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Ambition key to Rooney revolt

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Dan Roan | 07:38 UK time, Wednesday, 20 October 2010

"The manager will answer questions about the Bursaspor game and then deal with the Wayne issue at the end," said Karen, the club's press officer.

So now we knew. There would be no evasion. No blackout. No swerving the issue. Sir Alex would be addressing matters head on.

An expectant hush fell over the massed ranks of journalists, photographers and film crews crammed into the Europa Suite at Old Trafford. Pre-match press conferences ahead of Champions League group games increasingly have an air of the routine about them but not this one.

After 10 minutes of obedient, almost token queries about the qualities of the Turkish visitors and United's recent defensive lapses, John O'Shea was sent out of the room and Sir Alex was left alone to speak.

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As well as attending many Manchester United press conferences in recent years, two seasons ago I had the privilege of interviewing Ferguson on a one-to-one basis immediately before and after Premier League matches.

At the time, United were locked in a title race with arch rivals Liverpool and the pressure was on the manager. But regardless of the result or the opposition, he was always firmly in control, forthright, self-assured, almost menacing in his certainty.

But on Tuesday I witnessed a Ferguson I had never seen before. Crestfallen, befuddled, exasperated, he took on the air of a heartbroken father, saddened and stunned by the wayward antics of a favourite son.

At one point, having abandoned the piece of paper from which he had initially intended to read, Sir Alex fell silent, apparently lost for words. He appeared close to tears. For the first time in his long reign at Old Trafford, the manager seemed to have no answer to the simple question: "Why?"

On the face of it, Ferguson's pain over Rooney's decision to leave is understandable. Perhaps more than any other player the Scot has coached, Rooney seems to be a man cut from the same cloth. A working-class warrior from the bleak streets of Croxteth, here was a naturally gifted, intensely motivated man, driven not by greed but by the sheer love of doing what comes so naturally - simply playing and scoring goals.

In wanting to leave, Rooney appears to betray those qualities, living up to the image of the modern professional footballer. And in doing so, he leaves his manager in shock.

For now, Ferguson's extraordinary press conference will ensure he claims the moral high ground in the eyes of United's fans - he is bound to receive rapturous applause before Wednesday's Champions League game with Bursaspor.

And yet, in reality - and Ferguson knows this - Rooney's decision is entirely consistent with the defining principle that he applies to his profession. Anyone who has ever witnessed the terrifying, selfless commitment with which he treats every training session knows above all that Rooney wants to win. To say this is just a mercenary, available to whichever club will offer the best deal in town, is too simplistic.

Rather, ambition more than avarice has dominated Rooney's thinking. Sure, Rooney and his advisers will be aware that less talented players like Yaya Toure are on more than double the Englishman's wages at Manchester City. While not being able to match such eye-watering amounts, it is clear United are prepared to offer Rooney significantly more than the £90,000 a week he currently enjoys. Yet he still wants to leave.

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Ferguson may lament the influence of agents like Paul Stretford and wage inflation. But, as far as Rooney is concerned, this misses the point. At 24, the striker knows his next long-term contract could be the last of his career and will have asked himself whether United, saddled with vast debt and soon to be without the guidance of their great manager, will be the dominant force going forward that they have been in recent years. It is my understanding Rooney has looked at the evidence and decided the answer is no.

Rooney's representatives first told United's chief executive David Gill of his reluctance to sign a new contract on 14 August. The reason it remained a secret was because, at that point, the player's departure from Old Trafford was still far from certain. If it had been, then, with two weeks of the transfer window still to go, would Rooney not have been sold there and then before his value dropped further?

Ferguson's disappointment at lurid allegations over the striker's private life was not the deal breaker that it could have been. Nor was Rooney's public contradiction of his manager's assessment of an ankle injury. Neither issue helped matters and made the breakdown in negotiations harder to salvage but they were not decisive, hence Ferguson's admission that "the door remains open".

Above all, Rooney is troubled by United's failure to replenish their squad. For years, Ferguson has forged great teams and then replaced them with others, always regenerating, developing, poaching, selling. But, with United having to service huge interest repayments and contending with £80m losses, that process has slowed.

At the end of last season, after losing in the Champions League quarter-finals and relinquishing the Premier League title to Chelsea, Rooney will have looked at Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville and wondered who the club would be bringing in to replace these great servants.

While all fine prospects, it is doubtful whether the arrival of Javier Hernandez, Chris Smalling and Bebe will have satisfied the striker. United appear just as reliant on their old guard as they did a year ago - and this will have proved decisive in Rooney's thinking.

Ambition brought Rooney to United in the first place. Ambition on the part of the player, who left the club he had followed as a boy. And ambition on the part of his manager, who recognised the innate genius of the stocky teenager and ruthlessly stole a prized asset Everton had nurtured and honed.

In little more than a year, Ferguson has been powerless to prevent the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, both players the manager admires. I understand nothing that Ferguson said on Tuesday has changed Rooney's mind. Soon he will be gone, too, and it will hurt the manager in a way he has not experienced before.

The pursuit of success still defines Ferguson but for United there are other considerations, other pressures at play. United are restricted in a way that the wealthier Manchester City are not. One senses that the balance of power is shifting both in English football and perhaps Manchester itself.

Great players have come and gone at Old Trafford in the past but Rooney's impending departure is different and starkly telling.

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    Isn't Rooney from Croxteth not Toxteth?
    Othrewise, pretty much spot on!

  • Comment number 2.

    Do players play badly when they believe they are no longer surrounded by quality? Do players play badly when they are not paid enough cash? Adebayor springs to mind but he is an exception.

    I don't believe this is true at all. When those stories were about to come out into the public domain Rooney's form dropped, his mind was heavy. For me he wants to escape the media attention, although staying in manchester is no way going to help that.

    Surely Rooney knows the situation at Manchester UTD financially, so the idea he gives up on them in a flash for lack of ambition does not add up at all.

  • Comment number 3.

    Wayne Rooney is from Croxteth, not Toxteth.

  • Comment number 4.

    Finally- it needed saying by someone in the media. Going to City may not be just about the cash- granted it is a MAJOR incentive but City are on the way up whilst United will soon (hopefully) be in freefall.

  • Comment number 5.

    "Sir Alex fell silent, apparently lost for words. He appeared close to tears"

    Are you for real? I've heard of journalists stretching the truth to get their point acros but this is ridiculous. You are just plainly making things up. Yes, Fergie was quiet, but was authoratative, well spoken and calm all the way through. Tell me one moment where he nearly cried?! Shoddy, shoddy journalism. You make McNulty look like a world class journo.

    And as for your assertion that this is based on ambition, perhaps you would like to enlighten us as to how you know this? Good mates with Rooney and Stretford? Thought not. This type of journalism belongs at the Sun. You're not at Sky or Setanta anymore, people who use the BBC generally appreciate facts.

    This is my first ever post, watch it get modded.....

    ps I'll drive Rooney to Eastlands myself. Class player, shoddy human.

  • Comment number 6.

    excellent blog.

  • Comment number 7.

    Manchester United have lost far better players than Rooney and survived and, judging on his current form, he will be no great loss anyway.

