There have been countless discussions, tweets and blogs written over the “disgusting” way Wayne Rooney held Manchester United to ransom earlier this season, myself included.
I want to call time on the bitterness and hatred that still pollutes Old Trafford and our fan base and ask us to forgive and forget Wayne Rooney.
Fans like myself who attend Old Trafford week in, week out, witness first hand the levels of commitment Rooney is now showing to Manchester United. On the pitch, where it matters. Yes, immediately after the threat to leave and subsequent signing of a new bumper contract, his performances by last seasons standards were poor, however, slowly but surely, Rooney has started to find form and improve game on game. He might not be scoring with the regularity to match his goal tally of the last campaign, but for me, he is playing a much bigger role in the team.
Against Chelsea this week, Rooney, in my opinion, gave one of the most complete midfield performances you are likely to see this season. He provided brilliant cover at the back like a Cambiasso, he passed the ball short with the speed and precision of a Xavi or an Iniesta, he sprayed the ball long with the vision and accuracy of a Paul Scholes, he showed the passion for winning of a Roy Keane whilst maintaining a cool head not seen in a United jersey since Denis Irwin. The lad put everything he had and more into the game last night to the point he could barely walk at the final whistle.
So what if he asked for more money, so what if he threatened to walk away to get what he wanted. We all know there is no “real” loyalty in football anymore, true loyalty in the top levels of football, shown by the likes of Messrs Scholes, Giggs and Neville are never to be seen again . The important thing now and for the future is what he does on the pitch whilst wearing the prestigious red shirt of Manchester United.
It surprises me that people are still unwilling to forgive and forget the actions of the boy from Merseyside that we loved so dearly in previous seasons, unwilling to sing his name from the terraces. Footballers will come and go at a club, real loyalty is for the fans, we will always be here through the ups and the downs, the only loyalty we should expect from the players is during the 90 minutes of a match. Rooney is clearly showing what it means to be a Manchester United player, every time he steps on to the pitch.
Time to call time on the hatred and get behind him and the rest of the squad as they push on to bring home more silverware this season.
FA Cup Semi-final, Champions League Semi-final and six games away from a potential record-breaking 19 league titles to look forward to, could we be looking at another magical treble?