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Rooney burns bridges at Man Utd

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Phil McNulty | 18:52 UK time, Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Wayne Rooney will not only have trouble looking Sir Alex Ferguson in the eye next time they meet - he might also struggle to meet the gaze of his Manchester United team-mates.

Rooney chose to issue a carefully worded statement, which was no doubt also crafted by his powerful representative Paul Stretford, rather than face the world's media in the manner utilised so compellingly by his manager and one-time mentor.

In it, Rooney delivered the truth that dare not speak its name at Old Trafford. United, in his opinion, are no longer ambitious or alluring enough to keep him in the silverware to which he has become accustomed.

And his complaint that chief executive David Gill "did not give me the assurances I was seeking about the future squad" is effectively an attack on the quality of his United team-mates, intended or otherwise.

On that basis, with Ferguson wounded by Rooney's demand to desert his post and with the player believing United's current squad is not good enough, how can he play for the club again?

Rooney offered a hollow platitude in Ferguson's direction when he said: "For Manchester United's sake I wish he could go on forever because he's a one-off and a genius."

Badges depicting Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney are sold on a street stall before their Champions League match against Bursaspor at Old Trafford

Is Wayne Rooney's relationship with United and Ferguson beyond repair? - photo: Reuters

Yes, but also a one-off and a genius Rooney presumably feels is no longer capable, for whatever reason, of maintaining the standards the England striker demands, hence his desire to leave United.

Ferguson is willing to hold the door open slightly if Rooney wants to return to the fold, but the 24-year-old's statement hints at reduced circumstances at Old Trafford these days and accusations that United lack ambition will be like a dagger aimed at Ferguson.

Dressed in politically correct phrasing it may have been, but Rooney's statement casts doubt on the ability of United, and by obvious association Ferguson, to continue to win the game's biggest prizes.

Released only hours before the Champions League game against Bursaspor, it was a slap in the face to Ferguson, his United team-mates and supporters, but is there actually a grain of truth in his words?

Some supporters, those who fear the Glazer regime is leading United towards financial meltdown, may even agree with Rooney's sentiments if they can cut through the anger and betrayal they currently feel towards their former golden boy.

I recently saw Ferguson more or less demand a retraction from a reporter who, very politely, suggested the Scot might be operating under financial restraints.

But United's failure to make the big splash with the £80m received from Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo has aroused suspicions among their vast following that it has provided a timely safety net against the pressure of a club who recently, and coincidentally, announced an £80m pre-tax loss.

This has always been strenously denied. Thousands of fans have been echoing the precise sentiments aired by Rooney in their long campaign against United's current owners, but listening to it from their finest player as he announces his desire to leave is not what they wish to hear.

Fears have been growing that United's lack of serious activity at the top end of the market has been shaped by a shortage of financial muscle, despite Ferguson's insistence that it is purely down to a lack of value for money in the transfer market.

The problem for Rooney is that there is also the lingering suspicion that he has no great aversion to a huge payday elsewhere, even at Manchester City, though he was hardly going to release a statement admitting he was leaving for the money.

Rooney's response to Ferguson's disclosures in Old Trafford's Europa Suite on Tuesday will not sit easily with those who have been playing alongside him in recent months.

In admitting he sought assurances from Gill about the future squad and "the continued ability of the club to attract the top players in the world" he was showing a lack of respect to those he was going into battle with just a couple of weeks ago.

I have said myself that United's squad is not of the standard required to win the Champions League and that they will struggle to win the Premier League, but Rooney's message appears to be that while he feels he is capable of competing for trophies at the game's elite level, he is not sure about his team-mates.

This is why it is difficult to see how Rooney can return alongside those players on the same terms. How will United lifers such as Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville feel about his admission that their beloved club is no longer ambitious enough?

And even if Rooney suddenly decided he wanted to go back, would United supporters even want him after his damning verdict on what might await them in the future?

It is fair to say banners on parade at Old Trafford during the game against Bursaspor suggested there will be no forgiving or forgetting under any circumstances.

United's standing and ability to attract the world-class names Rooney truly craves has not been helped by his public assessment of their current state. All in all, not a good 48 hours for the club or the player.

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Ferguson confirms Rooney rumours in dramatic media conference

I have no great sympathy for Ferguson or United when they complain about the role of agents.

Exhibit A in the argument is again the way in which they were only too happy to deal with Stretford when Rooney was ruthlessly removed from Everton six years ago.

But the last two days have painted Rooney in a particularly ham-fisted light as he, accompanied as ever by Stretford, manoeuvred his way out of the Old Trafford door with a singular lack of subtlety.

It is a view shared by former Manchester Evening News Sports Editor David Meek, who has covered United for 52 years and who probably knows Ferguson better than any other football journalist, when he revealed his near disbelief at Rooney's impending departure.

He told BBC Sport: "I have witnessed some spectacular exits at Old Trafford, such as David Beckham and Jaap Stam's but I've not seen anything like this in the last couple of days.

"I have not witnessed such a crude way for a player to depart from a club. It seems totally ignorant, the way he's gone about this."

If he travelled 35 miles up the M62 towards Goodison Park, he may find others with a similar story to tell about the manner in which he left his beloved Everton six years ago.

How Ferguson reacts to Rooney's accusations will be intriguing. He has never willingly ducked a fight and there is every chance he will take the underlying message in the statement as a personal insult, an affront as well as a challenge to his ability to create one final great United side.

Some have already suggested there was an end of an era appearance about Ferguson as he showed genuine sadness at Rooney wishing to leave Old Trafford, but the old gunslinger is just as likely to try and stick around to answer the questions raised in Wednesday's statement.

If he does, he has saved one of his greatest challenges for his last. Rooney has pointed to a lack of ability to sprinkle greatness on the squad from outside, and time alone tells us Ferguson will lose Giggs, Scholes and Neville before too long.

I was at Old Trafford recently when Ferguson confidently stated he had assembled enough good young players to see United through the next eight years, while admitting he might have to use the transfer market in the next couple of seasons to replace those great old names.

By and large Ferguson trusts his squad and he was in strident and defiant mood after the Champions League win against Bursaspor, insisting "there is not a single thing wrong at Manchester United". Rooney's words suggest it is not a trust or a view that he shares, but Ferguson will not be shifting his opinion.