    A frontline of Hernandez and Berbatov is certainly dangerous and his departure could well mean United gel together as a team instead of relying on one player.

    For all his talent, Rooney has only ever broke the 20 goal mark - last season - and that is an unacceptable return for the considerable investment in transfer fees and wages. Even then, all the games came inside the penalty box (and quite a few penalties) and most were against the weaker sides, his four goals against Hull for example. A poacher for a side that creates as many chances as United do is always going to score, there is nothing unique about Rooney and he can be replaced by a younger, hungrier player, Hernandez in this case.

  • Comment number 8.

    agreed.

    MU is doing a small "Liverpool" right now especially financially. I would be glad if the PL banned leverage buyouts as it criples even the whealthiest football club on earth.

  • Comment number 9.

    There you go again... Rooney has NOT done well for the country he plays for. I am amazed that how he gets keeping idolized and praised for something he might not be. Purely media driven stories really. He is just a spoilt brat thats it. He thinks he can get away with anything he does just the private affair he had. Hats off to Fergie, he clearly shows that the CLUB comes first before ANYONE else.

    For gods sake, just stop this false Rooney praise and making a football legend out of him which he clearly is NOT.

  • Comment number 10.

    St_Hugh

    Rooney played out of posistion to accomodate Ronaldo for large periods of his United career. I doubt you have lost far better players than Rooney, I hate it when a player becomes useless just because he is leaving a club.....

  • Comment number 11.

    Why was Ferguson still bemused, and seemingly in shock, having known for two months that Rooney wanted to leave? Just goes to show you never know which SAF you are going to get in a press conference - looked like he was milking it for all it's worth to me...

  • Comment number 12.

    Finally, United getting some of their own medicine - when Rooney moved to United there wasn't much sympathy for David Moyes, or Everton who had nurtured his talent into the footballer he has become, yet now he wants to leave United Fergie is demanding sympathy for all the hard work he has put into him!

    Listening to Fergie yesterday was so ironic - you could have had an exact same interview with David Moyes in 2004 when Rooney decided he wanted to leave Everton - yet that was seen by many journalists as the obvious thing for Rooney to do.

    Take note football managers around the world - if you are prepared to 'steal' players from other clubs to further their 'ambitions' one day it may come back to bite you!

  • Comment number 13.

    You'll excuse me if I shed no tears for Ferguson or United. For nearly 20 years they have been using this method of taking settled players from other competitor clubs, thus ensuring continued success.
    I've said it before, the biter has been well and truly bit.
    Also, whilst I don't have much time for Wayne Rooney, who mostly seems to act as a spoilt little pre-teen brat, for Ferguson to paint him effectively as a traitorous ship-jumper does smack of fairly typical playground bullying.

  • Comment number 14.

    THE DOWN FALL OF MANCHESTER UNITED BEGINS

    im a liverpool fan but i personally think wayne rooney is a selfish ****
    if it wasnt for fergie and the club he wouldnt be the player he is now. but the possibility reason of rooney leaving could be of the future of the club. growing debts, retiring key players and manager. from next season onwards i think utd will only be challenging for a top four finish. and not add to there 18 titles for a while.

    if rooney leaves man utd will be the liverpool under gerard houllier.

    haha GOOD LUCK

  • Comment number 15.

    @7 the issue is not MU losing better players than Rooney but loosing a bunch of good players at the same period. whatever u say in 3 years they lose/lost Ronaldo, Tevez, Rooney, Scholes and Giggs. the whole attacking force.

    and what they gained? Berbatov, Hernandez?

    as far as I know they are not better than Rooney...

  • Comment number 16.

    Just thought I'd point out, Rooney is from Croxteth, not Toxteth.

  • Comment number 17.

    This is the best analysis by far that I have read: Dan has a perceptive understanding of the complexities of personal motivation that other commentators lack. I guess he read Classics at University!
    I should like to add that only United fans will believe that Ferguson has the moral high ground. Everton fans will see it differently and, in general, on the question of transfer fees, Ferguson has increasingly cut a rather desperate figure. Who could forget that he sent the market into freefall when he sold Ronaldo for 80m to Real, having said earlier with snorting contempt that he wouldn't sell that club a virus? Or denouncing current prices as "obscene" when he had himself spent countless millions on players over two decades - e.g.Ferdinand cost 30m in 2001(!), Berbatov a similar amount in 2008. Those who live by the sword, die by the sword. Didn't Rooney once say that the only subject he flourished in was Religious Studies?

  • Comment number 18.

    So Rooney himself told you all this? Naw I didn't think so, you are just putting yourself up as judge and jury on a team that lost the premiership by one result. ....

  • Comment number 19.

    The Times They Are a-Changin'

    Old Guard - Neville, Scholes & Giggs
    New Guard - Supposedly CR, Tevez & Rooney

    Fergie has lost the Plot.
    Will he have the Drive to rebuild?
    Without the resources or wherewithal to
    "forged great teams and then replaced them with others, always regenerating, developing, poaching, selling"

    The writing is on the wall for the devils as evidently by the results of their matches to-date against EPL opponents.

    The mystic is gone, the hype & myth will be dispelled with their only talismanic WC player left soon to jilt them.

  • Comment number 20.

    At 09:09am on 20 Oct 2010, Georgieboy69 wrote:

    "if rooney leaves man utd will be the liverpool under gerard houllier."

    Or the Liverpool under Benitez....or Souness....or Evans....or Hodgson....

  • Comment number 21.

    Absolute nonsense Dan, Rooney's decision is motivated by one thing and one thing only - greed. Last season United finished 1 point behind Chelsea, the margins were so tight that if the linesman had flagged Drogba offside at Old Trafford (when replays showed the striker to be 2 yards offside) or if the ref hadn't given the free kick from which Chelsea scored at Stamford Bridge (when Fletcher clearly won the ball) then United would have been champions. It's not like we finished 10 points back and were outclassed, indeed in the game at Stamford Bridge United were easily the better team. At Wembley this season, United played Chelsea off the park in winning the Community Shield 3-1. Manchester City finished 18 points behind United, 19 behind Chelsea. If you genuinely think that Rooney would sign for Manchester City from Manchester United because he thinks he will win more trophies, then I'm sorry Dan, but you're living in cloud cuckoo land. Greed, and greed only is the motivational factor.

  • Comment number 22.

    "A working-class warrior from the bleak streets of Toxteth"

    That may be the pompous journalists description, but I'm not sure too many working-class warriors wear gloves in September, October and April, when the temperature is between 10-15 degrees.

    Rooney has taken the first step to manhood by standing up to Ferguson; the pansy now needs to take the gloves off and start being a real man!!!

  • Comment number 23.

    #15 Don't forget Bebe!

  • Comment number 24.

    You also have to factor in that 6 years anywhere can become repetitive and boring, i think you credit Roo with too much intelligence, and he is being guided probably by whispers in the ear. Not everyone is like Giggs Scholes and Neville that stay with a club for life. I still wouldn't write off United this season...

  • Comment number 25.

