Spurs fan in peace!
I was watching the Man Utd vs Chelsea game yesterday (very enjoyable game and Utd did look a class above Chelsea in the 2nd half) and found myself becoming more and more frustrated by Rooney’s lack of respect to the match officials, not for the first time.
I’m a big Rooney fan. I think his work ethic is exceptional, his off the ball movement superb and his range of passing is one of the best in the game. But I think his behaviour towards the match officials should have got him sent off yesterday.
The two incidences that really came to my attention were-
• Boswinga muscles Rooney off the ball, Rooney kicks out (possibly worth a yellow), ref gives the free kick. That should have been job done, Rooney had made a foul and should have been booked but didn’t because it was his first bad challenge and it was an important game, so the ref used a bit of common sense. Rooney then launched into a foul mouth tirade towards the ref, turned his back on the ref, walked away, and then would not make eye contact with the ref when he was talking to Rooney. Rooney’s parting words to the ref after this altercation were 'the f word' followed by off. If that is not worthy of a yellow card I don’t know what is.
• Rooney forgets to let the linesman/ref know that he is trying a cheeky corner, Man Utd score; ref blows up because he thinks the corner has not been taken properly. Rooney runs 20 meters to scream in the linesman’s face, with every other word being a profanity. That has got to be a yellow card. Job done.
I do not want to see Roney sent off at all, but I’m confused why he gets away with it time and time again. If I did that in Saturday football I would be booked. Is it because Rooney is an England international? Is it because of the Fergie factor? Or is it because the commentators positively reinforce his behaviour by saying ‘it’s just Rooney. He’s a passionate character. He’s plays his game on the edge.’ To me that is just not good enough.
If I ran up to one of my work colleagues (in very basic terms, the match officials and players are work colleagues) and shouted in their face because I had missed a deadline and they had pulled me up on it, I would lose my job. In very very loose terms, this is what Rooney does on a match by match basis.
I’m loathed to discuss the ‘Respect’ campaign as it really has been done to death, but this is the sort of behaviour that the Respect campaign should be stamping out. This sort of disrespect is why amateur refs are dropping like flies out of the game and the quicker we can stamp it out at the top level, the quicker it will filter down to amateur and football will become more enjoyable for players, match officials and supporters.