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Ferguson v Rooney - compelling viewing

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Dan Walker | 11:14 UK time, Thursday, 21 October 2010

"Sorry it's so early but what do you know about Rooney?" was the text that greeted me at 0630 BST on Monday.

Thankfully, I had already been up since 0200 and my wife and I had been on the labour ward since 0515. Child number three eventually arrived at the perfect Richie Benaud time of 0222 so goings on in Wayne's world were the last thing on my mind.

The answer to the question is that I don't know much more about Rooney than has already hit the front and back pages of the papers. I interviewed the England striker three times last season and I must admit to being slightly surprised at what has happened over the last few days, given the content of those interviews.

Last November, I asked him if he would be tempted to leave Old Trafford when Ferguson eventually stood down.

"I love the club and am really happy," replied Rooney. "So, whether he goes or not, the very thought of leaving the club has never entered my mind."

Eleven months is a long time in football.

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I was interested to see how Sir Alex Ferguson reacted to Rooney's decision to quit Old Trafford. Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis will know that I spent about three years of my life interviewing him twice a week and attending every one of his news conferences. I have seen him at his most cantankerous but Tuesday was the closest I have seen him looking genuinely hurt. He also disclosed more than he has done before.

Ferguson does not normally do his dirty washing in public. I remember him pummelling journalists for revealing details about Ruud Van Nistlerooy's knee injury and angrily refusing to be drawn on the reasons for Jaap Stam's departure. I was even banned myself for asking him about reports from Madrid that Real had done a deal to sign David Beckham.

That is not the only reason Tuesday's disclosure came as a surprise. Ferguson's press conferences are often cagey affairs, especially before a Champions League game. Unlike the club's own press conferences, European ones are hosted by Uefa. That means everyone gets to go - even the BBC!

Whenever there is a big issue to discuss, the room is full of cautious journalists all wondering who will ask the contentious question and how prickly the response will be. Opportunities to probe Ferguson on subjects from Beckham to prawn sandwiches have been met with anything from a polite "no comment" from the press officer to a proper head-chewing from the boss himself.

That said, there are certain occasions when the Scot, like all savvy managers, will use the media to further a cause or get his message out there. He did it to great effect in response to Rafael Benitez's rant in January 2009 and on several other occasions where the cold hand that normally meets the press becomes a slightly more hearty handshake.

There was an element of that on Tuesday but also a rare vulnerability from Ferguson. He looked betrayed and a little baffled as he talked about the trophies Rooney has won with United and the pastoral care that has been given to the player. It was a masterstroke of man management, even if the man might not be under his management for much longer.

To use a tennis analogy, Ferguson served a kicker to Rooney, wrong-footing the striker and forcing him into unfamiliar territory outside the normal boundaries of the court.

So what of Rooney then? Well, I asked him about his future twice last season and he laughed it off on both occasions. It was not quite "once a Blue always a Blue" but it was as strong a statement of loyalty as you get to hear from a modern-day footballer. Afterwards, I was ticked off by his representative for even suggesting he might move.

My mind goes back to the interview we did at Old Trafford with Rooney and his favourite band. Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones is a close friend of the England player but also a big Leeds United fan. Just before the interview began, Jones offered the striker the chance to turn out at Elland Road. "I am sure Ken Bates could sort something out," said Jones. Rooney laughed and replied: "I am never leaving this place, mate."

rooneychat595.jpgSitting down to talk football with Wayne Rooney

Now the player claims it is a lack of ambition rather than a lack of cash that is the root of the problem. So where does the blame lie? Is Rooney just another greedy footballer? Is it the fault of a controlling manager? Or is it time to point the finger at the owners, the Glazer family?

The fans group which wrote an open letter to Rooney on Tuesday were firmly behind the manager and pleaded with the player to be honest with them. They also highlighted all those players who have left Old Trafford for greener grass and struggled to find it.

Whether he moves - and the possible destination for the 24-year-old - will keep us busy for a while. We might have to wait for the real reasons for his transfer. He will probably reveal all in his 17th autobiography! The whole situation proves once again that football is full of surprises.

The Rooney fallout will feature on Football Focus this Saturday. We will also hear from two players who have dealt with transfer speculation in recent months. James Milner talks about his move to Manchester City, while we also have a word with Cesc Fabregas, who was courted by Barcelona in the summer, ahead of Sunday's game between City and Arsenal.

In the studio, we will be joined by QPR goal machine Jamie Mackie, the Championship's top scorer. Watch from 1215 BST on BBC 1.

As ever, you can follow me on Twitter at


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  • Comment number 1.

    Probably a mixture of wanting more cash in his pocket and maybe thinking other clubs are becoming more powerful and therefore having more trophy winning potential. He obviously doesn't fancy being the standard bearer for the team through potentially leaner periods although it's not as if United are on too much of a downer at the moment despite their habit of conceding late goals and drawing matches.

    If he doesn't want to go overseas then there aren't many options open to him on the face of it in terms of teams who could/would want to afford his wages. It's probably going to be down to Chelsea and Manchester City in terms of English teams who could go for him although maybe Tottenham would push the boat out for him.

    The leaving of United for pastures new and struggling is similar to what's happened to many players who have left Arsenal over the last few years with the likes of Hleb, Petit and others never really reaching those heights again. It took Anelka quite a while before he properly flourished again - at Chelsea.

    Ernst Stavro Blofeld

  • Comment number 2.

    First congrats on the baby. Of course i am aware of the circumstances he left Everton in 6yrs ago but it all just leaves a bad taste. How can a player say he is never leaving, leave.

  • Comment number 3.

    The Rooney situation reminds me of a Benny Hill sketch that I saw years ago:-

    In the sketch Benny was in a bar. He approaches a pretty girl and says:-

    "I'm an eccentric millionaire, and I'll pay you a million pounds if you'll sleep with me tonight." She agrees, then he says:-

    "Actually, I'm not a millionaire, but I'll pay you a tenner." Outraged she says:-

    "What sort of a girl do you think I am?" To which he replies:-

    "We've established what sort of a girl you are, We're just haggling over the price."

    We established what sort of a girl Rooney was when he left Everton....

  • Comment number 4.


  • Comment number 5.

    Congratulations Dan!

    I think this situation has been caused by a number of factors, the whole off-pitch shenanigans, the financial situation at the club, the fact he's unhappy with the way Fergie has dropped him (which I honestly think was to protect the player as much as about his form) and probably the fact that he wasn't going to be offered a contract on a par with the (C) Ronaldo's of this world.

    I have to say, ManU fans need to remember how he left Everton and perhaps some of the recent press allegations about his marriage and stopped acting shocked and hurt at his lack of loyalty. Also, this was a lad feted as the next big thing and bought for £30mil as a teenager - again, is anyone surprised at his egocentricity???

    I do feel a bit for grumpy old Fergie though, I can't help it.

  • Comment number 6.

    I was remiss... congratulations on the bambino!

    AT-AT Walker

  • Comment number 7.

    Who cares?

    An oerpaid footballer who is too arrogant to listen to one of the best managers over the past 20 years!

    Rooney will have hung his boots up within the next three years as he hasn't got the mental abilities to deal with the pressures of "celebrity" status.

    Simply too much too young

  • Comment number 8.