    As always, nonsense in the media about this now being the end for United. The blog writer should do a bit of research to see how often new signings have been written off as poor imitations. They were 1 point from being 4 in a row winners!

    As for Rooney, a few months ago he's talking about emulating Scholes and Giggs, now he comes back and wants to leave mid august. Up to him, to paint this as anything other than searching for money though is just "well my complete guess is..." - calling yourself a sports correspondent doesn't change that

  • Comment number 26.

    @ 23 :-)

    btw: this blog is much better in the same topic as Phil Mcnulty's. Tank you Dan

  • Comment number 27.

    Rob Lee-

    Britain had an empire, Labour was New, France were in the final of the world cup 5 years ago.....

    Times change, Untied are falling, get over it.

    I can see a Blue Moon Rising..........

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    After all this and suddenly Ferguson becomes a gibbering wreck. Champions league finals.. "countless cup finals" as he put it.. and THIS is what rattles his cage? This news comes as no shock after the likes of Van Nistelrooy, Beckham and Christiano Ronaldo all left due to what seemed to be more than money requirements.

    He's quick to say that he's not had a "single argument" with the lad. I struggle to think anyone who's ever had a conversation with the Roon-dog could avoid that situation.

    Protest too much?

  • Comment number 30.

    Vincente

    The likes of Cantona, Tevez, Ronaldo and even Beckham were better players.

    If we are going to discuss defensively Stam and Schmeichel were also bigger losses, in my opinion.

    He hasn't left the club yet, so I consider your point that when a player leaves a club they become terrible to be irrelevant.

  • Comment number 31.

    Of course Dan this is all conjecture on your part, please don't try and pass this off as fact. unless you have quotes from Rooney saying all this its a little far fetched to think we will all just take your word for it. There is a glaring omission from this otherwise well written piece...

    "In my opinion"

    If you do have the inside track to Rooneys motives, then give us something tangible.

    I for one as a United fan am worried a little by this latest twist in the tale. I hope they do patch things up and he does stay. It may however, be too late I fear. If we are going to get rid of our talisman, I sincerely hope the response from United is to get some players in immediately. Whether cup tied for the Champo League or not. Otherwise there could be a lot of unhappy United fans, and that's a lot of unhappy fans, knocking on the Glazers door demanding explanations and some sort of action.

  • Comment number 32.

    I'm a Liverpool fan and I should be happy. But what is happening at the mancs is what happened over the last two years of Rafa's reign. He couldnt spend any money (whatever the pundits say) and Mr Ferguson is having a similar problem. So what you're suggesting Dan makes a lot of sense.

  • Comment number 33.

    "We're talking about money wise." [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    "But you'll know more about it than I do..."

    "With Wayne playing against England at Wembley."

    Good one sir Alex. Good one.

  • Comment number 34.

    Just a thought:

    Mr Ferguson says Rooney has an ankle problem.

    Rooney says no I dont.

    Mr Ferguson "Hey lad, give Rooney one in the ankle" "OK boss"

    Rooney now has an ankle injury.......

  • Comment number 35.

    Dan-I believe what you have written.Martin Samuels also wrote an interesting article in the Daily Mail this morning, saying that Rooney would be mad to go to City. I believe that Wayne Rooney will go to Real Madrid or maybe Chelsea.The writing has been on the wall ever since Ronaldo left.The demise of United is inevitable,Wayne Rooney and his advisors are just being perceptive.Roy Keane says players are just like a piece of meat to the club.The give away is when United play a club managed by an ex United player,however loyal that player was at the end of the game Sir Alex Fergusson does not even look them in the face as he gives them a perfuctory hand shake.

  • Comment number 36.

    34. At 09:26am on 20 Oct 2010, alseno wrote:
    -------------------------------

    i dont think anyone tackled him for the latest injury which he has now otherwise it would have been reported already who tackled him.

  • Comment number 37.

    Good blog if its true, but not sure it is. Anyway is Rooney going to go out in a blaze of glorious play like Ronaldo or just sulk for 6 months? that will be the test of his ambition and charactor. As for Fergie crying- do me a favour!

  • Comment number 38.

    Actually I think adding up his performances, Rooney is probably depressed and needs a psychologist... Fergie ain't the best at that.. I am interested to see how this season pans out!

  • Comment number 39.

    St_Hugh,

    guess you still do not understand that MU might have lost bigger players but was in a position to replace them with others. Now the replacements called Valencia, Bebe, Hernandez, Berbatov - not the same calibre.

  • Comment number 40.

    I hate all teams other than Villa. Would be nice to hear something from the BBC that doesn't involve Utd, Pool, City or Spurs once in a while.

    Lets hope he goes. Utd will struggle without him.

  • Comment number 41.

    @ #5

    "Sir Alex fell silent, apparently lost for words. He appeared close to tears"

    Are you for real? I've heard of journalists stretching the truth to get their point acros but this is ridiculous. You are just plainly making things up. Yes, Fergie was quiet, but was authoratative, well spoken and calm all the way through. Tell me one moment where he nearly cried?! Shoddy, shoddy journalism. You make McNulty look like a world class journo.

    And as for your assertion that this is based on ambition, perhaps you would like to enlighten us as to how you know this? Good mates with Rooney and Stretford? Thought not. This type of journalism belongs at the Sun. You're not at Sky or Setanta anymore, people who use the BBC generally appreciate facts.

    This is my first ever post, watch it get modded.....

    ps I'll drive Rooney to Eastlands myself. Class player, shoddy human.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hmm reeks of a United fan that knows the fall is coming.

    Now I dont support any top club so I have no bias whatsoever. Fergie was close to tears, you could see it on the close ups. Fact. Your kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

    I think Fergie came accross well, he did a great job. But he does for the first time in a while look bemused and unhappy with events at his beloved Old Trafford. I fully expect when Scholes and Giggsy decide its time, so will Sir Alex.

    Their is a change of gaurd happening in English football, and its about time some new clubs come to the front to challenge for top honours, for neutral fans its a blessing!

    Personally, I would think Rooney wants to go to Spain, I think the media will get hold of the City angle, but I would be shocked if he went. Rooney does have some class, and as a human it isnt about the money with him. I am convinced he will go to Spain. The Barcelona/Nike thing has some truth in it I believe.

    And boy oh boy I cannot for one, wait to see the lad in La Liga. The Spainish league is catching up with the Premiership in my eyes, I prefer watching the weekends coverage over EPL every week. Have done for the past 2 years.

    I think Rooney will go on to better things than at Old Trafford, more glory awaits. One final point, I would not rule out old Arry' wanting a scalp like this one. What finer way to show ambition as to spend 50-70 mill on a world class player!? Dont rule out investment for this to go to through.

    Still Barcelona would be my bet. Last time I checked it was 6/1!!

  • Comment number 42.

    Another blog rehashing the same points again and again. But the "experts" should keep a single point in mind....Ronaldo was not a superstar when he came to United...he was seen as a POTENTIAL superstar and so is the case with Hernandez. And all the talk about Nani...he has been one of the most consistent players in the league for nearly a year. About United not spending money...i wonder whether you people do any research before writing a blog. United have spent money under Glazers...Berbatov, Nani, Anderson and even this summer over 20 million spent. Another fact you keep forgetting is that United were willing to spend on Benzema. Do you really believe he was worth 35 million? Should United upped that bid just to prove that they had the money?