And for that reason alone Rooney's statement issued on Wednesday has surely brought the curtain down on his United career.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Good article Phil. Completely agree. Money is a factor, but its largely down to wayne's ambitions. He sees the likes of man city bringing world class players every window while fergie spend £8 million on someone he hasn't even seen on youtube. Who do you think Rooney is most likely to join? I fully expect Man City to be up there fighting for his signature but i have a sneaky feeling chelsea will get him.

  • Comment number 2.

    Bayern Munich. Swap for Ribery and Robben and £8m. Confirmed - though wont happen until the end of the season

  • Comment number 3.

    As a Chelsea supporter of 40 years, I truly hope we don't sign him. Vastly over-rated is Mr. Rooney, best place for him is Liverpool.

  • Comment number 4.

    Its all about money, the Glazers are not an excuse as they have been here for 5 years now, Fergie has not bought in several big players for 8 years. Ronaldo and Rooney were bought in the team over several years, they were not big signings, we won the champions league with players bought through our system. Rooney can not complain about no big signings, we are not a big signing club. Secondly, how does someone's opinion change from "Best club in the World", " i wanna play at this club for the rest of my life", over 3-4 months? the Glazers were here 4 months ago? We were not buying big 4 months ago, its obvious something has changed over the last 4 months, Money has turned his head.

  • Comment number 5.

    I dont think he will go to Manchester City - they are not prestigious enough a club which will suit his "ambitions", although they could certainly afford his wages. I could see him wanting to go and prove himself at one of the big clubs in Spain, even though i dont think it will work out favorably for him.

    A link up with Mourinho adn Ronaldo at Real would probably appeal to him most, as well as playing for a club which undoubtedly has the ability to attract the best names in the business to their badge...

  • Comment number 6.

    Uhuh...United could have spent a fortune on is he doing at Madrid? Oh...can't get a game you say. While I have no doubt United are under financial consraints, I also think it's monumentally foolish to simply spend for the sake of spending.

  • Comment number 7.

    Its all about money, the Glazers are not an excuse as they have been here for 5 years now, Fergie has not bought in several big players for 8 years. Ronaldo and Rooney were bought in the team over several years, they were not big signings, we won the champions league with players bought through our system. Rooney can not complain about no big signings, we are not a big signing club. Secondly, how does someone's opinion change from "Best club in the World", " i wanna play at this club for the rest of my life", over 3-4 months? the Glazers were here 4 months ago? We were not buying big 4 months ago, its obvious something has changed over the last 4 months, Money has turned his head.

    Great comment, spot on!

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.

    Given that his agent, Stretford, is on record as having made misleading statements to police and was suspended from working as an agent for a (paltry) period of 9 months, why does anyone believe a word of this story that he wants to leave because of a lack of ambition. It's all about the money... that's the only thing that concerns both his agent and himself. You don't leave a club that has won as many trophies as United because of ambition. When he ends up at City on 250k/wk there will still be people who refuse to accept it's all about money.

  • Comment number 10.

    I have got a question, england has not won any trophy since long, so is Rooney ready to change his nationality to, lets say Brazil, country who has more "ambition" to win trophy ???

  • Comment number 11.

    Boohoo Phil. He bad-mouthed his team mates. Well he's right, anyone who has seen United play this season will concur that they are a shadow of the side they looked just two years ago. When your best players are a 35 year-old Scholes and a 36 year-old Giggs, you know something isn't right.

  • Comment number 12.

    As someone said on the R.O.M blog- if he goes to City, it's clearly for the money and if he goes to Chelsea he can legitimately claim that he's there to win trophies. Ideally, i'd like him abroad.

  • Comment number 13.

    A spell playing reserve team football is probably the only way to show Rooney that he's not as 'grown up' as his words imply. An out of form striker taking one of the valuable 11 starting places probably isn't much use to Man Utd in the Christmas run-up anyway.

  • Comment number 14.

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

  • Comment number 15.

    I think this is the middle of the end for Utd, the beginning being when Ronaldo left. It looks to me like we could be sliding down the table like Liverpool did after dominating English football for so long.
    Glazers out and maybe its time for Fergie to move on, but I think that is even more unlikely now as he will want to prove Rooney wrong.

  • Comment number 16.

    post 1.

    Not sure i agree, Chelsea have been tightening their purse strings over the past couple of seasons too, and certainly have not bought any "trophy" A list players which would suit these ambitions of his. If anything Chelsea's aging squad is less exciting than United's.

    Like i say, i cant see him going to City - yes i know they have bags of money Citeh fans, but in truth, you dont have the appeal for the big name players to want to go there (yet at least). Real seems to be the place to go with these ambitions of his.

  • Comment number 17.

    Our display against Bursaspor tonight demonstrates that our squad is woefully short of quality. And that's only going to get worse as the best players see the inevitable happening and jump ship.

  • Comment number 18.

    How can you blame Rooney for doing this. Since he was bought 5-6 years ago Utd haven't signed any players with maybe the exception of Evra and Vidic that are good enough to win Leagues let alone Champions Leagues. He has only watched players of a similar calibre leave, Ronaldo & Tevez. Bebe is a joke signing and that sort of thing isn't going to fill anyone with confidence players or fans.

    Good luck to the lad, I love how utd fans will say they won't need him and good ridence, this was all well and good saying it about Ronaldo and Tevez as there was always one left that could keep the fans happy, but this 3rd one to leave when in his prime to seek trophies somewhere else is going to put an enormous amount of strain on the fans love for this once great club

  • Comment number 19.

    I, for one, am looking forward to supporting a United side that is definitely against the ropes. It is the first time in my short life that this is happening. The club thrives on adversity, so the impending (hopefully not) cup drought will not be the end of things.

  • Comment number 20.

    i agree with him that the team and squad aren't strong enough, i think if it wasn't for fergie's management united wouldn't even be as good as spurs, they have better players all over the pitch, (they lack a world class striker and a centre defender that can play 30 games a season).

    also player for player i don't think there is 1 player i would chose from the united starting 11 againsts chelseas.

    i'm a united suporter, and i think rooney has been disrespectful in the way he has gone about trying to leave united (also so long before the transfer window) but i do agree with what he's saying.

    maybe he's decided to come out this early so fergie can try and put something together to buy some decent players in january. this may leas to glazers freeing up some cash, but i doubt it.

  • Comment number 21.

    "Rooney can not complain about no big signings, we are not a big signing club."

    Not a big signing club??!!