    I think the whole situation is a bit strange. Why would he come out after only 8 games and with two months to go before the transfer window opens and say he wants to leave the club? I think he/his agent is stirring up interest to get the 'best deal' and if one of the blank cheques end up being from United, he'll probably end up staying. Do have to admire his spin when issuing his own statement, using the clubs future potential in the transfer market (owners) as being his chief reason to leave. Plus he saved a few kind words for the club Sir Alex to leave the door open at his side. Will be interesting to see how it all pans out. Just don't end up at City. Or Chelsea. Actually, just stay!

    Anyway, hope everything is going well with the new arrival! And how good are Salt & Vinegar McCoys?

  • Comment number 9.

    NOOOOOO! Not another Rooney blog.

    Get some news.

    Or a life.

    Or both.

    Just please no more Rooney blogs from lazy BBC journos.

  • Comment number 10.

    First of all, congrats on the new arrival Dan :)

    I have to say that I don't know what to think abot this whole saga?! As you say Dan, it was only a few short months ago that Rooney was saying how happy he was at United and how he would never leave. The fact he has had such an extreme change of heart in such a short space of time makes me thing that there MUST be some kind of deal in place already. Paul Merson said it the other night, you don't turn your back on a club like United and burn your bridges unless you have something concrete lined up.

    However, maybe he saw the lack of transfer activity over the summer and came to the conclusion that there was a lack of ambition in the signings that were made? I was surprised that there was no 'signature signing' brought in this year. This is the second season in a row where there have been no big names brought in, the likes of Scholes and Giggs are not getting any younger and other players that were expected to have stepped up, such as Anderson, Carrick, Park simply haven't delivered and I'm not sure ever will.

    The debt that the club is currently burdened with though is undoubtedly influencing the trasnfer policy, whether Ferguson will admit it or not. The current situation is simply not sustainable making losses year on year unless profit is made from players. I don't care how the accountants window dress the results to outline increases in advertising, merchandising etc, a loss is a loss. Who knows what state the club will be in two years from now??

    Daniel Amokachi

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi Dan, first post on your blog!

    The whole rooney thing has shocked so many, but when you look down to it is it really all about money? he's currently on (apparantly) £90k a week, and been offered a 'subsantial' rise if he signs a new contract at Utd, possibly he could get more if he moved to another club ie City, but in the grand scheme of it, to a guy earning potentially X amount of millions a earn a little bit more and move to closest rivals (either chelase or City if he stays in England it would seem) and be generally hated/despised etc by those fans who once adored you? I know people are all different etc but to me thats crazy.
    My theory is slightly different...
    I think it is to do with the off field troubles in the guy's life, and I think he might have been told by his other half that he has made a mockery of her one time too many and she's wanting out of the goldfish bowl as it were. If this was to turn out true then it would suggest that a move to Spain is the most likely destination, possibly Italy. Maybe at a push down to London, but I don't even see that either.
    Real or Barca are the two I think he WANTS to go to. Do they want him? I would suggest NO. Real Madrid have better attacking options already, and Higuain is a far better striker. Likewise Barcelona...I dont think he is good enough for them to be honest.
    Then again Michael Owen went to Madrid because of who he was and the price, if Rooney is at a knock down price then maybe...

    That was a rant...I'm hungry now...

  • Comment number 12.

    No, he is very bright yang men, educated, smart and loyal to his family, his club and his manager. He is also national hero and should be elected PM and righting or reading about anything else should be banned by law

  • Comment number 13.

    If you go to the same place of work every day it gets a bit boring like anything else. You watch your mates leave for different companies and your feet start to itch, especially if you think your company is not keeping up with others. Some people stay in the same job for years and years (like Giggs and Scholes). Other people need a fresh challenge and move on from time to time (like Rooney and Ronaldo). It happens all the time outside of football and nobody talks about loyalty. Rooney has not said he wants to rip up his contract. He just doesn't want to sign another one. His career is short and he does not want to spend 10 years of it in the same place. Seems fair enough to me. Why is it such a big deal?

  • Comment number 14.

    @ #9

    Give him a break mate, did you not read the article? He's just had a new nipper!!

  • Comment number 15.

    Just before me lunch aswell...

    Many congratulations Dan, hope all is going well with the new arrival.

    @ 2... I loved the Benny Hill gag - and was thinking something similar myself.

    I can't see rooney pulling on a united shirt again. I reckon Fergie should farm him out on loan until the deadline day - send him to Coventry so to speak...

    Auric Goldfinger

  • Comment number 16.

    My own personal view is that he's made this decision for 2-reasons. Firstly he's trying to save his marraige and may have been given an ultimatum to move - but where to? I don't think Coleen will move abroad whilst her sister is struggling with illness. Secondly, just maybe his agent is switched on enough to see that football in this country is imploding at the top, through financial issues. Being a scouse he will have been shocked at the goings on at Anfield of late. This was a massive wake-up call for everyone and especially the Premier league and FA. The Glasers have milked united dry and continue to do so, as well as saddle them with huge debts. SAF may not admit it, but it's obvious that over the past couple of seasons no player of note has moved to OT. Last season saw the show pony swap Manchester for Madrid, not being replaced, but the books were balanced with the £80m. The latest finance report shows a huge £89m loss so far, as they struggle to service the huge debt and this is going to get worse. SAF brought in a few kids this year, but nobody of note to try and fill the void left by Ronaldo, Rooney did it himself last year and scored over 30 goals, but for the past 7-months he's done nothing. He's tired, jaded, had a bad WC like the rest, is sick if criticsm, the media etc, but most of all he knows he will not win anything else at United, because they cannot compete anymore due to the level of debt.

    Being a Leeds fan I know only too well how the mighty can fall. Slightly different from United, because we imploded due to idiotic financial plans made by a former Chairman. The upshot and result though was exactly the same. We couldn't afford to service our debt, so held a fire sale whereby most of the Premiership clubs benefited and still do, by having our players on the cheap. In fairness to SAF though, he paid up front and cash for Rio, and did the same for Alan Smith, which helped the club. Whereas everyone else just milked us dry and watched us wilt. Rooney has never been thought of as the sharpest knife, but maybe this public release is the best thing for United fans, who have worried about this for ages.

    As for SAF going public, well he's a corporate animal now and he could well have been told to get it out in the open, so that prospective bidders can book early before january. His value is reducing the longer this goes on, and they know that Rooney can buy his contract out for £5m soon. They need to cash in now and get the best return, as a failure to do so would cost them millions. I'm shedding no tears for SAf or United as they brought it on themselves, and have contributed to the game I love being tarnished by cash, and over priced average footballers earning millions, whilst they watch our National team implode.

    So FA/Prem/Foriegn investors/offshore banks have all contributed to this.

  • Comment number 17.

    congrats with your 3rd Dan Walker Jr,
    nobody should have to think about Wayne Rooney over their third born child, the very idea is absurd

  • Comment number 18.

    Didn't stop you reading it though presumably? You must be a very hard taskmaster indeed.

    Plenty O'Toole

  • Comment number 19.

    Many many many congratulations on the new addition to the Walker family Dan! I do hope you've taken into consideration the many wonderful sign-offs posted on here before naming your new-born!!

    Now time to read the blog in full!

    Peter Perfect

  • Comment number 20.

    Come on get real. It is the greedy agents of football players who are calling the shots these days. Do you really think Wayne and his agent did not know what other players were being paid by their clubs? No, this is a result of agents having a lean time recently and this is a way to start a merry go round of fees. Clubs are unable to compete with the silver tongued agents who cannot kick a ball, but can keep the score!

  • Comment number 21.