  • Comment number 43.

    Thanks to all those that pointed out that Wayne Rooney is from Croxteth, not Toxteth. Amended.

  • Comment number 44.

    Rooney was 2009-2010 Barclay's Player of the Season.
    His AMBITION is to be the best paid BPL player with the best team with the potential to be surrounded by top WC players.
    Not at MU definitely & with an aging squad replete with the likes of Rio, Neville, Scholes, Giggs, VDS.

    Fergie has lost his iron grip at OT & the squad.
    Started with Tevez and now Rooney.

    Is Fergie a spent force? His composure (and attempt to play victim) at the interview spoke volumes.

  • Comment number 45.

    guess you still do not understand that MU might have lost bigger players but was in a position to replace them with others. Now the replacements called Valencia, Bebe, Hernandez, Berbatov - not the same calibre.

    ====


    United had Miller, Kleberson, Djemba Djemba, Bellion as replacements in 2004, and won the league by 2007.

  • Comment number 46.

    If he wants to jump ship now then fine, but my view of Rooney the man has dropped. At United he could have been the centrepiece of a new team moving forward, the figurehead. How does he know that Ferguson isn't lining up replacements and new players coming through? At City he will be flavour of the month. Next season it will be another big name and so on, Rooney will be another name on the sheet. He made out he wants to be like Scholes, Giggs, Neville - clearly he had no such intention.

    Then there is the wages. If the rumours flying around are anywhere near true, then City are entering a very dangerous space. There are some players there that are going to expect parity. Then there are the financial regulations coming in, if City aren't allowed in then it will be interesting to say the least.

    I have no doubt that City will be a major force going forward, and fair play, they've struck it lucky with the owners and I've no problem with them chasing Rooney. However, this just smacks of Rooney not being up for the challenge to me. He knows contracts mean nothing in the modern game, he could have given it a crack with United and still got his big move should we not be able to sustain a challenge. I actually worry for him, his life is a mess to say the least at the moment and I'm not convinced he'll get the guidance he needs elsewhere.

    Final thought for now, the silence from the Rooney camp is deafening. Come on Wayne, be a man, talk to us.

  • Comment number 47.

    ~21 please get real. If this decision had gone the other way etc. etc. You sound like Andy Gray. If various decisions had gone Chelsea's way (don't ask me which, I am neither a nerd nor a fan) then they would have won the title. If various Pompey decisions had gone the other way they would still be in the Premier league. If Liverpool had got a few breaks they would have won the title in 2009.
    Last season's performance was, like Liverpool's before them, very much a paper over the cracks season.
    I'm not saying we've seen the last of United or Ferguson for the foreseeable future, but I do suspect that Rooney is the first and not the only ship-jumper.
    Watch out for the duplicitous Bulgarian!

  • Comment number 48.

    To start with Wayne Rooney IS NOT WORLD CLASS. World Class are players like Messi, Ronaldo, Villa, Xavi, Iniesta etc players who do it every single year. Rooney had a purple patch last season playing as an out and out goal scorer, but he did no more than Van Nistelrooy used to do year in and year out for Man Utd. Wayne Rooney has never scored or performed in a World Cup, he has been anonymous in two Champions League finals, he had a good Euro 2004 (scoring against Switzerland and Croatia) but the fact is that in the big games he is found wanting, and due to his lack of discipline he can even be a liability. I would even suggest that your comment that he is superior to Yaya Toure is incorrect. Yaya Toure does it in the big games.

    I have no doubts at all that Man Utd will try to get as large a transfer fee as possible, and I suspect that only Man City (possible Spurs) will be daft enough to pay it. With this money Man Utd can buy a top class striker and probably a centre midfielder (which they need). I suspect that Man Utd will be as strong as ever (coming from a Liverpool fan I say this whilst grinding my teeth!)

    If Rooney does leave Man Utd, I suspect it is more to do with money and his agent than any perceived lack of ambition from Man Utd. As a 'man' Rooney is spoilt, petulant, arrogant and lacking in morals and intelligence. His abuse of England fans, his stamping on Carvalho, his complete lack of respect for officials, and now his own team mates and manager. People should take of the rose tinted specs, and realise that this over hyped spoilt man/child eptomises everything that is wrong about the modern game.

    With respect to Man Utd, I just hope that like my club they can escape the parasites that have leveraged huge debt on their club. Then get back and take their place as the second biggest club in England ;)

  • Comment number 49.

    I think Rooney will go on to better things than at Old Trafford, more glory awaits. One final point, I would not rule out old Arry' wanting a scalp like this one. What finer way to show ambition as to spend 50-70 mill on a world class player!? Dont rule out investment for this to go to through.

    ===

    You should rename yourself to "abrokeman"

  • Comment number 50.

    For a start, I'll clear up that I'm a United fan in peace.

    Secondly, sound blog, but it falls short of the mark on several points.

    1) What is this obsession with Rooney being "ruthlessly stolen" from Everton? We payed £25.6 million for him! How on earth is that stolen? Even if he goes to City for £30m or so in January, I would never be so naive as to call it "stealing". Buying and selling is about how much each player is worth. It's called business. To say that Ferige "ruthlessly stole a prized asset Everton had nurtured and honed" is absolute nonsense and exactly the sort of thing that you come to expect from biased journalism. Even when Harry Kewell moved to Liverpool for free all those years ago for free, it wasn't theft, and believe me, I would be the first to jump on the bandwagon and scald Liverpool for it.

    Secondly, Man United will not be the same without Rooney. Any fan that says he isn't that important is either lying or deluded. Until the owners leave and someone with ambition comes in, United will become a selling club, buying players like Hernandez and selling them onto ECONOMIC giants of world football like City and Madrid. I see a shift in balance in Manchester and I'm not happy.

    The only thing I have against Rooney is how he has treated the fans. Admittedly, he wants to leave, but at least when Tevez was leaving, he came out and stated his reasons (even though it was probably because of the money combined with a lack of respect from the Glazers with regards to a contract). Rooney has kept fans in the dark. He owes nothing to the club, but as a player under contract, he should at least be trying his very hardest for the club and being honest, as Tevez was to the last minute.

    Whilst it would kill me inside, I would not begrudge him a move to City. They have more money, ambition and prospects than us going forward, who wouldn't? But out of respect for the fans, I feel a move to Madrid would suit him and us down to the ground.

    Best of luck to Rooney and City this coming season. Let's just hope for some good football as well, eh?

  • Comment number 51.

    If we are talking about Rooney leaving about lack of ambition, where could he go? He isn't guaranteed to win anything at Madrid, same for Barcelona. Chelsea? Yes, he could add another prem title or two there, but ECL? He's won 3 league titles and played in two Champions League Finals (winning one), whilst at Utd - maybe he feels that he's done everything he can there? Man City are again getting carried away by a couple of scrappy wins, but do they REALLY have the quality (yet) to win the league? Not with Mancini in charge me thinks.

