Well, well, well. What a very interesting past few days at Old Trafford. Monday morning rumours start doing the round that Manchester United’s talisman Wayne Rooney has “no intention” of signing a new contract.
By Friday morning, Rooney has penned a 5 year deal making him the best paid player in United’s history…..Football is a funny old game. It’s a cliche, an old adage that really does no justice to the ins, outs and happenings in the crazy world that is modern day football. These days that phrase has just as much value off the field as well as on it and there is no clearer proof of that than these past 5 days.
We’ve had plenty of transfer sagas regarding United in the past; the furore over Roy Keane when he could have left on a Bosman, Tevez’s loan possibly becoming permanent but in fact never coming to fruition and of course the will he-won’t he over Cristiano Ronaldo’s drawn out transfer to Real Madrid, but nothing comes close to the latest affair regarding Wayne Rooney (pun intended).
On Tuesday, the whole world was witness to the most open, honest and emotional press conference ever given by Sir Alex Ferguson. He looked to have tears in his eyes as he confirmed the rumours of Monday saying that Wayne Rooney wanted to leave Old Trafford. Everyone was flabbergasted, not least Ferguson himself whose obvious experience at the behaviour of a player he sees as a son saw him close to an emotional breakdown. He, like the rest of the world, were just thinking ‘Why, Wayne, why? Why would you want to leave the biggest club in England and possibly the World?’. It made no sense to anyone….unless, it was just for money? Unless Rooney, like every other modern day sportsman, was only in it for the cash and he had had his head turned by promises of riches elsewhere…possibly across town at Eastlands alongside Carlos Tevez? Could it be true? It certainly looked that way to the open-mouthed spectators.
Wayne Rooney himself had little to say apart from a statement, obviously written by his agent, saying he had ambition and didn’t see United as wanting the same thing as him. He wanted guarantees that United would continue to attract the best players in the World and apparently he never got these guarantees…hence he wanted out. Understandable to some, unforgivable to many more. In one statement intended to justify himself and make him seem a victim, he had in fact just nailed the final coffin with most fans and also with his team-mates, basically telling them that they weren’t good enough to win things.
That was that, Wayne Rooney, the boy wonder, the White Pele, thought that United were possibly heading into decline and he wanted to jump ship to another club where he could win trophies and, more importantly, earn far more than he’d earn at United. Managers from Ian Holloway to Roy Keane to Steve Bruce were gobsmacked….”What are you thinking?” was the general consensus. Holloway even endeared himself to United fans with his wonderful outburst about the problems with modern day football.
So what next? A meeting between the players representatives, David Gill, Sir Alex and the Glazers was called for…obviously for an official transfer request and the opportunity to finally “put this to bed” in the words of Ferguson. Rooney’s going to City was the general view, with certain commentators also mentioning the possibility of Real Madrid and maybe even Chelsea.
Fans and journalists alike waited with baited breath for a statement…and we got on Friday morning. Wyane Rooney has signed a five-year contract with Manchester United.
“What the hell is going here??”, was the outcry. Most fans had already turned their back on Rooney, some had even gone to his house threatening his life should he follow Tevez to Manchester City and now all of a sudden Rooney was a red again, and would be for at least the next five years.
Where does all this leave us? Some things are certain:
1. Modern-day footballers are puppets for their agents who claim the player’s best interests but in fact just want as much money as possible.
2. Footballers these days are apparently allowed to question the direction and management of a club, even such a huge club as Manchester United.
3. Ian Holloway really cares about football and is a top bloke.
The main thing that we can take from all this is that when it comes down to it, no-one on this planet of ours comes close to Sir Alex Ferguson when it comes to management. He had done the impossible and got Wayne Rooney to do a 180° about-turn and at the same time managed to get the whole footballing world on his side…who’d have thought he could ever do that?
We should probably have seen this coming though. Why? Because the two most likeliest managers to buy Rooney, Roberto Mancini and José Mourinho, both said that Rooney would finish by signing a new contract. They were right….
But what does this mean for Wayne Rooney the player and his legacy at Old Trafford?? Most fans will find it very difficult to forgive him and it could be a while before we hear “the White Pele” being sung at Old Trafford again. The boy who could have become a legend has a lot of work on his hands to save his image with the fans who have idolised him for 6 years now. He has promised to win these fans over…..here’s hoping he does so.
Written by forum member dualtamac