Declining Rooney an asset to realise

Rooney West Ham United

It is difficult to accept but the current Manchester United side is simply not good enough to impose its style on other teams. No shame in that though – only one team in the world, Barcelona, is capable of doing that. So broadly speaking, Sir Alex Ferguson faces two options: maximising the team’s attacking potential […]

The sacrifice: Wayne Rooney’s European Journey

Wayne Rooney

In the build up to Wednesday’s 1-1 draw between Real Madrid and Manchester United, the Madrid-based paper Marca depicted Wayne Rooney as ‘El Coco’ – the bogeyman. This was widely misreported in the British press as an insult, where it really acknowledged the city’s fear of the Rooney’s ability. Madridistas might, therefore, have felt a […]

Striking comforts in a burden shared

Javier Hernandez

There is a temptation in familiarity; to paint large brush strokes, to pigeon-hole, to find a box of mutual convenience. This is true of football, a sport in which punditry of the vanilla so dominates; perhaps more so than in any other mass cultural event. In this there can be no surprise that Manchester United’s […]

Rooney seeks to emulate King Eric’s inspiration

Wayne Rooney

For those Reds able to tolerate the international game – there are, Rant is told, a few – Wayne Rooney’s England début may still be remembered as the sparkling entrance of a 17-year-old wunderkind. Nearly a decade on from that substitute appearance against Australia at Upton Park, Rooney has become a senior member of Roy […]

van Persie ‘on the way’ to United super-stardom

Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney

“I think I’m on the way,” said an understated Robin van Persie after the striker bagged his sixth and seventh goals in a Manchester United against Romanians CFR Cluj on Tuesday night. Indeed, such has been the Dutchman’s immediate impact since a £24 million transfer from Arsenal during the summer that neither player, nor club, could […]

Disingenuous Rooney banking on fans’ support

Wayne Rooney

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. […]

Three into two for Kagawa, RvP and Roo

Kagawa van Persie Rooney

There is more than one way to win a football match, it is often said, although at Manchester United leading from an attacking front has so often been the club’s purpose. Not always in recent times though, with manager Sir Alex Ferguson turning to more pragmatic ideals when, on occasion, faced with more limited resources […]

Welbeck told to hit 20 in fight for United place

Danny Welbeck

Danny Welbeck can barely have wished for a better first full campaign in Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad. Having returned from a year on loan at Sunderland the Longsight-born striker made 39 appearances for Manchester United last term, 27 of them starts, scoring 12 goals in all competitions. Now, Ferguson has set Welbeck a new task; […]

Reds suffer through familiar tournament fall-out

Wayne Rooney

It’s no so much that the English nation likes a scapegoat – although quite clearly it does – but that there’s  fundamental requirement to ignore the deep seated problems in the national game. In the 46 years since England won it’s only international tournament blame has been apportioned liberally after repeated, and frequently embarrassing tournament […]

Rooney banking on experience

Wayne Rooney

Reds are certainly talking a good game this week, with Sir Alex Ferguson, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs each espousing the value of experience. Now star striker Wayne Rooney has joined the fold, positioning himself as one of the old heads in Ferguson’s squad. Indeed, what Manchester United lacks in resources compared to Roberto Mancini’s […]