    Personally I think it's more down to personal reasons that he wants to go, and if so, who can blame him. He's been a quality player for Utd, in fact I had more admiration for him when he was being played out of position and just getting on with things than for his goals last season. I'll be sorry to see him go, and it looks like he is maybe going about things slightly shoddishly, but as long as Utd can replace him with quality, I say good luck to him.

  • Comment number 52.

    I agree with Rob Lee (21) on this one. The only ambition involved here is a fading star wishing to cash in on a huge contract before it dawns on everyone else he's not very good anymore. He's well aware what players at city are earning and he wants some of it. He knows Utd are unlikely to match it. As for city, they'll be only too happy to show Utd who the new top dog is in Manchester. In footballing terms Rooney is shot, perhaps he himself knows this and is trying to cash in before others realise it. He's in a downward spiral and his best years are already behind him, that won't bother city but it will other clubs- which is why he'll either go to City or end up doing a U-turn staying at Utd.

  • Comment number 53.

    I cant stand la liga. ive tried watching it and its just nowhere near enough excitement as the premiership.

    i dont know everyone is creaming themselves over la liga. just because the media says so, you dont have to follow it like lapdogs.

    i get more fun watching stoke v west ham than real zaragoza v malaga.

  • Comment number 54.

    21 RobLee :Last season United finished 1 point behind Chelsea, the margins were so tight that if the linesman had flagged Drogba offside at Old Trafford (when replays showed the striker to be 2 yards offside)
    --------------*------------------*------------------*--------------------

    Typical reaction from Man Utd fans
    Drogba's offside is as fresh as ever;yet Macheda's handball is conveniently forgotten.
    Get a grip!


  • Comment number 55.

    And yet, in reality - and Ferguson knows this - Rooney's decision is entirely consistent with the defining principle that he applies to his profession.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hardly fair to put all footballers into the same box. As an Arsenal fan, we know most about losing players to 'bigger clubs'. Though in most cases our players leave to further themselves and embark on new journeys and challenges, not for the money.

    Henry and Fabregas (if/when he leaves) are perfect examples.

  • Comment number 56.

    Three quick points.

    1) Man City even with Rooney will never be a a bigger club, have more fans, have a richer history or be more successful than Man Utd. FACT!

    2) Utd do have problems at the moment but we'll win that 19th title ahead of Liverpool. FACT!

    3) For those who think when Sir Alex goes Man Utd are over, the current best manager in the world Jose Mourinho only has one club he wants to manage next and that's Utd. FACT!

    UTD FOREVER!

  • Comment number 57.

    54. At 09:39am on 20 Oct 2010, ancelottiforprimeminister wrote:
    21 RobLee :Last season United finished 1 point behind Chelsea, the margins were so tight that if the linesman had flagged Drogba offside at Old Trafford (when replays showed the striker to be 2 yards offside)
    --------------*------------------*------------------*--------------------

    Typical reaction from Man Utd fans
    Drogba's offside is as fresh as ever;yet Macheda's handball is conveniently forgotten.
    Get a grip!


    --------------------

    LOL. i forgot about the handball myself. shows how much the drogba offside is still brought up and the handball is conveniently forgotten and not even mentioned by chelsea fans.

  • Comment number 58.

    "I understand nothing that Ferguson said on Tuesday has changed Rooney's mind."

    LOL I agree with Post #5.

  • Comment number 59.

    Fergie said back in March Rooney was prepared to sign for United "for life." What's changed since then? Well at the time United were still challenging for the league and Champions League...he had the World Cup to look forward to where he was being touted as THE potential star...he was getting away with all sorts in his private life - happy days!!

    Since then he's failed to score a single goal for United from open play, the Red Devils bombed out of Europe, Rooney experienced possibly the worst World Cup ever from a so-called 'star', he's verbally attacked England fans and questioned his club manager after being left out due to severe lack of form. The poo hit the fan in his private life. He's gone from hero to ogre in the opinion of the general public. No wonder he wants to run away as quickly as possible!

    Saying United's lack of ambition is his main gripe is totally wide of the mark. Fergie's the most ambitious boss in the league and would have quit if he didn't think he could overtake Liverpool's title wins with what he still had available money wise. Dan, are you saying Wayne would be happier if Sir Alex bought in loads of 'world-class strikers' making Rooney drop down the playing order anyway - due to lack of goals??

  • Comment number 60.

    Why would Rooney go to a small club with rich owners? That makes no sense, they're going to be banned from the Champions League as they don't make any money! At the very least their spending will be severely restricted (hence why they have to spend as much as possible now) while Man Utd will have the option of spending £100m per year, a total no other club can match.

    I find it ironic that the so-called lack of ambition is currently keeping Rooney out of the team. Two of our more recent signings, Berbatov and Hernandez are ahead of him.

    Of course the Rooney camp will play the "lack of ambition" card but the facts don't add up. Just before the world cup he wanted to sign a contract for life and then suddenly he wants to leave. Sounds to me like he's been tapped up and offered more elsewhere. The offer from Man Utd according to Sir Alex would make him the highest paid player in the country. Greed is the motivation, anyone who says otherwise is either naive or working for Rooney.

    £50m signings give you a team of egos who play solely for money (see Man City), Man Utd, Arsenal... They see the bigger picture, spending £5-10m for talent worth ten times that in the future or buy one player in his mid to late twenties? Which one gives you better value? Rooney's agents see only the money they will get from a transfer, Rooney himself doesn't have the intelligence to see past their advice!

  • Comment number 61.

    To the Man Utd fans who think this isn't the start of the end for them and that replacements are on there way - don't kid yourself - the blog sums it up perfectly. Bebe wasn't even playing top flight Portuguese football a year ago. Good players win trophies - Tevez, Ronaldo, Rooney, and shortly Scholes, Giggs and Neville aren't going to be that easy to replace. United's main problem is their owners lack of cash.

  • Comment number 62.

    Typical reaction from Man Utd fans
    Drogba's offside is as fresh as ever;yet Macheda's handball is conveniently forgotten.
    Get a grip!


    ===

    you've got to laugh at this one! During every one of United's 3 league titles there were countless "should have been us" statements from Arsenal and Chelsea.

    All we heard about was how "unfair it was" that the title could potentially be decided on goal difference (good job Chelsea failed to win their final game then, wasn't it?) and how United were lucky with injuries, lucky with late goals, lucky with the traffic.

    Goes hand in hand with "well make the most of it, cos this season is your last, on the way down now"

  • Comment number 63.

    I've been saying this ever since the rumours first broke.

    Rooney clearly has decided that United in the next 5 years are unlikely to be able to provide a better team than the one that finished the 08/09 season.

    For any team at any time losing the likes of Ronaldo, Tevez, Giggs, Scholes, Neville, Ferdinand and Van Der Sar in a 3-4 year period would leave them with a huge task to maintain standards. But with what appears to be nobody of top class quality coming through (though several average looking players like Fletcher and O'Shea have gone on to become top class under Fergie so there is still some hope for the likes of Gibson and Evans) and no huge war chest to go out and buy two or three top class players the next few years do have a very transitional look to them.

