Today, The Faithful welcomes Nathon Woodhead from Red Flag Flying High. You can follow the site @RFFH and Nathon @nathonw on twitter.
The retirement of Alex Ferguson spells an end to the greatest era in the history of Manchester United, but with every end comes a new beginning.
The greatest manager of his generation, and arguably of all-time; Sir Alex brought success after success to the club, rebuilding squads, creating formulas for title winning sides and laying a foundation for future success – but he did not always get it right.
We all know it took a fair few years before Ferguson won his first trophy. We all remember the sale of Jaap Stam, which should never have happened. We all remember the apparent forcing of David Beckham out of the club as he was perceived to be getting too big for his boots and far too much media attention. We are all aware of the Djemba-Djemba years in which Chelsea and Arsenal both dominated the Premier League, whilst United lurked in the background, miles behind the two London outfits in terms of ability, team spirit and all round solidity.
Arsenal went a season unbeaten, followed by Chelsea who won back to back titles and a record breaking Premier League points total – not to mention they had the financial backing of a Russian billionaire so could continue to buy the best players… but Sir Alex, again, built a squad that not only won the domestic league title back, but went on to win the Champions League.
The sign of a true winner is how you react when the chips are down. Sir Alex Ferguson was a winner.
Keeping on the topic of mistakes, I am of the opinion Sir Alex made his biggest mistake after his final game in charge against Swansea. Letting the world know that Wayne Rooney asked to leave, in my opinion, simply was not necessary. We all know Rooney requested to leave the club in 2010; it was made public, it was confirmed by both player and club, and it was soon retracted after a bumper contract was offered.
History tells us that Sir Alex Ferguson always gets the final word – and perhaps the proclamation after the Swansea game was his revenge on Rooney. I do not for one second doubt that Rooney and Ferguson had spoken; why wouldn’t they? If I was left out of the big games, I would want answers. If the answers I got were not good enough, I would want to know if I featured in the manager’s plans for the future.
At the time of the conversation between manager and striker, you have to remember Rooney was unaware that Ferguson was retiring. In his mind, he was not getting games and probably thought this is what life would be like at Old Trafford in the foreseeable future. Maybe he asked the question – “do I need to move clubs to get games?”
Again, that is a perfectly acceptable question. The only time it is acceptable to be a fringe player is when you are working hard to break into the squad – not when you are a seasoned professional and former player of the year, knowing the World Cup is just around the corner.
My point is, every professional footballer wants to play week in-week out (except Winston Bogarde) – and if Rooney thought he was going to be a sub for the next 12 months, then maybe he assumed his days at the club were numbered.
In typical Sir Alex style, he was pretty cut throat when he announced Rooney had asked to leave but wasn’t going to be allowed. If this was a lie – Rooney couldn’t challenge this comment. Not on the retirement day of Sir Alex. All he could do was sit and wait for the new manager to be appointed and explain that events did not quite materialise how Sir Alex described.
I am in no way taking the side of Wayne Rooney or calling Sir Alex Ferguson a liar, but I am willing to take a balanced look at the situation – something many fans haven’t managed to do, simply because of the opposite reputations of the two people involved. By telling the world that Rooney had asked to leave, there was only ever going to be one outcome, and that is the fans turning on the England striker.
This chapter in the Rooney saga not only turned the fans against the player, but it has caused problems for David Moyes from day one – and nobody knows for a fact that any of it is true.
Follow me on Twitter: @NathonW
Because going against SAF is the new hip? Transfer req twice. Played outta position coz he was out of form. But hey, lets blame Fergie.
