What if? Wayne Rooney had joined Manchester City in 2010

October 1, 2016 Tags: Reads 20 comments
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Picture the scene. Sir Alex Ferguson at his masterful best. Bracketed by journalists anticipating Manchester United’s October 2010 Champions League encounter with Bursaspor, the Scot feigned shock and disgust at Wayne Rooney’s overnight accusation that United, then 132-years-strong, 18-times English league champions, and three times kings of Europe, lacked the ambition to house Rooney’s talents. Ferguson was pitch-perfect in the rejoinder; Rooney’s agent, Paul Stretford, held firm that it was time to move on. Manchester City called with the big bucks Rooney had always craved. In the end the Reds bowed to Rooney’s demands and the former Evertonian was awarded the first of two massive contracts in the past six years. But what if the Scouser had moved on…

… what if instead of acquiescing to Rooney, United had instead accepted a City bid and Ferguson had trained his sights on alternative striking options?

From: paul@triplessportsentertainment.com
Date: 18 October 2010
To: wazza.roon@gmail.com
Subject: re re re fw: contract
Attachments: no_ambition.doc

I’ll be issuing the attached PR tomorrow. You are shocked at club’s lack of ambition. Will play well with anti-Glazer crowd. Gill’s weak. Sheihk’s still in.


19 October 2010
Press Conference, Europa Suite, Old Trafford, Manchester

Ferguson: “We’re bemused because we can’t understand why he would want to leave a club this successful. We don’t understand it. The player is adamant. He says he wants to leave.

“I had a meeting with the boy. I said to him, ‘Just remember one thing: respect this club.’ I don’t want any nonsense from you. What we’re seeing now in the media is disappointing because we’ve done everything we can for Wayne Rooney.

“That’s Manchester United. This is a club which bases all its history and its tradition on the loyalty and trust between managers and players and the club. Wayne’s been a beneficiary.”

Sir Alex Ferguson

From: wazza.roon@gmail.com
Date: 19 October 2010
To: paul@triplessportsentertainment.com
Subject: re re re fw: contract

worried abt these men outside house. Wereing black. Scared Coleen. Worse than toxteth she said.


From: paul@triplessportsentertainment.com
Date: 19 October 2010
To: wazza.roon@gmail.com
Subject: re re re fw: contract

Chill bout MIB. At least they hve jobs. Security under control. If calls, remember answer: shocked abt club’s lack of ambition.

20 October 2010
Sir Alex Ferguson’s office, Carrington, Manchester

David Gill: “Mr. Stretford. Let me start by reiterating the deal. We want your client to stay at this club and to reinforce that point, we are offering the largest contract that this club has ever put forward. Five years, more than £80 million, plus the bonuses and media rights that we have already discussed.”

Paul Stretford: “Yeah, ok ok, but what about the treatment. You covering the treatment, yeah?”

DG: “Yes, as discussed, we are prepared to cover in full, your client’s hair replacement therapy at Harley Street Hair Clinic.”

PS: “City offered some Dr. in Dubai. Genius they say. Could put the hair back on a balding camel.”

DG: “As discussed, we are prepared to cover the treatment in full. At the clinic of your client’s choosing.”

PS: “What about Messi? We heard yoose was signing the midget. You promised that Wazza’s the top.”

DG: “Sir, as discussed, your client will receive contractual playing obligations commensurate to his status, per paragraph 4.1.22 of the contract. He’ll remain ‘the top’”

Ed Woodward: “Boss, can I get you some tea, PG Tips? They say There’s no other tea to beat PG. It’s the taste! Mr. Potato crisps?”

From: david.gill@manutd.com
Date: 21 October 2010
To: woodie@manutd.com
Subject: Rooney

Ed, yesterday a disaster. We served the PG Tips, not the Waitrose Select. I know we have the contract in place, but the quality reeks of cheap Liverpool brothel. More like Martin’s thing. Ongoing contract negotiations not productive. Should prepare to sell. Mansour good on the £50 million. What strikers are indexing well in Asian media markets if we need a replacement in the New Year?