    I don't believe all this greed and lack of respect nonsense, I can't see him going to City or Chelsea other than for lack of serious offers elsewhere. He will probably wish to try his luck abroad, albeit not ideally suited to the game nywhere other than the PL, with Real and Barca surely having some interest. Actually I could easily see him fitting into the Barca system in the same role that Eto'o usedto occupy so well. Don't rule out Italy though, certainly Inter and Milan would both welcome him with open arms.

  • Comment number 64.

    United had Miller, Kleberson, Djemba Djemba, Bellion as replacements in 2004, and won the league by 2007.

    =======
    :-)
    thanks for cementing my position as:
    - MU did not win with in 2005 and 2006;
    - I guess the mentioned players were not in the winning team in 2007;
    - but rather the likes of Ronaldo, Tevez (I think) and Rooney.

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    it will be interesting to see whether rooney kisses the badge of his next club and whether the man city fans will get tattoos of rooneys name on their arms LOL before hes even signed.

  • Comment number 67.

    Can't help but feel that most journo's have forgotton that Fergie doesn't tend to rebuild teams at ridiculously massive cost. The last team is generally agrreed to have started when David Beckham left and Ronaldo came in. This is true, but the story seems to be forgotton, anyone remember the big battle between Madrid and Barca before Becks left for the former for big money? Remember the battle between ManU and Barca for Ronaldinho before he decided the Barca better suited him? All this meant that Becks was replaced for £12M by some kid who looked good against them in a friendly that summer, Christiano, how was this really less ambitious than replacing him for £16M with Valencia?


    Fergusson is saying that there isn't much value in the transfer market, so's Wenger, may be there both hamstrung, or may be they can see that with new Fifa regulations coming in all prices are gonna be dropping soon, and money spent now is money wasted. The most priceless reaction in all this was Wenger laughing last night at the idea of Rooney ever fitting in the Arsenal wage structure, imagine that, his new demands place outside capabilities of the team with the 3rd biggest income (MAnU) and laughably outside of the team with the 5th (Arsenal), in a new era when spending is linked to income just how realistic will these wages prove to be?

  • Comment number 68.

    Liverpool fan.

    Even though ive seen countless Man U fans wishing Liverpool got dragged through the mud, I dont want to see Man U go into decline. First and foremost, English football NEEDS Man U, and you have to respect what they have EARNED in the past.

    on the flip side.

    Man City is like the spoiled kid that everyone befriends so that they can play with his toys. Nothing real, nothing historic, nothing earned.
    I hope his daddy loses his job.

    I wonder how many share this feeling with me.

  • Comment number 69.

    thanks for cementing my position as:
    - MU did not win with in 2005 and 2006;
    - I guess the mentioned players were not in the winning team in 2007;
    - but rather the likes of Ronaldo, Tevez (I think) and Rooney.

    ===

    yes correct, they didn't win in those two years, but they won in the third year! Those weren't in the team, they were replaced by players, do you not see the point I've made? Over a three year period we went from players who were never going to make it, trying a few different things, then ending up back at the summit.

    To say "this is the end" is short sighted in the extreme, as we've been here before - we were here in the 90's, here in '04, and here again. That's football.

  • Comment number 70.

    I can't believe SAF was being totally honest yesterday!

    If Rooney has said on August 14th he did not want to sign a new contract,then I find it impossible to believe that come mid October, the club has still not been able to determine the reason behind Rooney's decision!

    Yesterday was all about playing the PR game, and SAF bashed that ball right back into Rooney's court!

    The Rooney camp now has no choice but to come out and state their motives! They may pitch their reasons as wanting to play for a more ambitious football club, but who in their right mind is going to believe them?

  • Comment number 71.

    I hate all teams other than Villa. Would be nice to hear something from the BBC that doesn't involve Utd, Pool, City or Spurs once in a while.

    Lets hope he goes. Utd will struggle without him.
    -----------
    I seem to remember them reporting plenty on Villa this year, dozens fo articles on Milner and O'Neill.

    Perhaps if Villa ever again achieve what those others have done they will get the same mention.

  • Comment number 72.

    Not money, not ambition; Rooney is simply trying to break the shackles, disrobe out of the slavery and oppression he is experiencing currently. Its like someone not being able to compromise with second grade citizenship

  • Comment number 73.

    Now I dont support any top club so I have no bias whatsoever. Fergie was close to tears, you could see it on the close ups. Fact. Your kidding yourself if you think otherwise.
    ----------

    The entire thing was stage-managed, Fergie is good at this stuff.

  • Comment number 74.

    62. At 09:44am on 20 Oct 2010, Kapnag wrote:
    ============================

    are you serious. a man utd fan telling chelsea that they're on their way down now? after yesterdays events?

    are you 12 or something?

  • Comment number 75.

    are you serious. a man utd fan telling chelsea that they're on their way down now? after yesterdays events?

    are you 12 or something?


    ===
    you've got that round the wrong way you muppet, I said that went hand in hand with their "should have been us" statements. Practically every summer United are written off as on the way down

  • Comment number 76.

    United had Miller, Kleberson, Djemba Djemba, Bellion as replacements in 2004, and won the league by 2007.
    --------------

    Which just underlines the point, without adequate replacements it will be several years before they can challenge.

  • Comment number 77.

    The kid wants away...new country, new challenge and a chance to get away from the british press that no doubt would live in his toilet on the off chance they could find a story bout the colour of his wee!
    He has made some massive blunders off the pitch and being on the pitch might have helped divert is no doubt pressured mind. except hes not getting picked cos of ankle injuries that aint there!

    Good luck Rooney!

  • Comment number 78.

    62. At 09:44am on 20 Oct 2010, Kapnag wrote:

    ------------------------------------

    sorry i misread your post. i see what you're tryna say now.

  • Comment number 79.

    Which just underlines the point, without adequate replacements it will be several years before they can challenge.

    ==

    or in that case, it was from 2004 to 2006

  • Comment number 80.

    Ah...to be an Arsenal fan at the moment! We may lose Fabregas but I don't hink it'll be under such a cloud.

    This blog is based in speculation of course, and none of us know if its the ambition or the money. Either way though, it's hard to disagree with Rooney. If it's the latter, Man City will pay more than United can. End of story. None of us may like the mercenaries of the game but they're everywhere. If its the former, I can't see Man U challenging Man City or Chelsea (I'm leaving Arsenal out for fear of being biased but id normally include them!) in the next 5 years. they need to balance the books while the other two can continue to buyt the best players. I think it's a reasonable assertion to say that Man Utd's reign of dominance (which was an amazing feat) will soon come to an end. And Wayne may not feel he wants to be part fo that.

    Man U - look to the Gunners to see how a good team (stuttering recently) can be created with a rosy loooking bank account!

  • Comment number 81.

    This article makes no sense at all. Before the World Cup Rooney said he wanted to stay at United for the rest of his career. During the World Cup he was supported by Ferguson, publicly and privately. After the World Cup when nothing had changed and the transfer window was still open he suddenly decides he doesn't want to stay: how can that be because of ambition? And if it was, why didn'[t he put in a transfer request then? Why has he spun it out like this?