    Hola Dan

    Congratulations on your new arrival (will you be choosing a name from your favoutite sign off's?)!

    I think the Rooney situation is just another demonstration of the changes in modern football. Old pro's and fans go on about the "good old days" and I agree in a lot of ways football has changed for the worse (the money, the attitudes of players, etc) but that is the way it is. As a utd fan I am disappointed by the lack of quality at the min, last night was evidence of this. Carrick, Park, Anderson just not good enough, but Rooney could and should have given utd a least one more season. However utd will roll on with or without Wayne Rooney.

    Colt Seavers

  • Comment number 22.

    Well done on the kiddo Dan. I agree with #1 SurreyBloke - there's nowhere in England he can go. Chelsea only bettered UTD by one point and you could argue they also have a changing of the guard with a much older squad. Spurs and Arsenal will not challenge for top spot this season. As for City - dont make me laugh ... they are years away from becoming champions and UTD will win their TWELTH prem title before City get their first. Only Barcelona and the likes would be a step up or sideways for Roon and then he'll be playing in a slower league + would impact his already poor England form. Ironically if his departure is inevitable, then UTD will end up doing what Roon wants them to do ... roll out the big bucks for a star replacement. Torres, Eto, Ivanovic? As Roy Hodgson said - every team will fear their star could go to UTD.

  • Comment number 23.

    Hi Dan, first things first, congratulations on the new arrival.
    I can't imagine it's all just about the money, the lack of ambition and lack of quality signings line coming from 'Camp Rooney' has a ring of truth to it. How can a club that had apparently been tracking Van Der Vaart for two or three years then miss out on the possiblity of signing the guy for £8m having just spent £7.5m on a homeless Portuguese striker nobody at the club has ever seen play? Given the way VDV and Bebe have each started this season, I know which one I'd rather have at United.
    If the Rooney situation were to hasten the departure of the Glazer family it would almost be worth losing him to get rid of them. Regardless of what Fergie says to the media, he must be having restrictions placed on his activities in the transfer market, because a club making an £80m loss on a turnover of £280m simply can't afford to spend big. I fear for the future of United under the stewardship of the Glazers if we can lose two of the best players in world football in Ronaldo and Rooney in less than three seasons and can't spend the money needed to replace them or to replace the old club stalwarts such as Scholes, Giggs and Neville.
    If things carry on this way I see United in a few years time being in a similar position to the one Liverpool now find themselves in, with a first team squad pretty thin on genuine class and talent and little or no money with which to remedy the situation.

  • Comment number 24.

    Dan- 'Wayne's World' has been turned upside down recently, mostly as a result of his own actions, as far as we can see. The problem is he doesn't see it like that, to him its everybody elses fault, not his! His agent is probably feeding him the same line, i.e. "you're too good for this place Wayne".
    Unfortnately as talented as he undoubtably is, he is now showing he cannot handle the pressure of being the marquee player at a top club and he wants out. Clearly money is an issue, since all this arose out of stalled contract negotiations, but it is also a manifestation of his self annoyance with his own form; also maybe some leftover resentment from being blamed by many for Englands WC disaster, etc. Whatever the root cause, he is clearly not the happy 'quicksilver' Wayne we saw for most of last season - he is now a man burdened with self doubt and a tendancey to reach for the 'self destruct button' when the going gets tough.
    Lets hope in the next day or two something can be salvaged from all of this before the 'button' is finally released and Wayne leaves for good. If he has to leave United, so be it, a club with United's survival record, i.e. from Munich onwards, has nothing to fear, we will miss him no doubt, but he's the one taking the step into the unknown, not the club, United's lost better players than Wayne and survived.
    # Congratulations on the addition to your family

  • Comment number 25.

    Once a blue, always a blue.

    Which is why he'll be going to Man City.

  • Comment number 26.

    Congratulations Dan on the new born! Nice insite into Rooney and SAF there, although a glaring lack of food reference! May I offer my snack of choice while awaiting a child in the delivery suite - jam doughnuts!

    I genuinely believe this is less about money and more a combination of feeling the team is in decline with no ready made replacements, and a young family struggling with a life in the spot light. I think the move will be abroad - either that or Rooney will go all Marco Boogers and that World Cup advert he appeared in could be eerily accurate!

  • Comment number 27.

    Now with Blog fully read I feel I can contribute.

    Seems to me as if Rooney gets bored easily. Got bored at Everton, so moved to United. Now is bored at United and wants a move elsewhere. Heck, he even got bored of his wife and went elsewhere.

    Whereever he goes, he won't stay there long. I could see him going to Real and them jumping ship to Barca after a year or two.

  • Comment number 28.

    Forgot the sign-off!

    I'll go with.....

    Fernando Partridge

  • Comment number 29.

    Just from the sign-off's I've made, there would be some fantastic options for Junior Walker III.

    Clarence J Walker
    Nebuchadnezzar Walker
    Michael Walker
    Alf Walker
    Ted Walker

  • Comment number 30.

    Souness hit the nail on the head last night.. he has just said that he has been given no assurances over future additions to the squad.. which would lead you to believe he doesnt rate some of the squad too highly the now (bearing in mind he will also mean some about to retire).. and if you are in that dressing room you wouldn't be too happy about him possibly hinting at this in public..

    I think he will regret this and agree Fergie played a blinder by getting in first..

    Dean Winchester

  • Comment number 31.

    Newsflash - Rooney has just signed for Real Sociopath.

    Ok, this is unsubstantiated at this time. And probably unfair, too. Rooney does have a valid point in that no one has replaced Ronaldo or Tevez. There doesn't seem to be much appetite from the owners for significant player investment. They are glazed over looking down the East Lancs Road and wondering about their own plight and also how did it come to this..?

    Rooney is hardly blameless in this, either. As ever, the people to really suffer are the fans. Those at FC United will be ambivalent, I would imagine, as they observe the rise and fall of a club so fond in their hearts, once at least. If Rooney does move, which seems likely, given that the contemporary footballer does not do humility and contrition leading to reconciliation all that well, then the only team in town must be Man City. On his current form, Madrid won't want him. Also, as a superlative communicator, Mourinho will know that Rooney might not travel well. Mrs Rooney might fancy London (i.e. Chelsea) for her blossoming media career, but she might not fancy Mr Rooney. Yet the paradox is that she will know that her marketing power is diminished without him.

    So if it's not Real Sociopath, surely it must be City. It will be the ultimate act in the transfer of power across town. That Utd will be humiliated in this way must be the coup de grace for the long suffering noisy neighbours. One one level, as a casual observer, it is too delicious to contemplate. On another, more worrying for our national team and what it says about anyone really wanting to give up their summer for a lost cause.

    I did wonder about Rooney when he burst onto the scene whether he would be finished by the age of 25. I wasn't sure if it would be his physiology or his sated desires that would finish him off. Even if Rooney continues to play as poorly as he has done in recent months (and for the national team's sake I hope things change), he will be paraded around town like the Imperator for the new republic he will become. All hail Rooney, the pinnacle of what we can become in modern Britain. Now, where's my passport....

  • Comment number 32.

    Congratulations Dan.

    For the most part I agree with those who in the 'be careful what you wish for' camp. However if he does leave (I'm not as convinced as some he will), I would like to see him go abroad and further his development. As an England fan, I would like to see some of our stars try their luck in Spain, Italy or Germany.

    Street Hawk

  • Comment number 33.