    Veron? Ruud? Rooney? Ferdinand? Ronaldo? Berbatov? need I go on?!

    As a Liverpool fan I naturally don't have time for Rooney. He also epitomises everything that is bad about the average modern day footballer. Greedy, disloyal, self-centred, ungrateful. Not to mention the way he conducts himself away from the field.

    I don't really see how he can improve his career. He's playing for one of the elite clubs in world football, he's been challenging for honours every season he's been at United, got a great manager/mentor in ferguson, good team-mates around him, loved by the fans, 1st name on the team sheet. What more could he want??

    I for one hope his career goes down the toilet from here. At United he's a big fish in a big pond, at other big clubs he'll be an average sized fish in a big pond.

  • Comment number 22.

    Hey Wayne, maybe if you would settle for less that 200K Utd might have some money to spend!!!

  • Comment number 23.

    Honestly whether Rooney believes it or not is beyond the point, fact is he shouldn't have said it. While he's here he's still playing for United, simple as. You don't denounce your club and the players you train and play with. What angered me is the complete arrogance and disrespect to the very talented young players. If he wants out then at least leave with respect, nobody should say that the clubs awful and the young players won't make it. He's not bigger then the club. On current form he's not even a starter. I've supported him through his bad form but with every time he opens his mouth i'm hoping more and more that he gets what's coming to him.

  • Comment number 24.

    I still find it hard to actually fathom out why Rooney would want to leave Manchester United. For all his comments about not getting assurances about strengthening the squad, this means he is effectively hoping for a move to, at best, a handful of clubs. He is hardly living out a hardship at United is he?

    So who are the clubs? Real Madrid abroad - as Barcelona will not be paying big money for Rooney and Chelsea and Manchester City at home.

    I was going to say Rooney should be careful what he wishes for, but his statement tonight tells us he wishes to leave.

    If you were a team-mate of Rooney's, how would you feel about his statement? I personally feel it shows them a lack of respect and professional courtesy.

  • Comment number 25.

    Stephanoo - completely agree with your comment. Rooney is trying to hide his greed by jumping on the Glazer-bashing bandwagon. Pathetic. I would be surprised if he dared show his face at training again after these comments. He's effectively calling Fergie a puppet and saying he is too good to play with the likes of Vidic, Evra, Giggs, Berbatov etc. Has he forgotten the 2-3 years it took Ronaldo to find his feet before growing into a world class player. Now he's reached the ripe old age of 24 he no longer has time for young players? Or answer B, he's greedy.....

    As a United fan I wouldn't take him back if he signed a 6yr deal on half his current pay. You don't disrespect a club like United and get away with it.

  • Comment number 26.

    'On the Wane' Rooney. What a guy. What an insulting attitude. Obviously he is a great world-class player who needs the comfort of galacticos around him. Loads of loot, loads of trophies. Given his last few months he is deluded. Loads of loot. Loot and crass behaviour.

    Burst his bubble. Stick him in the reserves ... in fact don't even play him there. Sell him, and good luck to the team of galacticos who take him on. Pay him lots and praise him mightily. Perhaps he'll walk out on England as his team mates are pretty average ... it's a wonders he bothers ... well ...

  • Comment number 27.

    Find it hard to disagree with this article, although the whole 'lack of respect for fellow players' is abit harsh. All Rooney wants I'm guessing is decent world class replacements for scholes, giggs etc.

    The argument that 'its all about money' is just a cop out in my eyes. Rooney hasnt even discussed a contract and Fergie said a contract that "will be hard to match elsewhere" is available. Whatever he does he's in for a big pay day. So if he stayed would he be being loyal or just staying for the money? Depends which sets of fans you ask.

  • Comment number 28.

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

  • Comment number 29.

    Hi Phil, What do you make of article written by Dan Roan here on BBC in the morning ???

  • Comment number 30.

    4. At 9:55pm Stephanoo wrote:
    "Ronaldo and Rooney were bought in the team over several years, they were not big signings, we won the champions league with players bought through our system. Rooney can not complain about no big signings, we are not a big signing club."

    Er what planet are you on? Rooney cost you 27M 6 years ago, how is that not a big name signing? rio 30M, veron 30m etc...
    you've always signed big names and whats so obvious now, is that despite netting 80M for CR7 you've yet to shell out. Ur on the way down mate - get used to it

  • Comment number 31.

    He'll go where the money is. Manchester City, Real Madrid, or Barcelona - in that order.

  • Comment number 32.

    Rooney delivered the truth that dare not speak its name at Old Trafford. United, in his opinion, are no longer ambitious or alluring enough to keep him in the silverware to which he has become accustomed.


    You have to be a bit gullible to believe that. If United offer him 250,000 pounds per week, I think you'll see him suddenly come to the conclusion that they are a team interested in winning after all.

    He left Everton for money - why do people resist the fact that he's a mercenary?

  • Comment number 33.

    His lack of grace, under pressure or otherwise is only superseded by his inability to prosecute an argument. The lads over at Blue Elf must be salivating, the next installment of Special1 TV practically writes itself!

  • Comment number 34.

    Think he will struggle to settle/fit in if he goes abroad.....but not sure he realises that. And if he stays in England then it really seems like only Citeh or Chelsea are possible destinations (excellent team that they are I don't think the Gunners show the ambition/salary he craves). But both Citeh and Chelsea could be problematic for I think he goes overseas, struggles, and is in for a very difficult time.

    Shame, because we need a confident, happy Rooney playing well if England are to challenge the big international sides.

  • Comment number 35.

    well in fergusons statement yesterday he said this about rooney

    "I was in the office on 14 August and David phoned me to say he [Rooney] wasn't signing a contract," confirmed Ferguson.

    but in rooneys statement, he said he met David Gill Last week and was not given the assurances he had been hoping for.....

    so one is not telling the truth.

    I would rather believe Ferguson over rooney, This is a bull story by rooney to justify his unwillingness to sign for the club.

    Personally, I would sell him. Once your head is turned it is turned.

    Bye Bye Rooney and don't let the door hit you on the way out....

  • Comment number 36.

    I was at a press conference recently when Ferguson said the club would stretch itself in the transfer market to replace the players who are likely to retire.

    Rooney has won a host of trophies since joining United - if he thinks Ferguson is such "a genius" might he not want to show a little loyalty and hang around for a while just to see if they can match his ambition?