    If it was ambition he would have said so back then. All the nonsense about the injury - is that ambition? How? Publicly contradicting the manager and claiming that he is a precious flower who needs a lot of game time before he starts to play well - is that ambition?

    It's nonsense.

  • Comment number 82.

    Excellent blog with an original viewpoint of the situation, casting Rooney not as greedy but as deeply ambitious, fearful of the power shift away from United. Only problem: the link on the initial BBC article quotes a part of this article as

    "this is just a mercenary, available to whichever club will offer the best deal in town"

    which not only makes it appear to be just another lazy article on a money-hungry footballer, but is completely at odds with the actual message of the blog. Otherwise, top notch!

  • Comment number 83.

    #5. At 09:02am on 20 Oct 2010, AJM1982 wrote:
    You make McNulty look like a world class journo.

    ---------------------------

    Low blow man, low blow! :D

  • Comment number 84.

    I remember seeing Rooney as a young lad stating that "once a blue always a blue" and that playing for the club he supported was all he had ever wanted. When he signed for Utd, I was annoyed at his choice of club but understood that he was more likely to win trophies there than at Goodison and it was a good move for us as well since Moyes has built a great squad with the proceeds.

    But those questioning his loyalty at Utd should not be so naive, this man has no sense of loyalty and despite his undoubted will to win that Roan mentions in his oddly tabloid article, he is every bit the mercenary who likes to bite the hand that feeds him when he sees better food on offer elswhere.

    His behaviour towards Everton, Moyes and the Everton fans following his move was disgraceful, disrespectful and showed that for all his ability the man has no class or sense of gratitude. He has showed no gratitude to the Blue half of merseyside who created the diamond he should be and Utd fans & Fergie should not expect any for polishing him.

  • Comment number 85.

    I keep reading comments by both journalists and fans (United and otherwise) which seem to describe United as a club which has been in decline for years. Everyone seems to have forgotten that United won the Premier League 3 seasons in a row, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10 (when Chelsea were apparently the richest club in the World) then were runner-up by 1 point last season, not to mention Champions League winners in 2007/08. How many other clubs in major European League's can match this?

    Better players than Rooney have left Manchester United. United fans should be more concerned about who will replace Sir Alex Ferguson than Wayne Rooney as this will be much more of a deciding factor in United's continued success.

  • Comment number 86.

    Which just underlines the point, without adequate replacements it will be several years before they can challenge.

    ==

    or in that case, it was from 2004 to 2006

    --------------

    2004 to 2006 count as several years do they not?

  • Comment number 87.

    yes correct, they didn't win in those two years, but they won in the third year! Those weren't in the team, they were replaced by players, do you not see the point I've made? Over a three year period we went from players who were never going to make it, trying a few different things, then ending up back at the summit.

    To say "this is the end" is short sighted in the extreme, as we've been here before - we were here in the 90's, here in '04, and here again. That's football.

    =================

    Kapnag,

    I guess you dont see the point. In 2004 MU had the money to replace the players, now hasn't. The whole article is about this and the clubs lack of ambition since the 2008 CL final.

    Or to have it shortly see #63.

  • Comment number 88.

    1) United are in a far better position than the time when Keane, Beckham, Nistelrooy left

    2) If the so called "geriatrics" still have some steam enough to continue playing...should the manager bump them off the team just to show that he can buy expensive players?

    3) Rooney is still 25...last long term contract of his career??????????

    4) United have spent money over the last five years... Carrick (14) Anderson+Nani (around 30 million) Hargreaves (reported around 15 million)Berbatov (30 million) Tosic (reported around 6 million)Obertan+Valencia (combined of 20 million)and now upwards of 20 million this season...taking the approximate total of transfer spending over the last five years to around 130 (which equates over 25 million each year)

    5) All the replacements that you are talking abt...they came to the club AFTER the big players were sold...so if Rooney leaves, it is a safe bet that United will spend money if they feel they need a big name striker. Journalism is abt reporting facts...lets leave speculation to crystal ball readers please.

  • Comment number 89.

    I guess you dont see the point. In 2004 MU had the money to replace the players, now hasn't. The whole article is about this and the clubs lack of ambition since the 2008 CL final.

    ===

    Glazer game in 2005, and since then I believe more has come into the club via transfers, than has gone out, so you're also wrong there I'm afraid

  • Comment number 90.

    This has to be the most pathetic article I have ever read on the BBC? Talk about sensationalist clapptrap.

    FACT:

    Manchester United developed their dominance of the English game in the 1990's under the significant constraints of operating as a PLC and could not compete with otehr clubs ( most notably Blackburn Rovers) financially

    Manchester United's policy under Ferguson has always been to recruit younger players and develop them in his style.

    Beckham was replaced with a young lad who had no end product called Ronaldo

    United bought ths kid from Everton as a successor to Ruud Van Nistelrooy, what was his name ermmmmm oh yes Rooney I think.....

    Even in the mid 90's United replaced the cream of the crop Ince Hughes Kanchelskis et al with a new swathe of kids by the names of Giggs. Scholes, Butt etc. They didn't do too badly did they.

    This is journalism at its laziest and very poor by BBC stabdrads with no relation to fact. Yes Ferguson is upset as he thought Wayne was cut from the same cloth and would be there forever. I agree that the decision is probably not just financial, its probably got more that a bit to do with is Mrs and the off field problems he might just need a fresh start in a fresh place away from certain distratcions and if that's the case that's the case.

  • Comment number 91.

    I keep reading comments by both journalists and fans (United and otherwise) which seem to describe United as a club which has been in decline for years. Everyone seems to have forgotten that United won the Premier League 3 seasons in a row, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10 (when Chelsea were apparently the richest club in the World) then were runner-up by 1 point last season, not to mention Champions League winners in 2007/08. How many other clubs in major European League's can match this?
    --------------
    United ARE a club in decline and have been so since they day they decided to allow Ronaldo to leave without adequate replacement. That they were still good enough to remain a top team last season is of no doubt, they will still finish 1st or 2nd this season and do reasonably well in Europe. The problem is mor one of impending fall, they have dwindling playing assets and no real ability to replace them. It's like a manufacturing company who maintain a successful P/L sheet by failing to invest and maintain, eventually it just breaks down.

  • Comment number 92.

    i like all evertonians will be hoping wayne goes to the highest bidder in the january sales.25% of any sale? bring it on!

  • Comment number 93.

    I wonder if Rooney has had several conversations with Steve Gerrard over the summer,looked at Liverpool's failure to land the title or be a major force, and Gerrard's loyalty to the diminishing fortunes of that club. Could he have thought that he doesn't want to feel like Gerrard in years to come, loyal to a club that is struggling in the shadow of its past. You don't go from being at the "best club in the world" to "want to leave" in a couple of months without some serious consideration. It's a total u-turn from Rooney.

    While United look to be hamstrung by the Glazers' immoral financial arrangements, the Premier league has become a grotesque circus in recent years with Arsenal standing out as a decent club amidst the bizarre goings on at Man City, Chelsea, Newcastle and Liverpool. This nightmare period of English football where ordinary players take ridiculous wages and gambling owners play fast and loose will not last much longer.

