The Wayne Rooney Saga, as it will forever be called, is a time that all United fans would rather forget, or just wish didn’t happen. It was a week of rumors, speculation, threats, a desire to leave, and ultimately a recommitment to our majestic club. The wound is still tender, and will be for quite some time, but we are trying to mend it in whatever way we can. Some fans would rather not talk about that iniquitous week. Some fans are still analyzing every twist and turn, every back and forth.
The fact remains, though, that Wayne Rooney is still at our club, whether fans like it or not. From the day the reports broke about Rooney leaving, I told myself to reserve judgment until all the facts came forward. Within three days, the matter was over and done with. It was a whirlwind set of events that we’re still trying to gather our bearings from. Rooney hasn’t contributed to our side as of yet, and with an injury, courtesy of Paul Scholes (allegedly), he’ll be out for a few more weeks. SAF has fielded his side as best he can, given the circumstances and injuries. With all the absences, it feels like the last campaign all over again, something we desperately can’t afford. We’ve managed to have some bright moments with the sides we’ve put together, but it’s still left to the imagination what we could be doing with a fit Wayne Rooney. That leads me to the current set of circumstances, and geographic location, regarding our once beloved, Golden Boy.
When he picked up the nick during that infamous week, there was a diagnosis of three weeks away from action. Then it comes to light he was to be sent to Oregon to train at Nike HQ. There were mixed emotions, and reactions, from United fans, to say the least. The question then became, “Is this the right thing for the club and for Wayne Rooney?” Some people argued that he needed time to focus on football and recovery. He is wildly famous in the Eastern part of the world, but in the States, he’d get more solitude and time away from the circus back at home. After his injury against Bayern Munich, and his performance at the World Cup, you could just see it on his face that his mind wasn’t in football. Knowing that the world, at any moment, could know of your infidelity can take its toll on someone. So, some protagonists would use that as justification for sending him to the States. My stance, however, is different. And here’s why…
The second he announced he wanted to leave, there were fans who wanted his head. Jerseys were burned, threats were made, and fans wiped their hands clean of Wayne Rooney. Then when the details were sorted, he points at the lack of initiative on the Glazers’ part to find front line ammunition. We then find out that he’s making 200K+ per week. City printed jerseys in anticipation of Rooney’s arrival. It all seemed a ploy to pull some money from the Glazers’ pocket, which turned out to be true. He disenfranchised himself with the fans and the players. For me, sending him off to train alone wasn’t the right move. Giving it time to “blow over” is poppycock – fans will never forget. He needs to start mending bridges immediately – players first. Being at Carrington everyday, working with the physios, training with the team – that’s how he makes himself fit in at United again. Sending him off to the States is counterproductive, especially given the way he left.
The only way that our starting eleven can win is if they are one team. He needs to show that he wants to be here, and that means training with the team. Winning them back. When that’s patched over, his performance on the pitch is the ONLY thing that will win United fans back. He had a severe lapse in judgment and wavered in his commitment to our club. A faux-pas? Yes. A death sentence? No. So to win us back, he needs to do the exact same thing he did to win us over in the first place – win it for United.
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