, he scored a lot of goals last season, but I think the goals disguised his performances to a certain extent.
    It will be a challenging season for Rooney with the arrival of Kagawa and RVP, but one that will hopefully reinvigorate him.
    Hopefully his spell on the sidelines, coupled with a bit of envy at RVP stealing all the glory, will light a fire under his arse.

  31. gerry says

    the question is what i would like to know. what is he doing writing an auto biography know for. its unusall for to do it before you finish your carear . look what happened to stam after his book came out. was gone that summer . and if rvp keeps scoring is fergie going to drop him i dont think so . i think rooney would not like sitting on the bench as no plyer would. this could be another berbatov senario . . plus rooney scores in blocks . yes he has scored 30 od goals this past 2 seasons but he will not be on the pitch if hes not perform to fergies standerds .

  32. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Commenter said:
    Great article. Why anyone would think Rooney’s motives were anything other than mercenary is beyond me. He cynically played on the disquiet about transfer spending to engineer a pay rise. He’s got zero respect for the shirt, and anyone who’s prepared to pay 12.99 for his rewriting of history, is a fool soon parted from their money.

    Renegotiate your contract – fine. Threaten to take your services elsewhere – no problem, that’s the modern world. Just don’t try and sell this love for the club bullshit. Don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining.

    The article isn’t harsh enough. The guy’s a disgrace.

    Yeah, cause you would never do such a thing, would you?

  33. Sidsidney says

    squigs said:
    You’d think Rooney had written the book himself. It’s part of a series of five books and what would you have expected him to say. This isn’t Roy Keane. It’s a book no right minded United fan is going to buy and I couldn’t care about his pledges of loyalty nor from an incident two years ago. Rooney scored nearly 30 league goals last season and talk of demise is ridiculously premature. He will be straight back into the team when fit any talk otherwise is nonsense.

    He won’t walk back into the first team. He was dropped remember – for the third time in about as many months. And not while Kagawa and Van Persie are providing us with more (and are able to trap the ball and find a red shirt).
    We need assurances from him that he can become the top player he was, otherwise his shitness simply doesn’t match our ambitions.

  34. BiscuitBarrell says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Exactly…

    I’m making a judgement based on his actions and what he’s said in the public domain. All facts readily available, confirmed via a number of media sources. There’s a clear disconnect between what he says and what he does.

    I wouldn’t do the same in his circumstances, but you’ll just have to take my word for that. The difference is you haven’t got any evidence to the contrary, in Rooney’s case there’s plenty.

    Following your shit argument to it’s natural end, none of us can have an opinion on anyone else’s actions, because we don’t know exactly what’s in their heads. Given your obvious predilection for an opinion or two, you’ve a strange attitude to free speech.

  35. Sidsidney says

    Welbeck is only starting because Nani is in wanker mode. That won’t last. Nani will soon get back into the team.
    Welbeck is in miles better form than Rooney n all. He can pass the ball to a red shirt and all sorts.

  36. Herbie Simms says

    As others have said, if Rooney can back into top shape and raise his game, he’s good to go. But as you can see, we not only have Van Persie but we now have Angelo Henriquez and if he is as good as what the people are saying, Rooney could very well find himself playing in a role behind the strikers or being used as a super sub. I understand that we are also looking at another striker from South America, another 18 year old, so Rooney really needs to get it together. But the fact remains, Rooney was the leading goal scorer last season even if he did not play that well, the fact remains he put the ball in back of the net. Competition is good though and its what Rooney and others need to raise their game,

  37. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    BiscuitBarrell said:
    I’m making a judgement based on his actions and what he’s said in the public domain. All facts readily available, confirmed via a number of media sources. There’s a clear disconnect between what he says and what he does.
    I wouldn’t do the same in his circumstances, but you’ll just have to take my word for that. The difference is you haven’t got any evidence to the contrary, in Rooney’s case there’s plenty.
    Following your shit argument to it’s natural end, none of us can have an opinion on anyone else’s actions, because we don’t know exactly what’s in their heads. Given your obvious predilection for an opinion or two, you’ve a strange attitude to free speech.