    I would be very interested to know what his conversation was like with David Gill. How can Gill give a player precise assurances on the make-up of the squad? And is Rooney actually within his rights to make such demands?

    One thing is certain, this one won't go away for a while.

  • Comment number 37.

    Evening Phil,

    I think the sale of Rooney will provide us with much needed funds to strengthen our midfield. As you stated yourself, replacing Giggs and Scholes, less so Neville and even Van Der Sarr should be our priorities. We don't need Rooney. Ruud was a better striker than him... United have never had problems scoring goals.

    Might Spurs be in with a shout for Rooney? Redknapp would love to work with him im sure - spurs need a top class striker. United will surely be interested in bringing Bale to OT to replace Giggs... The two clubs have done business before, none of United'd rivals are likely to go after Bale - City and Chelsea are well stocked on both wings, and United tried to sign Bale before he went to Spurs... It would also mean Rooney not going to one of our rivals...? I think he'll go Madrid, but... could there be some movement on the Spurs front? I hope so! Would love to see Bale and Nani on the flanks for United.

    As you also stated Phil, Fergie made reference to having to spend on Scholes' and Giggs' replacements, which to me suggests he has both an idea who he might go for, and also that there is money waiting for the right time. Fergie always has a plan, this much we know.

  • Comment number 38.

    real madrid would be the lace for him, rooney and ronaldo are awesome toghether, if you've got alonso and ozil feeding them balls they'll score goals. that would be an unbeliveably good team (in terms of players at least).

  • Comment number 39.

    Funny to think that Man Utd are the only unbeaten team in the top four divisions in England, if you take all competitions played in into account!

  • Comment number 40.

    It's very premature of Rooney to state that this squad is unable to challenge for major trophys. It is a work in progress, very talented young players mixed in with older experienced players. Of course the old will finish but by then someone else will take up the responsability. Look at Nani, forever in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo, now making a name for himself. Also injuries have really hit this squad of players, Hargreaves, Carrick, Anderson, Valencia. When they are all fit it is still a very strong squad.

    It is a very difficult situation for United, Rooney vs Ferguson is costing the club millions. Rooney's value is dropping, it may be difficult to find a buyer, meanwhile Utd. keep paying him 90k a week and he's probably won't play again for Utd.

    This could very well end up in the courts, with United claiming damages against a want away player who by his own actions is devaluing his worth. As he becomes seen as more of a troublemaker, less managers will be prepared to pay the asking price.

    Advice to Utd. Sell him cheap, sell him quick......before this really gets out of hand.

  • Comment number 41.

    A lad with so much natural talent....what a pity he went to MU to start with - he would have been so much better off going to a club that would have channelled and improved his temperament, not one that lets players get away with so much bad discipline, on and off the field. For England's sake, lets hope he can be re-focussed...!

  • Comment number 42.

    "United's standing and ability to attract the world-class names Rooney truly craves has not been helped by his public assessment of their current state."


    United have never been a team built around attracting "world class names". They've never aspired to be Real Madrid. And I say this as a Chelsea fan.

    If United were the sort of team Rooney says he wants them to be, they've not have signed Rooney in the first place. He was hardly a "world class name" when they did so. They'd have signed somebody like Ronaldo instead.

  • Comment number 43.

    Unambitious and lacking in prestige? We missed out on a record setting 4 in a row of top flight league wins in a row last season by a point. We have also spent big on players recently such as Berbatov at 30 Mill and Nani was bought as a youngster for 17 Mill. I think Rooney's argument holds very little water and he appears a foolish young man.

    Good luck to him though as he has a talent, just wish he'd showed it for United or England in the last 6 months.

  • Comment number 44.

    When you think about it he's 24, this next contract is his biggest, whoever he signs for will be getting him in his 'prime' late 20's. So he wants to make sure he will be still winning trophies. Over the next 5yrs who's going to be winning trophies? Real, Chelsea, Barca, City? I personally dont see united up there in a few years.

    They may be a side with an undoubtedly fantastic history and profile but, history is history it doesn't win you trophies. I think in Rooneys comments he made an error saying that they lack ambition. I think its more they lack the resources to continue to match his and the clubs ambition.

  • Comment number 45.

    Ferguson has just confirmed he has a 10am meeting with David Gill, who has spoken to the owners, tomorrow. I suspect they will reach the conclusion that Rooney cannot play for the club again after the events of the last 48 hours.

    What is your take on this news? And obviously your comments on what I have said in the blog are very welcome.

    How sad that a player who was so celebrated and loved at his two clubs, Everton and Manchester United, has become so unpopular so abruptly at both when it has been decided to move on.

    And how much responsibility do you feel Rooney's representative Paul Stretford has for this situation?

  • Comment number 46.

    Good blog Phil..

    I can't believe that nobody has mentioned the MLS as a potential move. Beckham and Henry have really raised the profile of 'soccer' in the USA and I'm sure Rooney could make a packet here with sponsorship etc.

    I just honestly can't see Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern or either of the Milan teams needing Rooney. Man city Have ambition but if he moves there it will be all about the money.

  • Comment number 47.

    Even as a 32 year old Arsenal fan, I actually feel sorry for SAF.

    He is right - Man Utd have turned Rooney from raw talent to one of Englands only possible world class players (A.Cole, er....) but I can almost see Rooneys point.

    Man Utd haven't made a showpiece signing in years (we signed Arshavin and at least kept Cesc!); Valencia, Hernandez, Smalling and Bebe may turn out to be giants, but football is a game of now for most people. Gone are the days of Van Kneeisweak, CR7, Tevez, Veron, Carrick (18 mil) - big signings.

    Tonight, Man Utd looked awful, The trio (Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez) that were the best in the Premier League for 2 seasons have all gone or are going. They need an awesome set of kids again (see 1995) or serious money in terms of transfers.

  • Comment number 48.

    i would love bale and modric for rooney. and then try and get fabiano as well. that would turn a ok squad into a decent squad!

  • Comment number 49.

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

  • Comment number 50.

    This just screams excuse from Rooney. United only lost the title by a point when they were actually being carried by Rooney last season, and this year Nani and Berbatov have come good while Hernandez is making his own statements every game while Rooney can't hit a barn door right now. As for the Ronaldo money, United have spent 25m this season and a similar amount last year, and scored more goals than with Cristiano in 2008, so to say there is no money for players is just inaccurate. The fact that it was the World Cup that changed Wayne's mind and that before that he was at the best club in the world indicates that he probably spent a lot of time comparing pay packets with Barry and co and saw the wages Toure has got, and decided he would rather be there than at Old Trafford. As for City's supposed title challenge, I can see them doing ever so well when the new rules come in. The inevitable drop in player value then will benefit prudent and clever buyers like Ferguson and be a bitter blow to the mercenaries in the bitter half of Manchester.