    I've said it before (probably not on here) but I really have lost all interest in top-flight football. The only time Wayne Rooney ever matters to me is when he plays for England. I dont care who he sleeps with, I dont care what his kids are called, I dont even care who he plays for. Just as long as when he plays for his country he gives it his all, which he clearly hasnt been doing, so i'll rant about his club instead....... I cant believe, no matter how much he thinks man utd are not the club for him any more, that he would even consider signing for man city. If he really wants to make himself a hate figure he should beg liverpool to sign him. You'll never see the blue half of liverpool and the red half of manchester join forces so quickly. If man city becomes his destination, we can all clearly say he's gone for nothing but money (which wouldnt surprise me at all given the way that modern footballers think) and that really would be nothing more than another rusty nail in the battered coffin containing the maggot-riddled corspe of football. When did 90k a week suddenly not be enough?! more importantly, how do they justify asking for that?! Footballs a long time dead, and so is all the principle and morality that used to go with it. As I understand it, its either Man Utd OR Man City, Liverpool OR Everton, Spurs OR Arsenal, Lincoln City OR Grimsby........ Never both, no matter what the money is, because there used to be something called loyalty in football, and rivaly was played out on the pitch and not by agents.

    Earley Grayce

  • Comment number 34.

    Congrat's to you and Mrs.W on the arrival of the little'un! Did you know Maradona and Pele were both born in October ;) Do you share a famous footballers' birthday?

    It must be quite disparaging interviewing footballers nowadays knowing that they seldom seem to 'mean what they say' and like Fergie responses are often policed by a clubs' press officer like in some military state? Look forward to Cesc Fabregas' staged responses on FF...'I love Arsenal and will always give 100% blah blah - taxi please!'

    What is it with players nowadays moaning that the ambition and quality of the team isn't good enough and they want to win trophies they forget they are part of these 'losing' teams or are they inexplicably excused somehow? your autobiography could tell some 'real' tales of behind the scenes comments off camera - come on Dan spill the beans - don't have to give names or anything

    Stewie Griffin

  • Comment number 35.

    Its all verbiage, no content. The point of the blog seems to underline we are all equally clueless, mystified and in wait. Meanwhile a flood of conjecture postings!

  • Comment number 36.

    With regards to the issue over moving between city/traditional rivals, do you think it matters whether the player is someone born in that area or overseas? The loyalty to their first club I think is a little more dependent on the origin of the player as to someone spending a couple of years here and a couple of years there, club rivalries will probably be pretty meaningless to them?

    There have always been some players willing to cross the divide though, such as Denis Law, and Sol Campbell to name two. You also get those players who followed club A when they were growing up, but ended up joining club B when they became a professional footballer.

    Ernie, the fastest milkman in the West

  • Comment number 37.

    Why is WR greedy? He is a professional, employed to play football.

    If any other professional - an accountant, a solicitor, a surveyor etc - was headhunted or aware of more lucrative positions in the job market, they might move and be congratulated by many of their colleagues for it. If there is a club able and willing to pay a greater wage, ManU are effectively not meeting market value. WR's fault? No.

    Is WR entitled to seek the best possible offer? Yes. Does he owe ManU anything? No. Business is business.

    Why is WR not allowed to change his mind? He was happy and had never thought of leaving 11 months ago - so? I am sure there are many people who have changed tact regarding their career recently due to the health of their employer. WR may be no different.

    Is WR putting £££ before medals? Probably not. He is simply aware that there may be a position on offer with a higher rate of pay with less stressful working conditions due to the subject firm planning for growth and commited to bolstering the workforce at a greater rate than his current employer. This, in turn, may in fact lead to improved career prospects in terms of silverware. Whatismore, he may not have to relocate. If only I got recruitment mail-shots like that. Would you turn that down?

  • Comment number 38.

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

  • Comment number 39.

    If Rooney was prepared to ditch Everton and Ronaldo happy to move away from Sporting Lisbon to join Man Utd in the first place, how can we be surprised when they use us as a stepping stone to seal moves to the mega rich clubs like of Chelsea, Madrid and City?

    Surely, if we continue to rely on the transfer market to supply us with our best players, they will only use us to make their names and then leave us once the opportunity arises to make more money elswhere.

    In my opinion, the (long-term) solution is to invest more money into our youth system and develop quality players who will want to spend their entire careers at United (i.e. Giggs, Scholes, G Neville) and not be on the lookout for a big money move away. Beckham only left because he was forced out by Ferguson and P Neville and Butt only left because they were not guaranteed first team football anymore. Maybe loyalty does not exist in football anymore, but I'm sure the youth system is the way to go? Especially as the Glazers have crippled us with their debt.

  • Comment number 40.

    Don't know if you said little'un was a boy or a girl...but how about 'Sky' as a nice hippy name you haven't heard that one before?

    - the force would be good in Young Sky Walker and it's perfect for signing for mega-bucks Man City when older too!

    Huey Louie and Dewey

  • Comment number 41.

    Dan, congratulations, no doubt you will have some fantastic names lined up?

    Alas my surname doesn't have a second meaning like yours and many others, though I feel that for the future sanity of my children that is probably for the best. How about Waldorf Walker? Or you could name after the friend of Blossom, Street?

    Anyway, Rooney I think has decided that he wants to enlighten himself culturally. Ergo he will move to a city of museums and theatres, of great thinkers and creative heavyweights. Expect to see him in Madrid, London, Paris, Milan soon walking with coffee and Times, and extolling the virtues of Baroque architectural magnificence and it's impact on the very sole of society.

    Best Wishes,
    Michael Knight

  • Comment number 42.

    Thanks for all the messages - especially about the wee bairn.

    I'll be back later to address everything.

    Til then, keep them coming.

    Dr Stranglove

  • Comment number 43.

    Can I speak to a Mr Walker please?

    A Mr Dan Walker,

    No, DAN.



    Well if you are too busy to talk, dont answer the phone.

    Is dan too busy to talk?



    Is it always you who answers the phone in the house? You should change this regime, it obviously isnt working.

    Im sorry?

    Its the wrong number is it.


    Bye Now.

    Dan congratulations on the newly aquired small person.

    Jane and Michael

  • Comment number 44.

    Oh, and to the Man City fans, would this be ample revenge for Man Utd stealing Giggs from you?

    Ernest Borgnine

  • Comment number 45.

    Or you could go the whole hog and have "Luke Sky Walker"?
    With a name like that though, you'd want the baby to grow up fairly beefy to look after himself at school!

    Salacious Crumb

  • Comment number 46.

    By the way, you can read the open letter to Rooney here...

    Colonel Sanders

  • Comment number 47.

    Given your comment on last Saturday's focus about Rafa having spent a lot of money at Liverpool I'm not sure how I feel about you breeding. If you spend £10m on a player, sell him for £12m then buy a replacement for £15m then you have spent £13m not £25m. I can understand the likes of Steve Ryder and Andy Townsend getting confused by it but you work for the BBC. Surely accuracy is supposed to matter to you? Can we assume that it was just a momentary lapse and that we shouldn't worry about your contribution to the genetic pool?

  • Comment number 48.

    The sooner Rooney goes from our great club the better in my opinion. How can he have the bare faced cheek to criticise a club like Manchester United?

    He is only a spot on the great history of this club, not fit to lace the boots of some who have gone before him (Best, Edwards, Law, Charlton even Ronaldo) or even some of those he plays with now (Giggs and Scholes). I think he should look a bit closer to home when it comes to giving assurances on ones behaviour, whether it be in the transfer market or 'socially'.