    My “shit argument”?
    Your “shit argument”, makes it sound like like Rooney is unique at being a self serving cunt… he’s no different than 99% of all footballers, except that when he’s on form, he’s better than 99% of them… quit being so fuckin self righteous and leave him alone… the season’s just started and he’s not match fit yet… big deal… if he doesn’t sort himself out, and can’t get back into the team in a few months then fair enough… but you’re a bit too quick to condemn him to the shit house for my liking.
    Nowt wrong with an “opinion or two”… but what makes yours above criticism?… especially if it’s claiming our best player is a “disgrace”…
    By the way… you’re right, I don’t know you… but right now you’re coming across a little bit precious… don’t you think?

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  38. BiscuitBarrell says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    My “shit argument”?

    Your “shit argument”, makes it sound like like Rooney is unique at being a self serving cunt… he’s no different than 99% of all footballers, except that when he’s on form, he’s better than 99% of them… quit being so fuckin self righteous and leave him alone… the season’s just started and he’s not match fit yet… big deal… if he doesn’t sort himself out, and can’t get back into the team in a few months then fair enough… but you’re a bit too quick to condemn him to the shit house for my liking.

    Nowt wrong with an “opinion or two”… but what makes yours above criticism?… especially if it’s claiming our best player is a “disgrace”…

    By the way… you’re right, I don’t know you… but right now you’re coming across a little bit precious… don’t you think?

    Where have I said he’s unique? Just point that paragraph out please.

    Name me the hundreds of players you know of, that have released their autobiographies, commenting on their contract renegotiations. You’ll struggle to name 10. Even if they all did, does that make it right?

    You’re not averse to making moral pronouncements on various topics, including the Glazers etc. Yet you’re willing to accept standards of behaviour from Rooney that I wouldn’t accept from a 5 year old. Why? Because he’s good at football, and he happens to play for your team. If you can’t see the inconsistency and hypocrisy in that, I can’t explain it in more simple terms for you.

    What has his behaviour and statements got to do with him being our best player? I’m not precious as you suggest, I just expect you to justify your posts and implied criticisms of others (including myself). In my opinion you haven’t.

    Your argument
    1) Rooney is a good footballer
    2) Other people are also not very nice sometimes.
    3) He plays for united, don’t you know
    4) Err. That’s it.
    Therefore he’s above criticism for the way he conducts himself? At least make an effort to justify your defense of him.

  39. Macca says

    All he’s bought up in his autobiography is how he made a massive mistake which he regrets doing.

    Now he might be talking shite, saying the right thing etc etc. but what if he isn’t? What if he’s being genuine?

    What will he have to do to win you back over?

  40. BiscuitBarrell says

    Commenter said:
    All he’s bought up in his autobiography is how he made a massive mistake which he regrets doing.

    Now he might be talking shite, saying the right thing etc etc. but what if he isn’t? What if he’s being genuine?

    What will he have to do to win you back over?

    I’m all for understanding and forgiveness. If this explanation had been published when he’d actually made the “transfer criticism” , it might carry a bit of credibility. It just happens it’s come out when he’s got a book to sell, strange coincidence.

    Also if he’d acknowledged the fact that as a direct result of this affair he received a pay rise to £250k per week, from approx 90k per week, without any increased transfer spending at that time (apparently the main reason for his dissatisfaction). The excepts seem to strangely gloss over that fact.

    Finally it might help if it wasn’t well known by pretty much everyone inside the M60 that Stretford was in discussions with City at that time – whether that was a threat or a genuine consideration we’ll never know.

    In short, talk is cheap. If you chose to believe his version, good luck to you, the world needs optimists.

  41. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    “Your argument
    1) Rooney is a good footballer
    2) Other people are also not very nice sometimes.
    3) He plays for united, don’t you know
    4) Err. That’s it.”

    Yeah, that’s about it… not good enough for you I take it?

    I guess your standards of morality are just too high for us heathens.

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