From: david.gill@manutd.com
Date: 18 December 2010
To: jesus.gil@atleti.es
Subject: re re fw re re [SPAM]: KA/transfer/final

Senior Gil,

Per the agreed settlement, the fee in respect of Mr. Aguero’s transfer will total €55 million. I will leave the particulars on the FIFA documentation with my colleagues.

David Gill

2 January 2011
Press Conference, Europa Suite, Old Trafford, Manchester

Neil Custis, The Sun: “Two months ago you urged Wayne Rooney to stay. You said the grass was greener at Old Trafford. What’s changed?”

Sir Alex Ferguson: “I’ve always said, if a player nae wants to stay, then he can go. Get rid. No question about that. I nae wannae talk about Wayne. I’m here tae talk about Kun.”

Danny Taylor, The Guardian: “Some people are saying this is a sign of weakness. You’ve lost one of the best English strikers, signed an unproven quantity as his replacement, at least in Premier League terms.”

SAF: “Yoose are fecking eejits. Kun’s a fecking great player.”

Ferguson, apoplectic, launches into a rage, sending the assembled tape recorders flying across the room. Paul Ansorge, Bleacher Report, stares vacantly into the distance.

Ferguson: “Now yoose have made me lose mae temper. Well done.”

Fantasy all, of course, but delicious food for thought. Almost six years on, what if this week’s United headlines were dominated not by Rooney’s relegation to José Mourinho’s bench, but another Javier Hernández tap-in, an inconsistent Karim Benzema performance, or a Sergio Aguero injury? All potential scenarios at Old Trafford.

After all, while Rooney’s entourage infamously upped the rhetoric before United’s game against Bursaspor in October 2010, it was not always certain that the Reds’ hierarchy would cave. Paul Stretford’s tactics in making public Rooney’s supposed misgivings worked, but had Ferguson not been so keen to retain the striker, or the Glazer family less willing to break through United’s wage ceiling, the end-game could have been different. Not for the last time, Rooney negotiated from a position of strength.

City certainly believed a deal was on the cards, but ended up as just another club also taken along for Rooney’s ride. Not that the player’s about face had negative consequences for the Blues. Had the Scouser arrived, for what would have been a bumper fee in January 2011, City might not have splashed out on Aguero in July. The Argentinian might not have fired that last-minute goal the following May, and Ferguson might have reached 20 titles a season earlier than he eventually did. Ifs and buts…

Rooney finished the 2010/11 campaign with 16 goals in all competitions. It was a season disrupted both by injury as well as the contract dispute. He spent some of the season escaping media and, to some extent, supporter ire. It took months for the Scouser to apologise.

He got 34 in the following campaign, but it has proven to be Rooney’s last decent season for the club. It was also the campaign in which Ferguson appeared to decide that enough was enough, despite the impressive goal haul. That summer the Scot persuaded his paymasters to part with one final gift – £24 million to sign Arsenal’s Robin van Persie. It was a move that subjugated Rooney to a subservient role; relegated to a deeper position on the pitch and to a lesser role in the team. The ego couldn’t take it.

By the time Van Persie wrapped up United’s 20th English league title, Ferguson had already been convinced that Rooney’s fate lay outside the club, whether the Scot remain at Old Trafford or, as it turned out, not. Three years after Rooney held United to ransom, Ferguson turned the screw on the striker’s United career – first dropping Rooney in favour of Danny Welbeck at Real Madrid and by the Spring the pair were openly at loggerheads.

According to Ferguson Rooney “wanted away” for the second time in his United career. Retirement beckoned for the Scot, and instead of a transfer, there was another new contract for Rooney, forced through by a desperate David Moyes. What might have been…

Jose Mourinho

1 July 2013
Interview, Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea TV: “You’re here with new signing Wayne Rooney. He played in a few positions for Man U last season. Where will he fit into your team?”