    Show Roonry the same respect, or lack of it, that he has shown the club and Sir Alex - never let him appear in a Manchester United shirt again, strip him of his squad number and get him out of the club as soon as possible for the best price possible.

    Once a Blue, never a Red........

  • Comment number 49.

    I've whiled away a few minutes of the past couple of days reading all the blogs about Rooney and I am continually stunned by the inability of people to understand that a person can change their mind.

    Maybe Rooney meant it when he said he wanted to stay at Man U (and Everton, though I don't if he did say that) or he might have just said it because what else was he going to say!

    Interviewer: Are you thinking of leaving Man Utd?

    Rooney: Yeah I probably will leave sooner or later. Maybe it'll be my choice, maybe not.


    My guess is that he probably did mean it when he was asked if he was staying and then guess what... He changed his mind... oh my God, I have never heard of anyone doing that!!

    The only interesting part is why he has changed his mind and where he'll go now, 2 questions only he can answer.

    Of course there is also the chance that he will...change his mind again!

    But of course that never happens.

    Tuck Pendleton, no wait changed my mind, Jack Burton.

  • Comment number 50.

    I think the major problem is two fold.

    Firstly it's not that he's leaving (which I do find curious) but the manner of which he's going about it. It just doesn't seem professional, players, and big players at that, have wanted to leave United in the past but there has never been this sort of animosity; Beckham, Van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo have all left and are all still respected and liked (if not adored) by the United faithful. He needs to keep his mouth shut and he will get his move with little hassle.

    Secondly I think why there is such furore over it is because it's so unexpected. This all came out sudden; one minute it was an unbelievable rumour and the next it's the unbelievable truth! Also he's English (and yes I know I've used Beckham as an example and he is also English) and I think most people, not only United Fans, expected him to stay there for the rest of his career (unless he had a couple of years swansong at Everton); He wasn't a Johnny Foreigner who missed the Sunshine, Beach and had dreams of playing over sees. He was English, a true Englishman in the vein of a Bulldog, he was tough, sometimes overly so, he was occasionally pig head but most of all he was loyal...Well that's what we thought.

    Maybe I've over simplified things. Maybe I've got it all wrong but I don't think its the what but the how and why which has turned a lot of people's surprise into anger.

  • Comment number 51.

    congrats on your new baby!

    my two pence....
    i think the whole thing is weird. if the club was told in august rooney doesnt want to renew, why did saf come out yesterday and tell everyone this? why now?? it seems to me theres a whole lot more to the story than meets the eye here.

    this is the first writing i've seen in the press which is thoughtful about it and isnt jumping on some sort of sensationalist mob mentality bandwagon.

    i dont think this is about money at all. like some posters above have mentioned, he probably wants out of the fishbowl, and his wife probably wants out as well. i think its far more likely he'll go abroad than stay in the prem.

    i wish the shouters would get a bit more rational and pay attention to the timeline here. the cries of greed and betrayal are a bit premature, considering the timeline of this story. we dont know the truth at all.

  • Comment number 52.

    I'm sorry but regardless of the statement he has made, I dont buy into it.

    As pointed out, in a short space of time he has gone from saying that he will never leave man u to pretty much saying I'm leaving and its not open to discussion.

    Yes there are a lot of greedy footballers out there, however in his situation with the vast money both he and his wife receive besides his wages, this doesnt much sense either.

    It seems much more logical that what happened off the pitch is the reason he wants to leave and move abroad, if he has any chance of saving his marriage. Yes, he may say it's because the club is lacking ambition, but he is hardly going to say all the stories are true and thats why I'm leaving. This makes a hell of a lot more sense than what is actually being said and the only other possible explanation is he fell out with fergie, because he wanted to play and have the papers talking about what happens on the field and fergie thought it better he had some time to sort his life out.

    Either way I can' see it being for the reasons actually given. Many footballers leave a club, some for money,some for trophys and as fans we can't undestand why they preffer that over becoming a legend that will never be forgotten.

    Although he is not without fault, I believe you are all buying into what Rooney has to say in his situation. He is finally doing the right thing and actually taking a lot abuse for it. He loves playing for Man u, you could see it every time he pulled on the shirt. Hate him for getting into this situation by all means, but when footballers leave for almost any selfish disloyal reason, Rooney is the only footballer that is probably leaving for a good reason, to save his marriage.

  • Comment number 53.

    Picking up on a point made earlier, and not related directly to the ongoing Rooney saga (three blogs about this in a couple of days is a trifle excessive!!), but i also would like to see some of our so called major stars represented at other European Clubs to give them experience of other ways to play the game.

    It always surprises me how our players can't adjust, or dont want to go out there (with very few exceptions). Maybe it is actually because the rest of Europe don't rate our players as much as we do.....

    Back to the topic - i am tiring of reading about Rooney wanting to leave - who cares? players come and players go. Despite what some rival fans will think, i dont believe this is the beginning of the end of the Manchester United empire at all. That is just wishful thinking, and i daresay people were saying the same things after Beckham walked out too. And before anyone says it, this is NO different.

  • Comment number 54.

    Rooney is more intelligent than we thought!
    He wants success and has realised that Man U are not going forward - will they win anything in the forseeable future? Probably not. They are nowhere near the quality of Arsenal and Chelsea in the Premier League; they have no chance in the Champions League.
    Rooney sees this and because his chairman and manager can't reassure him about investing in quality players he wants to leave. That's sensible - move to a club where you can win things (and play alongside quality top players).
    It's not about greed for money, but greed for success.

  • Comment number 55.

    Nice blog.
    Congratulations on the little one .May God bless him/her.
    About Rooney. Flabbergasted, bemused, suprised and ........... well what else can we say.
    Should we be though?
    He left Everton? Why? Should he be satisfied with Man U?
    He has won everything with Man U, so why stay there? He is just 25.
    His reasons are not fully justifiable cos Man U bought Berbatov for 32mil couple of seasons ago. Yes Ronaldo left but then that was inevitable. And they finished 1 point behind Chelsea last season.
    I think its a combination of things.
    He's had a fallout with the gaffer (this might not be a bust-up- maybe just a silence/non-communication).
    He's had problem with his marriage.
    He's had problem with his international career.
    He probably wants more money.
    I think he has a particular place in mind and may have already been assured by the new club.
    Should he leave? Only himself can make that decision. You cannot compare him with Giggs & Scholes as those guys are quiet and they are Man U thru and thru. Obviously none of the big stars bought( not developed) by Sir Alex always leave in acrimonious situations - Jaap Stam. van Nistelroy, Roy Keane, Ronaldo?
    Its not the end for ManU, nor is it for Rooney? it might be the beginning of the end though for one or both. Time will tell.
    Not sure if the other teams should be scared of poaching by Man U (only Liverpool may be scared as they are going down too). I can't see any of the big teams being raided by Sir Alex.
    For me Rooney is overated. Not because of his talent which is enormous but his temperament which if fractuous at best.

  • Comment number 56.

    Afternoon Dan,

    Enjoyed FF last weekend. Always pleased when I hear a Phil Neville interview is on the cards, as he speaks very well. The story of Yakubu having to climb hills in the Lake District was particularly amusing.

    Trust you will find the energy to sustain a healthy family/BBC balance over the next few weeks.

    Ian Culverhouse

  • Comment number 57.