  • Comment number 51.

    Any chance of a swap deal for Heskey?

  • Comment number 52.

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

  • Comment number 53.

    City is the only destination for him. Sir Alex will realise that City will give them 50+ million without even blinking, which they can then use to hugely strengthen their squad. In the long run it could even work out better for United. If they were to buy a decent striker to replace him, as well as someone like Gourcuff, then they would be a huge threat once again.

    When it comes down to it, City will want him more than Real Madrid and Chelsea and will be able to prove it by opening their infinite cheque book. Adebayor will likely be on the way out as well as Roque Santa Cruz in order to make way.

  • Comment number 54.

    Phil I think your comments about United ruthlessly snatching Rooney from Everton using Paul Stretford are wide of the mark.

    I fully remember what happened and if memory serves me correctly United wanted to buy Rooney but their hand was forced to act quicker than they wanted as Newcastle were making a huge bid for Rooney. United had to deal with Stretford as thats how it works.

  • Comment number 55.

    In a team i played for in my youth, one player approached the coach and demanded a place in the team, citing 3 others who he felt were not as good as he was. He was a talented player, but full of himself, and not exactly popular with the rest of the team. (His dad ran the club). The coach not only benched him immediately, even though we had a huge game to win, but told him he was playing reserves for a minimum of 8 weeks, for his self-inflated view of his "worth". The player walked, and joined the local rivals. We beat them in the season end final by quite some margin, and he was hopeless, getting subbed for the second half. (He was on the receiving end of some enthusiastic tackles, i'll admit it.)

    The moral of this story is:

    Players win matches, Teams win championships.

    I've seen this happen time and again over many years.

    Rooney is going for the money, and some idea in his head that he wouldn't be warming the bench at other big clubs, like Inter, Bayern, Real, etc....

    I can't see anyone tolerating his attitude for long outside of the ManU system, and club community, and this latest statement only seems to confirm that he's of the view that he's better than anyone else, and the rest just aren't good enough.

    I'm not a ManU fan, but once again Fergie has demonstrated exactly why he's the longest serving 1 club manager, and the most successful manager in the modern era of the game. (And watching the game tonight against the Turkish champs, he also demonstrated that even in the midst of the upheaval Rooney and his advisor have created, he turns out a team that wins. It won't be seen as the finest game MU have played, but the result is on the board.)

    A spectacularly mistimed, arrogant, and petulant statement from rooney, written from a financial perspective that can only have been drawn up by the agent, no doubt rubbing his hands with glee at the idea he'll get a sizable percentage of rooney's monstrous future wage where ever he ends up. He may have acknowledged SAF's genius (which is stating the obvious), but it rings hollow as a sop to take the "ego" out of the statement itself.

    I won't be sorry to see him go, and i'll wager that the team will be more settled without him, and i'd defy anyone to suggest that ManU have "lost" it.

    Dodgy owners or not, they are a club with a winning mentality, not only in the 1st team, but right through the structure.
    The season is young, but just maybe the younger players in the squad will have their chance to shine with regular football, now that the "petulant" one is leaving.
    Were it me, i'd leave rooney out of the squad for the rest of the season, with no more games played, and get on with giving the young hungry guns their chance in the sun.
    Let rooney sit at home, and patch things up with his wife, and the team, and fans, can move on without him, just as they've done before, many times, as other players moved out.

    Like them or loathe them, ManU have a perpetual motion that is constant, and always moving forward, which i think is part of their success, not to be measured in one game to the next, but over a longer term, across seasons.

  • Comment number 56.

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

  • Comment number 57.

    To be honest, speaking as a non-manchester united fan I find the position of Rooney to be very disappointing. Whatever you may say about the signing from Everton, the fact is that Alex Ferguson has clearly put a lot of time and effort into developing this young player.

    Rooney might say that United have not bought the top class players, and this is true, but then you cast your mind back to 1996, when they started a season with players like Neville G, Neville P, Scholes, Butt, Giggs and Beckham. What did Mr Hansen say then?

    I cant see where Rooney would go besides United that would both pay his wage demands and also give him the trophies he seems to crave. Chelsea actually run a sensible business model these days, so they are probably out. Manchester City can cover the wages, but you are taking one heck of a punt on them actually winning trophies.

  • Comment number 58.

    why is it ok when ferguson kicks players out of the door because of broken relationships, but when the opposite happens it's betrayal????

    of course it's not only united's inability to attract top players as Rooney claim, money of course plays a huge part but nowhere the level City would pay. Maybe he was thinking "we are going to go the Arsenal way for some years becase of the huge debt and I'm not prepared to wait to win trophies"....

    It's a cruel world, unfortunately

  • Comment number 59.

    Hmm I remember when we started the season with unknowns or up coming players like Neville(s), Butt, Scholes and some guy called Beckham.

    I also remember Stam, Ince, Kanchelskis, McGrath. I also remember us buying an up and coming player from minnows Notts. Forest ... his name .. erm, ah yes Keane. Oh yeah and that chap Cantona for next to nothing.

    The transfer market has got ridiculous and to say that you must spend 40mil or you have no ambition... that sounds like a football agent.

    Thanks Wayne, leave your lack-of-ambition Champions League Winners Medal at the door on the way out.

  • Comment number 60.

    This is blatantly Rooney being brain washed by somebody, probably his agent. He's being persuaded that he can get more money elsewhere and like a typically stupid football player who doesn't know how to think for himself, he has bought every word his agent has told him.

  • Comment number 61.

    Stopping him from playing is stupid, just as dumb as when Madrid tried to do the same with Beckham and then had to change their mind. Must affect his value if he's not played in months for a start.

    Find it odd that people largely agree with what he said but think he's wrong to say it.

  • Comment number 62.

    Surprising that a player is apparently a mercenary when he says he wants to leave due to lack of ambition (before even reviewing a contract) but when Keane & Rio and co hold the club to ransom and stay on with massive salaries they're loyal. Hmmm

    Players move on, and they will continue to do so. Other clubs in the league have to deal with it every season, remember Everton had to deal with it 6 yrs ago. United and Fergs are not invincible, if you want Rooney to be loyal, send him back to Everton, who you poached him from in the first place. The fact is loyalty in players disappeared in 1992.