Jose Mourinho: “Maybe he’s not a striker any more. Maybe he is not a No 9 anymore but he will never, with me, be a No.6. He will never be 50 metres from the goal. For me he will be a No 9 or a No 10 or a nine-and-a-half, but with me he will never be a No 6 or even a No 8…”


NazManUnited - October 1, 2016 Reply

Fans would of been bitter for 3 years, but then we could of enjoyed laughing at Rooney’s rapid, rapid, rapid decline. Shocking

NazManUnited - October 1, 2016 Reply

I’ve spent the last three years pulling my hairs out! Sir Alex stole his batteries when he retired.

yana - October 1, 2016 Reply

I think if Rooney doesn’t perform , he should be dropped and sold in January window

Phobos Tacoman - October 1, 2016 Reply

What if?!?!? Or if he joined Chelsea in 2012. #Mercenary Let him piss off to the MLS retirement home. #FriendOfTheRantCast

Phobos Tacoman - October 1, 2016 Reply

Good bloody riddance! #FriendOfTheRantCast #Pogbooooom

Phobos Tacoman - October 1, 2016 Reply

He should’ve been jettisoned in summer 2013! SAF was right about that chancer! #RooneyOut #JoseOut #FriendOfTheRantCast

Alex Riesel - October 1, 2016 Reply

Do you think Wayne Rooney isn’t quite as good anymore then?

Ruben Salinas - October 1, 2016 Reply

Never !!

Ramnik Dhar - October 1, 2016 Reply

Well looking back it would have been excellent had he left. Fergie would have definitely bought someone with genuine pace to run beyond Berbatpv who I must say was a much better player than Wazza.

Denton Davey - October 1, 2016 Reply

SAF already had Chicharito – a goal-scorer with “genuine pace” and fabulous instincts – to run beyond Dimmy. The guy was absolutely wasted – so was KagawaBunga, who would have been an excellent #10.

Ramnik Dhar - October 2, 2016 Reply

Yeah but chicharito was never good enough to play for united consistently. He was a good goalscorer but his link up play was just not good enough.

James Acaster Dunn - October 1, 2016 Reply

…And we should have broke the bank for tevez instead, ability wise he is near the player everyone pretended Rooney was, which is actually the root cause of the ‘Rooney dillusion’. If you pretend he is a silky ’10’ from the off because he is a forward who comes deep (and your brain only knows that as a playmaker) then when do you stop pretending, to therefore alter your opinion, if your ego rather than your eyes has seen it?

Denton Davey - October 1, 2016 Reply

Carlitos had passion and a good nose for goal BUT he was very, very, very high-maintenance.

James - October 1, 2016 Reply

And we should have broke the bank for tevez instead, ability wise he is near the player everyone pretended Rooney was, which is actually the root cause of the ‘Rooney dillusion’. If you pretend he is a silky ’10’ from the off because he is a forward who comes deep (and your brain only knows that as a playmaker) then when do you stop pretending, to therefore alter your opinion, if your ego rather than your eyes has seen it?

Paul - October 1, 2016 Reply


Denton Davey - October 1, 2016 Reply

“Ifs and buts”

Sure, but great reading.

Maybe a team with KagawaBunga and Chicharito and DannyTheLad would have been better.

Maybe a team with Kun and KagawaBunga and Chicharito and DannyTheLad would have been better.

But, surely a team without TheWayneBoy, couldn’t have been worse over the past three seasons.

Some other “Ifs and buts”

SAF got most things right – BUT he left before jettisoning TheWayneBoy and then he gave the job to TheMoyessiah, who proceeded to fuck things up royally.

Then, so it is alleged the three un-wise men (SAF, Sir Bobby, and David Gill) compounded that disaster by hiring LvG.

So, if UTD had signed Jo$e in 2013 – which really was a no-brainer to all except “three un-wise men” – the Moyes/LvG disasters might have been averted.

“Ifs and buts”

subterranean steve - October 1, 2016 Reply

The lack, in 2013, of any coherent strategy to deal with the aftermath following the retirement of Sir Alex condemned us to period of weakness, uncertainty and instability. Where Wayne’s World clashed with A Game Of Thrones.

Payam M - October 1, 2016 Reply

only if… They wouldn’t have gotten Agüero and all would have been great…

nick ashton - October 1, 2016 Reply

they would of got 1 good season out of him then paid him 10 million quid for 4 years of shit! Hang on a minute I’ve heard this 1

tourettes at the KOB - October 2, 2016 Reply

Rooney should be sold in January, for what ever we can get for a very average player, and spend his ridiculous wages on a couple of players who will be fit to wear the shirt

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