    LMAO at the open letter and also feeling a little sick at the stupidity and arrogance of the majority of united fans. .

  • Comment number 58.

    I hope Rooney goes abroad to increase his experience for a few years before regaining England a better and more influential player.
    The question is, where? and it seems to me that there's just one country and 2 clubs, Spain.

  • Comment number 59.

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

  • Comment number 60.

    According to the rumours page, Robbie Fowler has been talking to him about joining a club in Australia. I wonder what odds the bookies would give on that happening! 5,000-1 anybody?

    Rolf Harris

  • Comment number 61.

    I'm hoping that Roo is already in talks with the club hes going to. I want to see SAF take a taste of his own medicine hes dished out to other clubs like Everton, Feyenoord, Fulham, Leeds, West Ham, Spurs .......

    Bomber Haris

  • Comment number 62.

    Congratulations Dan, to you and the Mrs!

    I believe the Rooney situation has heightened from Fergie's stance of not talking to Rooney when he got back from the world cup knowing full well of the impending news of the world stories about Rooney's infidelity.

    Fergie was clearly hurt by what Rooney had done and slowly froze Rooney out of the Utd team, using an ankle injury as a smokescreen.

    The only way Rooney would stay at OT is if Fergie retires and Jose Mourinho took over as Manager. However with Man Utd's debt increasing by the day there would be no substantial transfer funds for Mourinho because the Man Utd team are slowly eroding away with age and the younger generation is knowhere near as good as previous generations.

    I have heard very strong rumours that Fergie is stepping down at the end of this season and that David Moyes will be taking over his position. If that situation were to arise then there would be no inconceivable way Rooney could possibly stay because Moyes has never forgiven Rooney for leaving Everton.

    Moyes has been doing well at Everton on a shoestring budget which impresses the OT owners because of the financial situation they are in.
    The major problem Man Utd have is to retain Champions League status because their financial status depends on it.

    I believe Man Utd will fail this year to get into the top 4 and their financial demise will ensue.

  • Comment number 63.

    The fuss over Rooney is quite appalling, amusing and mystifying (all in equal portions) to me. Here is a vastly overrated footballer, who is very good (so are a vast majority of the people in the top teams in any of the leagues) and that is about it. Not any of the following - world class, can walk into any team, genius, can turn the game in an instant (any footballer can do that, the frequency of the act is what makes the difference). As somebody else pointed out in another post on the BBC, Rooney has only ever scored more than 20 goals in one season - the 2009 one. Granted that number of goals is only one indicator, he still has had only one good season and we have the British media leading everybody on a delusional joyride. With this circus act that Rooney is orchestrating, we can add prima donna to the list of adjectives used to describe him. The fact is that Rooney is not even the best player in the Premier League - far from it. The guy can't play possession football to save his life. To use Beckenbauer's words all he can do is "kick and rush". Every time my friends and I (all supporting different clubs in the various leagues - Arsenal, Barcelona, Milan, etc.) hear Rooney being compared to Messi, we are rolling on the floor laughing.

    For the record, I am an Arsenal fan. Having said that, if anything, this might turn out to be the best thing for Man U. It is not by fluke that Sir Alex has won two Champions League and a boat load of league titles. It is his undeniable ability to build squads (repeatedly) that are capable of performing consistently on the world stage. Letting go of a divisive whiner like Rooney will probably bring the team closer and motivate them. Good riddance!

  • Comment number 64.

    Second attempt since apparently making a joke about not liking children isn't acceptable in these parts:

    Congrats on the new bairn, Dan. :)

    Decent enough blog, you have an interesting point of view to present given your MEN News allumni status. One small mistake to point out: your attempt to link to a story about Ferguson's classic retort to Rafa's 'Facts' rant ended up being a repeat of the Jaap Stam story from earlier in the article.

  • Comment number 65.

    Congrats on the new arrival.

    Will you call the child Wayne or Waynetta? would seem appropriate with whats gone this week.

    I think he is off to Chelsea, seems logical as Drogba is getting on and Chelsea can get him on the cheap, also he would fit right in with the rest of them with the way he lives his personal life.

    Bruce Springstein

    And Dan, if the young one has trouble sleeping, just get put a recording of Lawro talking and he/she will be out like a light.

  • Comment number 66.

    If Rooney heads to Manchester City I can't see it for being any reason other than cash.

    Those who claim that anybody, in any walk of life would move jobs for a pay rise, you're probably right. I would probably change jobs for another £5k a year. I would suggest however that the difference is that were I to make such a move I might be able to retire a few years earlier (probably when I was about 80 the way the world is going!).

    If however Rooney were to stay at Man Utd on their top contract he could still retire in 5 years time, secure in the knowledge that as long as he doesn't do anything incredibly stupid his great-grandchildren won't have to do a days work in their life. If he'd stayed at Everton his fortune may only have extended back to his grandkids!

    Loyalty is at a premium these days. All the more reason to admire players like Gerrard and Totti who remained with their home-town team but (although still fabulously well paid) could have made more money by demanding a transfer. Special mention also to Exteberria who chose to play for free for Bilbao in his twilight rather than move elsewhere.

  • Comment number 67.

    It's not about money!

    He wants to move to a club which is building for the future and win things.

    That is not happening at Man U.

  • Comment number 68.

    I'd love to think I'm wrong but I agree with Paul Merson. He reckons the agents have already got something lined up for big money.

    I don't think he's fooling anyone by saying he wants to be at a more competetive club than Manchester United. Clubs don't come much bigger than them.

    Most interesting blog I've read on thhis subject though, (and I've read a lot on this subject on the BBC)

  • Comment number 69.

    He may say he wants to leave due to the lack of big signings, but to me this says he hasn't got the stomach to be the main man. Fergie has been attempting to build a new team with Rooney as the focal point and maybe he can't handle that kind of pressure very well (one could argue his England performances as case and point). He was fine when Ronaldo was the focal point and Van Nistleroy before that, but now the burden has been passed on to him he doesn't want the responsibility.

    Michael Foot's Donkey Jacket

  • Comment number 70.

    It could be about money if he's decided that the best way to hang onto his wife is to let her go on another spending spree again, as happened the last time he chose to stray off the path.

    Who knows for sure though other than him... the agent probably wants the cash, Rooney won't say no to that, and he wants to go to a club with a perceived greater chance of winning more trophies now and in the future. Thank goodness the majority of the Arsenal players haven't taken the same view as him over the last few years.

    Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt

  • Comment number 71.

    Congratulations on the birth, Dan - glad it all went well. If you had been up since 0200, on the labour ward since 0515, and the birth was at 0222, does that mean it took a full day?!

    With regards to the rest of the blog, I think Ferguson has handled this very well from his and the club's point of view. Rooney now seems cast as the villain, regardless of what his true reasons for leaving turn out to be.

    I was surprised to read that Rooney had gone to Gill at the start of the season seeking assurances on the future of the squad (strength, depth, investment etc). Genuine concerns about the clubs ambitions, or a player trying to impose his importance and presence at the club on the board?

  • Comment number 72.

    For United fans to pipe their eyes and whine about this displays the breathtaking arrogance they have developed over the last few years. Let's see: it is OK to plunder other clubs and use what has, until recent years, been an almost obscene financial advantage to supplement an admittedly great home grown squad. But heaven forbid, when the worm turns it is all "disloyalty" and "kids today don't know what's good for them" blah, blah, blah. Take away Fergie's chequebook and he looks just a little more ordinary; like very other manager in football would.