  • Comment number 63.

    United are doomed unless they can replace Ferguson.
    And the Glaziers.

  • Comment number 64.

    Funny how a lot of united fans are moaning at Rooney for going elsewhere looking for trophies.
    Most of them are glory hunters themselves and trophies are the only reason they support united in the first place!

  • Comment number 65.

    Who's Rooney tring to kid? This is all about a big money contract that Man Utd have never been prepared to offer any player. Rooney, and more importantly his agent, knows that he will never get the big money contract at Old Trafford that he would get at Chelsea, Man City or a couple of European clubs. Trophies are a bonus. What matters to Rooney & his agent is that massive pay day & signing on fee that he will attract. At the end of the day he will be replaced at Old Trafford like every other player under Fergie except Cantona.

  • Comment number 66.

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

  • Comment number 67.

    I am a Liverpool supporter but just for once I am in complete agreement with Alex Ferguson and Manchester United. On a day when the Government has told normal people that things are going to be hard for years to come, Rooney and his greed makes me sick. he earns 150k a week, more than six times what I earn in a year just for kicking a ball around for 90 mins twice a week and now he wants another 100k a week. the greed of this man is beyond belief. Does he know what real work and hardship is about. I hope noone tries to sign him to give him some idea of his real worth in the svheme of things and that Alex Ferguson leaves him languishing playing for the third team for the rest of his contract.

  • Comment number 68.

    46. At 10:36pm on 20 Oct 2010, Bluenose_in_Texas wrote:
    Good blog Phil..

    I can't believe that nobody has mentioned the MLS as a potential move. Beckham and Henry have really raised the profile of 'soccer' in the USA and I'm sure Rooney could make a packet here with sponsorship etc.

    I just honestly can't see Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern or either of the Milan teams needing Rooney. Man city Have ambition but if he moves there it will be all about the money.


    A move to MLS would also be about money and not winning trophies.

    I think Rooney's disquiet is about money ... but just wish I didn't feel so uncomfortable about the debt at the club and the way the Glazers seem to be running United down. They have an opportunity to make a statement, either by announcing a massive transfer kitty or simply even calling their own press conference. The silence is deafening!!

  • Comment number 69.

    The problem with Rooney's analysis is that he is a player and not the manager. It is usually the manager that puts the team together and decides if they are good enough. Any concerns he has about the ability (or lack of) of his team-mates is undone by his own extended poor form. It will be a worry to potential buyers that he seems so affected by other things that may be on his mind.

    Where can he go? Man City wouldn't seem a good idea (too close to club and his other activities). That really leaves only two main clubs capable of giving him team-mates capable of winning the league/champions cup - Chelsea and Arsenal. Chelsea would be the most likely (top of league) as I'm not sure Wenger would want him, although football-wise Arsenal would be attractive.

    Can't see him going abroad despite the benefits it would give him regarding technique etc. Spain and Real would be most likely, but how well does he get on with Cristiano in real life?

  • Comment number 70.

    Maybe it's because I'm seventy, getting on a bit, an old fogey and feeling my age, but do contracts and allegiance to your employer mean nothing anymore? Does this young man, Wayne Rooney,lack all maturity and sense of loyalty to those who have nurtured his talents, paid him a large fortune, and made him so well off?

  • Comment number 71.

    Phil - If, and I emphasise 'IF', Wayne Rooney's form of late had been like it was last season, then maybe, just maybe you might wonder if he has a point about the capability of the current team matching his ability and ambition. Certainly at times last season, on the pitch, it looked as if Rooney was seconds ahead in his thinking and streets ahead with his vision.
    However in the present circumstances one can only draw the conclusion that under the banner of the 'le miserables brigade' at OT, i.e. those who believe SAF should lash out millions on any player (especially any with a remotely spanish connection) -just to show 'we have the money' and/or taking up the cry, "we are all going to hell in the Glazers handcart"- Rooney has used this excuse for cover; actually he wants more money, the club will pay extra, but not what he is demanding, so he threatens to leave -unfortunately once he drags his teams mates into the reckoning, its thanks for the memory Wayne! -as great a player as you are, once you start that down that path, the game is over!

  • Comment number 72.

    Hmmm, Benitez was lambasted by yourself for openly coming out against his teams owners.

    Yet you then critise Fergie for keeping his mouth shut?

    Sailing whatever way the wind blows again Phil, no surprises there.

    Rather than throwing his toys out of the pram Fergie is doing the best he can with what he has, and in the last four years won 3 leagues, 2 league cups and a Champions league, with the last league title coming despite a weakening squad, and IMO an inferiour squad to Chelsea.

    I bet every other club in crisis would give anything to have had 1/2 our sucess under our current poor owners!

    That sucess is in a large measure down to Fergie.

  • Comment number 73.

    Where Rooney has seriously burnt his bridges is the awful timing of all this - how badly has he affected United's season? Given the fact he made clear to Gill he wasn't renewing his contract on August 10th, and the next transfer window doesn't open until January, why didn't he push for a move in August?

    There's also this, which it seems no-one has noticed: The Rooney who carried United last season does not, in actuality, exist. He did it for one season, saw that he would have to do it all single-handed again because United made no big signings, and said 'no, thanks'. He doesn't want to be the biggest player, the creative centre, the fulcrum who delivers when the team needs it. Rooney wants to be one part of a collective, a mercurial element as opposed to essential component. Which is ironic, given how frustrated and out-of-sorts he appeared at times when playing out-of-position with Tevez and Ronaldo...

    So, to evaluate: Rooney wants to be part of a star-studded team, appreciated but not the centre of attention, and he always wants to play in his preferred position. I don't disagree with what he said about United, but at the end of the day there aren't any clubs where his very particular demands will be met - not even City.

  • Comment number 74.

    I'm getting tired of this nonsense. It's all mind games, and we can all guess and pontificate, but the man-child should be left alone. All this obsession only fuels the problem. Then again, this is what readers want to read, I guess.

  • Comment number 75.

