Thoughts of a Manchester United season ticket holder
Friday, 22 October 2010
The Rooney Farce - A Tale of Greed and Sleight Of Hand
So now we can all go back to our normal lives. We got angry. We kicked and screamed. We felt mugged off. And now.....a feeling of empty hollow with a touch of strange jubilation.
To view the events of this week in chronological order would be a waste of time. Everyone including their Mothers had their say, and eventually Rooney signed his contract...you know?..the one he didn't want.
In short, it was one great big happy domestic mess. Today the Manager and the Boy Wonder posed together in family bliss and all is (sort of) forgiven and forgotten. But I'm yet to hear a fan that represents that picture of bliss. Some fans are still fuming. Others feel dejected. A section wish to punish Rooney with their silence at games. Others say he is no longer "one of us" This family is now officially dysfunctional.
Personally, I do feel bit sick by it all. It's like one of those crass pantomimes that get put on at Christmas...the ones with the mildly sexist/racist jokes that turns your stomach every three minutes..all cheap and poorly acted. It was NAILED ON that Rooney was going. The City link was entirely credible and it seems it was just a matter of time before we saw Carlos Tevez Part 2. But somehow...the pre-emptive strike never came.
I feel Rooney and Stretford had every intention of taking their business elsewhere. The £400k a week on offer was just too good to turn down. Which makes it even more strange that Rooney has remained at United on a deal that is less than half that amount. On Twitter I hammered Rooney for being the epitome of greed. I understand that there's no loyalty in football..not really. But when someone is prepared to trot across a city to our biggest rival, and wear their filthy strip week in week out, rubbing it in our faces like that Argentine does, well it just doesn't sit very well. However, Rooney's statement in reaction to Fergie's orchestra of melancholy at Tuesdays press conference was not entirely untrue. In fact it was fairly accurate. Rooney questioned the future squad (note: not the current squad) and the clubs ambition to win trophies. This is nothing compared to what we've all said about the Glazers and their finances! He also hinted at the possible retirement of Sir Alex being a factor. Again, he is right. We all fear that nasty day when Fergie retires to that great big wine cellar in the Cheshire sky. But the fact remained he was saying to the world that he was leaving Manchester United...and it hurt us like hell!! It was the equivalent of fan rape.
The situation seemed like it could not be rectified. So what happened? Fergie gets everyone in a room and does one of his famous Jedi mind tricks. Just as he did to Eric Cantona post kung fu kick when he chased the King to Paris, sat him down and did his best Yoda impression, leading the Frenchman back to a court house in Croydon. The manager is the master of things like this. And his most hated enemy...the press...has been manipulated into becoming his most powerful weapon in his quest to retain Rooney. It's up there with anything Shakespeare wrote. A majestic tragi-comedy. It appears all Wayne really needed was great big cuddle...and an extra £90k a week..or the equivalent amount to which ONE of Yaya Toure's legs earns every week. It's a bit of a bargain when you look at it like that. If Fergie had really questioned Rooney's desire to wear the shirt then he would have been gone. Or Ruud Van Nistelrooyed as I call it.
Sir Alex is the ultimate chess player. The ultimate politician. The ultimate reverend preacher. He sells United to the world..and to his players. The protector of the faith. He said that "Rooney just needed reminding how big Manchester United are"..in a way that a priest takes confession and dishes out 3 Our Fathers and 4 Hail Marys..giving the member of his flock direction, forgiveness and absolution. Rooney has fallen back in line having well and truly seen the light. A vision of the future burned into his mind by Fergie. And for those jumping on the conspiracy theories, you need to calm down. This situation is not the same as Beckham or Ronaldo. Firstly, the boss wanted shot of Becks, and with Ron we knew he was always going to go to the club of his dreams. Neither of these apply to Rooney's situation. I doubt Wazza has ever dreamed of wearing one of Ricky Hatton's cast off strips!
So now we have to trundle along in a temporary kerfuffle. We're all a bit dazed. A bit confused and punch drunk. But the minute Rooney pulls on that shirt again, and produces the form he had pre World Cup...I get the feeling we will start to forgive a little more freely.
Time is a healer. Trophies cure disease. Rooney's rehabilitation starts today.
Manchester United fan since the age of 9 when he saw Norman Whiteside curl the ball into a Wembley goal in the dying minutes.
He is an Old Trafford season ticket holder in the North Stand Tier 3...and cried tears of joy, on his knees with the many in Moscow.
Rob is a contributing author/editor at Man Utd blogzine 'The Faithful'