    Love him or hate him Rooney is an otherwise limited person with a significant skill at football. Accordingly he is entitled to ply his trade wherever he wants once his contract is up. End of story. Those who reckon he is just a thick scouser underestimate him somewhat. He is keenly aware of his value and VERY ambitious. Those of you endowed infant school level arithmetic can see the way things are going. 90 Million pounds (I think that was it) for Ronaldo and no significant signing. Mostly debt servicing at about 40 MM quid per annum; debt that does not go away for a little while. It doesn't take a genius to see that United may be in for a lean period. Look how fast Liverpool fell. Rooney is 24 with his best years possibly ahead of him and he sees no mileage in toiling for a club that may be worrying about how to pay the light bill in the current environment.

    By the way, like most fans I am not keen on the way the game is going. We need a salary cap and we need it soon.

  • Comment number 73.

    Dan, First time to comment on your blog but let me start by congratulating you on the birth of child number three!

    Interesting reading about SAF but my impression is that you make him look so much larger than life here. He has his weaknesses after all. Yes, he has let nmany players go but there are so many who forged succesful careers in other places and even come to haunt him. I remember Jaap Stam and his AC Milan hitting ManU home and away in the CL. Pique has had a good run at Barca and with Spain. How about Forlan? As for Rooney, I honestly feel he is too much overrated - just like the English national team! He could hardly manage even one shot on goal at the WC while the likes of Ghana's Asamoah Gyan (now at Sunderland) had so many strikes and even hit the woodwrok countless times. For me Rooney is just an average EPL player. No more no less. If you need World Class strikers, look to the likes of Miroslav Klose or David Villa. These guys score whether it is the CL, Euro, WC or their domestic leagues!

    As for SAF, his time is just up. The old fox might have overstayed and he needs a big jolt to wake him back to reality. ManU just can't compete with the likes of Chelsea or even ManC, leave alone traditional European heavyweights like Madrid, Bayern or Barca. Rooney is just being honest and probably wants to make hay while the Sun Shines. ManC can afford to buy any player they want. He might just go there. As for Madrid or Barca, they have so many classic players and I doubt whether they need Rooney. In any case, English players struggle to make an impact with their type of football. Owen tried but he often found himself more off the pitch than on it. And as he later confessed, he came to learn foreign football wasn't for him. The only English player who tried in Spain was Macmanaman.

  • Comment number 74.

    I think Andy1959 has got it spot on. The Benny Hill sketch analogy is too true.

  • Comment number 75.

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

  • Comment number 76.

    Rooney was an important player over the past few years but since his injury in April he hasn't looked anywhere near the player he once was. Is it the fitness? The expectations of the England fans during the World Cup? Or maybe it's the well publicised personel problems? Either way, to say the things he has been allegedly saying about the club is an absolute disgrace.
    Last season's Wayne Rooney would be a massive loss to Man Utd but the joke of a player that has been turning up since the World Cup isn't really worth the bad publicity he is causing. Fergie, cash in his chips while he has still got a market value!!!

  • Comment number 77.

    As someone's already said he should go to Chelsea. He can get up to whatever he likes over there. He could go on the pull with Terry and Asher C

  • Comment number 78.

    PragueImp wrote:
    It's not about money!

    He wants to move to a club which is building for the future and win things.

    That is not happening at Man U.


    says who? how do you know they are not building for the future? Where is this happening moreso than at Man Utd? Utd have - Rafael and Fabio Da Silva, Smalling, Hernandez, Gibson, Obertan, Bebe, Macheda, Anderson, Nani, Welbeck, De Laet, Diouf and Cleverley. How is that not building for the future??

  • Comment number 79.

    "SAF may not admit it, but it's obvious that over the past couple of seasons no player of note has moved to OT"


    This particular myth is becoming as pervasive as the one about how poor Rafa had no money to spend at Liverpool.

    First off, spending 30 million for Berbatov counts as bringing in a "player of note".

    Secondly, Man U have spent considerable amounts of money in each transfer window. They're just not spending it all one on or two big name players.

    Lastly, Man United have never behaved as you are demanding that they do, regardless of who owned the club. They have never been the sort of club to just go out and buy Ozil, Forlan, and Sneijder, which is the sort of nonsense I'm seeing people calling for.

  • Comment number 80.

    "Where does the blame lie?"

    Why does there have to be blame? A footballer, albeit a very expensive, high profile and well paid one, has an existing contract with a club, albeit a very rich, high profile and prestigious one.

    Said footballer is coming towards the end of this contract and has indicated that he has no intention of signing another one.

    These are the facts here. Regardless of all the emotive innuendo about motives, lets call it what it is, absolute guff.

    An employee is seeking to (potentially) honour his existing contract and has given his current employers plenty notice that he does not intend to sign a new one. Simple really.

    Stop seeing things related to football as some sort of conspiracy of greed and competing agendas. It is absolutely tedious.

  • Comment number 81.

    Dan, congratulations, but be aware you are now outnumbered.

    Rooney: If his reasons for leaving are the truth then I blame the Glazers. The fans need to do something major in the way of a protest to get rid of them. I personally think that it is more to do with his personal life.

    On an unrelated note: despite the latest edition to your family, my sister is still adamant that she wants to marry you and is preparing a mexican bbq and chocolate bar "ball pit" containing such classics as the toffee crisp, picnic and plenty of revels. Will this sway you?

  • Comment number 82.

    Congrats on the new arrival, Dan.
    And well done to Mrs. Walker. I'm pretty sure she did all the hard work.
    Or was holding her hand and shouting 'push' alot harder than actually giving birth?

    Sorry Sir Alex but its already become a 'saga'.
    Extraordinary things going on at OT. This has taken football to a new level.

    I remember Graham Taylor jokingly discibing Gazza as 'daft as a brush'.
    Rooney can't be that far off. Or his advisers atleast!!

    Utd could well have come to the end of their domination but you still dont do/say what hes said/done.

    History teaches you that you do not take on Sir Alex and/or Man utd.

    Sir Alex is as stubborn as they come.
    Remember Stam, Ruud, Beckham?
    Even Roy Keane was shown the door for his 'outburst' against his team-mates/club.

    The only way Rooney can prove us all wrong is if hes forced to take a pay cut when he signs for his new club. Which could well happen if Sir Alex banishes him to train alone and hes not found a club by Jan 30th 2011.

    He'll go to Man City if he rebuilds his marriage.
    Madrid if he splits up.

    As for United? No Rooney. VdS, Giggs, Nev, Scholes all going. Ferdinand finished. Evra burnt out. With Rooney gone, Vidic Anderson and Nani will want out. There starting line up at the start of next season could look something like -





    Oh dear......

    Harriet Makepeace

  • Comment number 83.

    "Rooney is more intelligent than we thought!
    He wants success and has realised that Man U are not going forward - will they win anything in the forseeable future? Probably not. They are nowhere near the quality of Arsenal and Chelsea in the Premier League"


    The foolishness is strong in this one! You could make an argument for Chelsea, perhaps, but Arsenal being far better in quality than United? It's a joke.

  • Comment number 84.

    Rooney is way out of line if his statement about MU's strengths and weaknesses is to be believed. Who is he to dictate strategy? That is the manager's job along with his board of directors, that is why all teams have a structured management that plans recruitment, skills, careers, opportunities and probably most of all, mollycoddling the likes of Rooney whose immaturity and crass stupidity is shining through like a beacon. Teach him a hard lesson. Sack him now. We don't need primadonna's seeking the limelight.