    Rooney has seen the writing on the wall and understandably he wants out. I'm pretty sure he will go to City and earn himself a massive payday, because they are the coming force. Why all the hurt finger pointing and accusations of disloyalty? He's given United good service and now he wants to continue to better himself, both professionally and financially. The fact that he no longer sees United as the vehicle for him is a direct consequence of the financial strait-jacket imposed by the Glazer leeches.

  • Comment number 76.

    I suspect they will reach the conclusion that Rooney cannot play for the club again after the events of the last 48 hours.


    It's an awkward situation. They can't sell him for another couple of months, and his value (to himself and to Man Untd) drops if he does not play. So both Rooney and United have an incentive for him to perform between now and the transfer window.

  • Comment number 77.

    "Hmm I remember when we started the season with unknowns or up coming players like Neville(s), Butt, Scholes and some guy called Beckham.

    I also remember Stam, Ince, Kanchelskis, McGrath. I also remember us buying an up and coming player from minnows Notts. Forest ... his name .. erm, ah yes Keane. Oh yeah and that chap Cantona for next to nothing."

    Ah yes ...
    Neville - one of the most disappointing full backs ever to wear the England shirt.
    Stam and McGrath - booted out by Fergie at short notice.
    Keane - real gentleman, wouldn't hurt a fly (or a referee)...
    Cantona - the karate Kid.
    Scholes - not exavctly the most careful tackler...

  • Comment number 78.

    couldn't happen to a nicer club if we are honest about it.

    who are manchester united to complain if a players head has been turned by money, this is how united go about unsettling players to force transfers themselves so it's simply a case of what goes around, comes around.

    as for the player, he hasn't produced a single world class performance since around march so i don't know who he thinks he is casting aspersions on the performances of his team mates right now? and if he is going for money it tells you all you need to know about him. what would man united be offering? £120-150k a week? how can he be expected to live on that? poor soul.

    so there you have it, a club with no scruples and a vile individual with no scruples. you could say they deserve each other though it doesn't look like thats the way it's going to be.

  • Comment number 79.

    Phil I can't understand the whole fuss. Rooney decided the team is not good enough, he has witnessed it closely at Liverpool and he let the club known 17 days before the transfer window close.

    ManU went on to buy few unknown players. Rooney is looking for a bigger club with more ambition and he is in position to choose so fair play to him.

    About the club loyalty then please everybody should know he supported Everton as a child. We all are taught to keep our professional and personal life separate and the lad is doing so.

    About the money well to average fan I just like to tell, these players can only earn money for ten years or so unlike everyone else who can work at their jobs for 40 years. Bankers make more money than Rooney in this society. He can't earn a billion every even when he is adored by million like bankers on Wall Street. Secondly lot of other people like Glazers are making money on his back so why shouldn't he get his fair share. It is called Capitalism.

    Fans can't even organize a stadium boycott so they should be the last one to argue on loyalty and class.

    ManU welcome to being a feeder club and a new history tv like Liverpool TV.

  • Comment number 80.

    I for one have been waiting impatiently for this to happen - he left Everton and we have improved dramatically since (no doubt the money helped as well as the removal of an ego) - we signed Tim Cahill with the Rooney money after all. But I am amazed at the surprise that he would want to leave Man U - he supported Everton and had no problem leaving, so why would he have a problem at United? Everton will again benefit finacially (as I suspect will Wayne). This said I'm pretty sure no Everton fan would object if he came back tomorrow (which obviously won't happen), yet apparently if he dare's go back to Old Trafford (emphasis on the OLD) his career will be ended by a tackle and a chorus of boo's - remind you of anything Man United fans? We Everton fans were so out of order and should just get over it.

    Good luck Wayne - don't forget nobody else ever leave's their job for a pay rise.

  • Comment number 81.

    There is a feel of decay and decline around Man Utd, and I think Rooney is headed to Real Madrid or Milan... he's a sharp boy is Wayne, good job

  • Comment number 82.

    I just wanted to add something. Although Rooney is being said to be 'leaving' Manchester United, this is not the case. He had a contract (lasting for another couple of years). He is as yet not quoted as having said that he will not honour his contract. Hence, he is acting totally within his rights. If you have a mobile phone contract with a company but would prefer to go to another company with a better deal, you wait out the remaining months and then move. Just like he's doing. He signed a contract. At no point did it say that he was obliged to sign a subsequent contract after this one expired. Other cases, such as Mascherano at Liverpool, are not quite the same. He wouldn't play teh first games of teh season until he was offloaded.

  • Comment number 83.

    I disagree Phil, this is not an attack upon Ferguson, Rooney has simply grasped what will happen when Sir Alex finally does retire. By acting now he has guaranteed United a transfer fee which otherwise might not have been able to alleviate some of their massive debt. Once Giggs, Scholes and Sir Alex move on Rooney would be cast adrift in a team that has a very uncertain future about it. Be under no illusions, what happened at Anfield could certainly happen at Old Trafford, only on a much bigger scale.

  • Comment number 84.

    Why is everyone making such a big deal out of him moving away from Manchester United?
    Players move from other clubs and no-one says anything. He wants to move. End of story.

    If I was working at a top banking firm, and i'd been working there for 6 years, I reached (what I felt was) the top of my potential there, I couldn't go any higher, plus I was bored and wanted a change,
    So what?

    man. United aren't special. They're just another business...

  • Comment number 85.

    Coutinho looked a decent player tonight...imagine if Rooney went, United could use funds to buy him, and try to tempt Bale to well as Jovetic at Fiorentina. Those three would be big signings, and Wayne would be kicking himself.

  • Comment number 86.

    The problem is, Rooney has bought into the Manchester City plan of 'buying the best players = instant titles' Real Madrid have tried the same trick several times, including last season with Ronaldo, Benezema and Kaka, what did they win last season? United have always had a strong youth policy, all the way back to the Busby babes, yes they haven't spent money on a big name recently (in fact I can't remember the last established big name United signed, Tevez had only been playing in Europe for a season, Rooney was 18 and was clearly not the finished article, Ronaldo an unheard of teenager...). Yet because Man Utd only win the league cup last season it's all doom and gloom? Yes Chelsea are running away with it, but United traditionally are bad starters anyway. And if this year is without silverware then never mind, the squad is going through a transition while the young talent develop and grow, who knows, in 4 years we could be hearing about Macheda/Hernandez/whoever being the next big thing.