    Rooney should stay. United will press on and grind the season out with their squad - they are NOT a spent force. The anti-glazer lobby should keep plugging away. Meanwhile City will find their season comes apart at the seam sooner or later. The team has too many mercenaries to survive a rough spell, and with all the games they have they will hit a rough spell (or two). Chelsea will hit a blip, regardless of how strong they are, they will not be able to sustain it over the season, and Arsenal will be the team looking most likely come December.

    If Rooney does go then it's still business as usual at United, a chance for some of the others to show their quality.

  • Comment number 94.

    Correct me if I am wrong but didn't everton have their best season in the premiership after Rooney left. I am sure Like Moyes Ferguson will use his leaving to galvanise his side.
    I just hope the transfer has not been 'engineered' to reduce debt.

  • Comment number 95.

    FACT:

    Manchester United developed their dominance of the English game in the 1990's under the significant constraints of operating as a PLC and could not compete with otehr clubs ( most notably Blackburn Rovers) financially
    -----------------

    Actually the PLC thing did not really constrain United, all it meant was that decisions had to be justifiable financially, being a PLC certainly never stopped them splashing out on players like Cole, van Nistelrooy, Veron and Rooney.

  • Comment number 96.

    Ok think about this logically. Footballers are employees, that is a fact. They may be overpaid and spoilt Prima Donnas but still employees. So employees are always looking for an edge some more money or a Company to work in where they think they will get a bit more respect and so on. Has no one commenting on this blog ever swapped jobs for more money or promotion or a bit of self respect? Never spent an apprenticeship at a company only to leave for a better paid job right after the apprenticeship finished? You are all looking at the emotional side of things, think Employee (Wayne Rooney) and Employer (Man United) then you get a level of normality apart from the ridiculous wages of course.

  • Comment number 97.

    Rooney should go.....his attitude is poor, his touch is woeful and he is not a goal threat!

    If he goes to Cite, the posters will be enormous! He may end up at Chelsea as he has similar liefstyle and values to Ashley Cole, John Terry etc. Drogba and Anelka are ageing, even though a level above Rooney on last 6 months showing.

    Tevez is a better player, more talented, better work ethic. He was the 'Cantona'....... Rooney can be replaced.
    United are in decline, money worries and Fergie in danger of doing a Clough in many ways. Respect what he's done, but should have gone in glory a couple of seasons back.

    I think United need a change.....different ownership and debt would help......as Liverpool have learnt, a manager with history and links will do far better than an outsider. Hughes, un-fairly treated at Cite would be motivated and driven....he would need a charismatic no 2, though Phealan does front up for BBC, whilst Fergie is chewing the 'cork'
    Hughes could bring giant Hangerland to steady Vidic and Schwarcer as Van de Sar is dipping fast. If I were Hughes, I would go and get Bellamy and Jack Rodwell immediately to give the Man U fans a hero and a future hero!!

    Steve Bruce, is doing OK and might be the man. He has the 'red-face' and boy, was he a great player (how was he never capped??) He could bring Henderson, who would be his Rodwell. This lad has the air of Beckham, Robson, Keane and would lift the many thousands who are looking at fab, Paul Scoles and scratching their heads! If I were Bruce, and too, too many people rubbish him, but he is a better player than Andy Cole (by miles) and has 'Ole's' timing for goals......as good as Benzema.....could play off Berbatov....NOT Torres.....Bent!!!!!! This guy would score buckets for Man U!!!

    My last choice, which is competely 'left field' would be a partnership....a touch Eric and Earnie, but could work............Capello and Beckham!!!!!!!!!
    They have worked together for Madrid and England, Capello has good English now (as good as Beckham) Beckham links to old-school Neville/Giggs etc would be massive. He could learn from Capello and put the United back into manchester!!!!....Beckham and Capello would lead to new energised ownership with Far-East or Saudi $ aplenty!!!!!!

    The other good news is that O'Neil a long shot to replace Fergie could do what Cloughie never did and come in to join Pearce in the England set-up!!!! O'Neil, Pearce and a few of their generation could lift the 3 Lions.....Capello has a dignified.....subtle exit from Soho Square back to his comfort zone.....Beckham finds out if he's cut out to manage...he can inspire and the hero that he was would be like 10 point Reds?????

    The Capello/Beckham Axis of power could draw on soem real heavy weight super-hero's....... I could see Ronaldinio finally in a red shirt, Pato, Canavaro, Maicon etc......as a young prospect to lift the home spirits, Gareth Bale would be tops (don't see him anywhere else!!) Ashley Young is good enough and needs Champs League (would benifit from Beckham's mentoring) or Muamba from Bolton, who is a holding player with ability and the 'bite' they've missed since Keane....Muamba is way above Carrick (who should be Swapped with Huddlestone asap for both clubs/players) Anderson, who is very average and Gibson, who would suit Bolton/Sunderland/Fulham etc!!

    So, for me.......bye bye Rooney .....If he goes to Cite, take BIG ££££ plus De Jong (who is a great holding ball winner who has been wrongly made a scapegoat and would be the beast for United)
    If he goes to Chelsea....., take Kalou....most under-rated striker in Premisership
    If, Madrid......go for Kaka.....???(he'd come for Capello and Beckham)
    If, Spurs ???????? swap with Bale, Huddlestone and Keane (Fergie, so wrong about Irish best ever forward!!!)

    My view is that it will be the 'nomadic....no-madness Hughes' He would carry on with Phealan and Fergie could sip port from Directors Box...wierd!)
    Hughes could swap lost-boy Rooney for De Jong, Bridge, Jo ro Santa Cruz(he'd do OK) and a big bucket of £WONGA!
    Hughes would go and get Bale,Bellamy and bring Hangerland and Schwarzer....United with
    Schwarzer
    Rafeall Vidic Hangerland Bridge
    Fletcher De Jong
    Bellamy Nani Bale
    Berbatov
    Would be back up there........????

  • Comment number 98.

    St_Hugh

    Rooney played out of posistion to accomodate Ronaldo for large periods of his United career. I doubt you have lost far better players than Rooney, I hate it when a player becomes useless just because he is leaving a club.....
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    And the sheer arrogance of some ManU fans!

    This attitude is why so many "neutral" fans want Utd to fall over. Rooney is possibly one of the real "world class" players this country has. Yes his form has dipped for whatever reason, but he will return as all great players do.

    Foe me, the wider picture is of real interest, ManU are in trouble and have been for some time, if they do not sort out the ownership issue and quickly, then maybe they could be "too big" to save with a mountain of debt.

    What if Rooney starts a mass exodus?

    What will happen then?

  • Comment number 99.

    Glazer game in 2005, and since then I believe more has come into the club via transfers, than has gone out, so you're also wrong there I'm afraid

    =============

    you might be right, but the money did not land at Fergie but spent on financing the leverage-buyout.

  • Comment number 100.

    It could work out ok for United. Cash and Anelka would be nice. Anything but City!

 

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