  • Comment number 85.

    Which club in the world is more focused on winning trophies than Man Utd?
    United are all about winning trophies.

    Yes, they just happen to have more competition at the moment and they aren't the richest club anymore but no right-minded person could say they are not competitive.

    Just because they don't spend big on the most popular players, that doesn't mean that they won't win trophies.

    United have been building their youth ranks for years and have invested a lot of money in that department.
    They now have youth ranks filled with great young talents and that makes more sense than keep spending big on ready-made players.

    If Rooney thinks that United aren't going to be competitive then he has rocks in his head.

    Nicky Wire

  • Comment number 86.

    I think Rooney was only asking the sort of questions of the Old Trafford hierarchy that many fans would like to ask, given the chance. Sadly for them, he got the answer they were afraid of. Most of the club's income is going to pay off the huge debts incurred when the Glazers bought the club, and to line the pockets of these absentee owners. One of the once richest clubs in the world is now becoming little more than a buy-them-cheap-sell-them-dear trading organisation. They are another Liverpool in waiting, only on a much, much bigger scale. Until the Glazers are ousted and replaced by owners more sympathetic to the traditions and history of the club, I envisage a steady decline into mediocrity.

  • Comment number 87.

    All the Man U fans talking about a lack of loyalty in todays footballers simply find themselves in the position Leeds were in with Eric Cantona and Newcastle were in with Andy Cole. There are bigger fish in the pond now, get used to it.

  • Comment number 88.

    Cant believe the mods are not posting my comment!!!

  • Comment number 89.

    Thank you! x

  • Comment number 90.

    What is so mystifying?

    1. Rooney (and particularly his agent) realises Man U are on the wane and will struggle to win anything in the near future.

    2. Rooney (and particularly his agent) realises he (and his agent) can double their money, and win something, in the near future if he moves clubs.

    3. Ferguson realises both of the above; and that there is nothing he can do about it - so he plays the victim in his interview to try to salvage the best position for himself.

    There, sorted.

  • Comment number 91.

    loverly jubbley, a changing of the guard taking place in English football, Liverpool in turmoil and now cracks appearing at Man Utd.
    Sit back and enjoy !!!!

  • Comment number 92.

    I have a small amount of empathy for Rooney, plowing a lone furrow at United, having to do all the work up front, without the support most would expect from a United team. Its hard work, but he is well paid, so that where the sympathy ends. I also have a small amount of empathy for Tevez, plowing a lone furrow at City, having to do all the work up front, but that is a different situation as they have injuries to key forward. Its hard work, but he is well paid, and he can see ingured players about to return.

    Wayne, Wake up and smell the coffee. Stop sulking. Stop throwing your toys out of the pram. Its time to see where the money is coming from and sign the extension, and then start to show up for work every day like the rest of us. Everyone is disappointed; fans, SAF, club, everyone. Everyone goes through a bad patch now and again, you just have to work your way through it.

    Wayne, where do you think you're going to go? Anywhere in England you will find it difficult to escape the media for football or outside activities. Anywhere in Europe you will find it easier to escape the media, maybe a fresh start with Colleen?
    Chelsea? Probably best bet in UK.
    City? Not likely, and I certainly hope not.
    Liverpool? Not likely, unless a straight swap Rooney for Torres.
    Arsenal? Not likely, due to their strict (sensible) pay scale.
    Spurs? Not likely, unless a straight swap Rooney for Modric & Huddlestone.
    Real Madrid? Not likely, unless a straight swap Rooney for Benzema.
    Inter Milan? or AC Milan? Possibly, but would have to be a swap.
    CSKA Moscow or Spartak Moscow or Zenit St Petersburg? More likely IMHO, and they have plenty of money.
    And finally, get rid of this agent. Agents are the scourge of the modern game, contributing nothing to the game, its time for them to go, not just yours, all of them.

  • Comment number 93.

    Is the disruption in Wayne Rooney's carear at Manchester United caused by recent events outside of football, and related to his agency??

  • Comment number 94.

    Hi Dan, congrats on new arrival.
    In my opinion, the focus and pressure put opon him throughout last season during the build up to the world cup, has paid its toll this season. The way I see it now is that Rooney had two choices, firstly get back onto the training ground work harder be the great footballer, be a better team player he has clearly shown he can be, or secondly, point the finger and blame everyone else. Unfortunately, its much easier for a young egocentric sports superstar to blame others around him. It has been a terrible year for Rooney with all the stories and revelations in the media and difficulties in his personal life. Sadly, he needs the stability of Man Utd, a clearer thinking Wayne Rooney would have realised that. I hope in the long term this does not have further impact on his personal well-being and his natural football talent in the future.

  • Comment number 95.

    What will to happen to Rooney when he's had enough of the next club? maybe whoever he goes to will stop winning or drop him or he might want more money.I don't think he should start kissing their badge just incase he does.
    I hope everything goes totally wrong for WR and Man U go on and win even more trophies.

  • Comment number 96.

    Rooney is standing up to the Glazer/Ferguson occupation of the club and is totally correct when saying the club lack ambition since we all know they are preoccupied with managing the debt.

  • Comment number 97.

    i follow neither Everton nor ManU, but "once a Blue always a Blue" pretty much says it all... what else should we expect from such a hypocritical turncoat?

    if the club has any self-respect, they will expedite his departure.

  • Comment number 98.

    #83, take a look at the league table.

    #90, you're making too much sense for people who want to take sides or need a good story. This is nothing more than celebrity gossip pages, for men, mostly.

  • Comment number 99.

    Remember how we all laughed at the advert with a bearded Rooney in the caravan wearing a dirty string vest? Doesn't seem so far fetched now does it?

  • Comment number 100.

    I think what a lot of people are missing in all this, is the fact SAF called the boy out. His stage managed angst doesn't fool me at all. As he has proven in the past, the much used soundbite "no one in bigger than Man Utd" usually translates into no one is bigger than SAF.

    Do people find it acceptable that Rooney should be allowed to reply to Alex's statements, is it any less reprehensible that Rooney has used the media to state his case and in the process used the path of leats resisitance.
    He was already tried and sentenced by half of Old Trafford anyway, whatever he said in his statement would have found him vilified. His real crime is simply not wanting to play for the beloved Man Utd. Fans just can't live with that so all history and love is canceled.

    Do people really believe that Alex was so crestfallen after knowing this was going to happen for more than two months??

    Face it Alex's press conference was designed to do one thing, plainly paint Wayne Rooney as a enemy of Man Utd's fans. Sadly it seems to have worked with the fickle support filling reams of space in telling the world how disloyal he is for exercising his right to leave the club...Bolstered with staement that he's no good anyway.

    If Alex was so crestfallen and hopefull of a turn around, why bother with a press meeting at all, something has shunned in the past when crisis loomed.
    He could have simply issued a statement confirming Rooneys aim of not resigning, without instituting the "saga" he no says he is so keen to avoid.
    This was a carefully crafted attack on Rooney for having the audacity to say what he thinks and in so doing crossing the super ego called SAF.

    The "saga" that has followed was the boy answering back as Fergie knew he would.....

    The only reason SAF gets away with this underhand behaviour, is because he brings trophies and success, the only thing many modern football fans care about...

    I guess it easy to fool most of the people most of the time.


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