    On a final note, two of the more sucessful teams in recent years in European football have been Manchester United and Barcalona, both in the UCL and domestically, both have an extremely strong emphasis on youth and youth development, Germany have emphasised youth at international level, a fairly unfancied team at the WC, came 3rd after being knocked out by the eventual winners, who themselves have lots of players who have won international silverware in age categories en route to the national team, while ageing teams like England, Italy and France failed. What does that say about youth football, and whether investing in youth, over established 'big' names is a good idea?

  • Comment number 87.

    Incredible story,

    I would feel betrayed if i was a utd fan, player or Ferguson who (as an arsenal fan) is statistically the best club manager to have lived.

    Personally i believe Nani will become world class from his performances this calendar year, raphael and gibbs etc look good enough.

    However Rooneys decision being terrible or brave is only something time will tell. I anticipate a lot of heat being thrown the Glazers way for this and if Ferguson is truly working with a limited budget combined with the rise of other clubs comes a shift in expectations and i wouldn't blame him for wanting out for Glory (not £££).

    If however Ferguson has a war chest enough to forray into the transfer market, rely on his youthful prospects and is quite right that the transfer market is over inflated for the top, top players due to the noisy neighbours (£100m for Kaka!) then Rooney will have made a terrible decision.

    I would like to think that he would stay even if he knew they were slipping because of loyalty to the fans and Ferguson but then the world just doesn't have Matt Le Tissiers out there anymore....

  • Comment number 88.

    phil, what do u see happening tomorrow morning realistically

    what do u think the possible outcomes are?

  • Comment number 89.

    Re swapping Rooney for Bale - After tonight's performances, Spurs will be valuing Bale at a higher price than Rooney...

  • Comment number 90.

    69. At 10:51pm on 20 Oct 2010, Safunnyoldgame wrote:
    The problem with Rooney's analysis is that he is a player and not the manager. It is usually the manager that puts the team together and decides if they are good enough. Any concerns he has about the ability (or lack of) of his team-mates is undone by his own extended poor form. It will be a worry to potential buyers that he seems so affected by other things that may be on his mind.

    no. any player can have his opinion and if the club doesn't like it the player can go. that's what happening or will happen. but what if it is ur best and only world class player (when good)??

    ps. to those who say, like Phil, that he shouldn't play more. every gameless matchday his value is decreasing so if he sits for 9 months MU would cash in less.

  • Comment number 91.

    Man United are in the same position as Liverpool. The only thing keeping United competitive is the ability of Alex Ferguson and the stability of his 24 years in the job. Liverpool over achieved due to the brilliance of Rafa Benitez and United have and will continue to over achieve until Alex Ferguson retires then they will slide down the table the same as Liverpool. Chelsea & City will dominate the English Premiership for the next decade, Rooney knows it and i'm sure the realists at United know it too. It would be a blot on a fantastic career if Alex Ferguson leaves United in a wimper, but it's a blot that will definitley happen.

  • Comment number 92.

    Team Rooney has had 24 hours to find the best approach in which to answer the question, why? He has basically blamed the Glazers and hope the "Glazer Out" bandwagon will support him and protest even more about the ownership. Don't believe it for a second.

    It is however, clear it is about money, his own that is. United have rarely gone out and brought superstars, Rooney, Ronaldo, Van Nisteroy, Keane, Schmeichel etc were brought and developed into world class players by SAF.

    It is short-sighted greed, nothing more, nothing less.

  • Comment number 93.

    Rooney is 1 man - no big loss as an individual as far as I can see.

  • Comment number 94.

    I have to say as a life long red this is really a strange situation. When there's a fall out between Fergie and his players he normally disposes of them quickly and without lingering back and forth PR battles. He is old school and likes to keep things in house. Those who think this episode shows Fergie is "genuinely sad" or "showing a chink in his armor" is really underestimating the man. He has had a close relationship with all the young players he has brought through at Old Trafford but when they had to go (Beckham, Keane, Phill Neville etc) he done so without a second thought. Also, Ronaldo wanted to go a year before he left but did not engage in any media games. I think Fergie has brought this into the spotlight to force Rooney out in Jan. He knew as soon as he released his carefully prepared statment that the fans and media would turn on Rooney. Fergie has seen his behaviour on and off the field of late (his private life and his relationship with his agent)and wants to cash in on him in January. There is no turning back now.

  • Comment number 95.

    I think, sadly, that his brighest days might be behind him. I doubt that he will find a more conducive environment in which to shine than SAF, Old Trafford, its fans and an English-speaking environment afforded him. More likely, I suspect we will see him leading something of a vagabond career with a series of "best club in the world" moves but none ever proving to be quite "best" enough. What's the old saying? "No matter where you go, there you are."

    And even if Man City or others decide to dig deep and accommodate a record salary demand, just how destabilising might that be for the rest of their squad and the league as a whole? Everyone will beging reevaluating their own worth against this new stratospheric benchmark, discontent won't be far behind, more agents will persuade more players to demand ever more, and eventually the whole market could simply implode. The memory of the bursting of the housing market bubble two years ago is apparently fading fast.

  • Comment number 96.

    as a united fan i hate to say it but Rooney is right. i think he should have handled the situation better and i hope he left for this reason not for money. it is becoming apparent that united are heading the same way as liverpool. the squad is not improving, there are no real quality young players and no big players are coming in. the only thing that holds united together at the moment is fergie. united have the weakest squad of the big teams and its only man management that keeps them up. the only way that united can prevent the slide is to have a change of ownership within the next 5 years, otherwise the yanks will bleed united for cash, and leave us to rot, going the same way as leeds.

  • Comment number 97.

    Er, just who is entitled to be "seeking reassurances" about strengthening the squad from the CE?

    The Manager. Last time I looked, that wasn't Waning Rooney.

    He just can't open his mouth, even in a prepared statement, without digging himself a bigger hole. Would YOU want to play with that sort of conceit?

    Still, with the money he gets us in January, the squad-strenghtening might just take place-talk about hoist with your own petard!

  • Comment number 98.

    Agreed Rooney's move is not good for Man Utd.
    But we've lost good players before - Best, Cantona.
    Others have been moved on, for better for worse.
    But as some of us remember, nothing as bad as the 6th February 1958.

  • Comment number 99.

    pragueinp at 10:48.
    spot on

  • Comment number 100.

    I expect a formal apology from Mr Rooney. His behaviour is a disgrace to the Human Race. Maybe he's a shape shifting reptilian? I can think of no other reason for this treachery.


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