If he wants to leave I think he should.Nobody is bigger than the club.Manchester united has made heroes and legends,we appreciate his service to the club but if he is not willing to play for man united he shouldn’t be forced to stay.There are many greats who retired or were sold but the club still winning medals
This article was never going to be popular with all, it just offers a different view. Thanks for reading 🙂
Rooney’s form and fitness dipped considerably why should Rooney be guaranteed a starting place?because he’s Wayne Rooney doesn’t work like that.Rooney is a professional footballer making a fortune every month,yet he acted like a baby because although he asked Sir Alex for better players spat his dummy out because he was no longer the main man
Rooney needs to grow up and start earning the fortune he get’s paid every week,is Rooney wrong of course he is in every way,spoiled little bastard.I read Rooney needs to feel wanted and loved,what a load of bollocks,he’s a in a decline and needs to lay off the smokes,junk food and booze and start applying himself
Thanks for the article. I am of the firm opinion that Rooney did not ask for a transfer and this was Ferguson sticking the knife in as a parting shot – we all know what he is capable of to get his own way. In fact haven’t the club denied that Rooney has not asked for a transfer at all.
Lets put the Rooney saga behind him and support him when he puts on the shirt at the beginning of the season and not get on his back because of misguided words by Ferguson at the end of last season
Well, I salute the objectiveness of the article. And yes SAF shouldn’t have spoke about the 2nd transfer request .. But this will turn out “a blessing in disguise”, Rooney with a point to prove and back by Moyes, we may see his best season at old Traford yet… When i first heard moyes was the new manager, i thought, “well there’s no way we’ll keep the premier league title” (a cup would seem more likely). I’ve never known Manchester UTD without SAF (felt like crap for quite some days)… then slowly, again, I see the champion team left by SAF, the club structure, the winning and fighting spirit, a whole new team ready for the challenge under a new manager. We still might not keep the title, but you’re not going to get it easy either and in a season’s time, The red devils will make you tremble again! Once a red, always a red!! Glory Man Utd!!
sure one of the greatest most respected managers of all time is lying and Rooney who all he’s ever done is lie and get into off field trouble is telling the truth.Like to point out it’s always Rooney’s ‘camp’ that comes out about him not asking for a transfer.Know why Rooney doesn’t because he’d lose his transfer fee,it’s all about greed and selfishness with Rooney.
pjch you need to give your head a shake backing Rooney over Sir Alex what is wrong with you
Firstly your article isn’t in the balance. It is sentimental…. Secondly , I think if as a player I’m dropped from games I’ll ask questions….. But not after I’ve questioned myself….. “What did I do wrong?” “Is my form a lil awful?!” “Is it a tactical plan that required me to sacrifice position?!” ….. All these kinda question should be in your head….. Yeah! Rooney is a great player but the truth was he wasn’t up to his standards last season…. SAF confirmed this after a match in which he played CM by saying a fit/in-form rooney wouldn’t be subbed….. Yeah! Maybe SAF shouldn’t have said that openly buh I’m happy he did….. I don’t think he has made a mistake with Rooney. I think Rooney should have thought well and hard before such utterances….. He was playing in CM and being subbed cos he wasn’t his super self….. Let’s not indulge or beat around the bush,if Wayne was Wayne then we’ll have 2 strikers pass the 20league goal margin…… He let himself down IMO….. SAF maybe just felt he was about to hold the club to ransom again so he wisely turned the fans against him….. So you blame him for that? You expect him to babysit him and start narrating bedtime stories about why he wasn’t playing CM&getting subbed?! Did you hear what Mike Clegg said about Rooney’s gym workouts?! The problem is with Wayne… I hope he stays,I hope he forms that lethal partnership with RVP…..
Buh most of all I want him to realise is that he messed up,and like you said “The sign of a true winner is how you react when the
chips are down. Sir Alex Ferguson was a winner.” So I expect him to act like one.
Nobody is bigger than the club, if players like Beckham, Nistelrooy and CR7 were sold, then Rooney can leave if he wants, but of course at the right price. Rio has asked him to stay, so did Moyes so far, but just look at this pic to see that he’s not really in the mood to continue on: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/07/11/article-2359993-1AC1F16D000005DC-413_306x465.jpg