It was one of those moments you will regale your bored looking children about in years to come. If like me you have a parent who from birth raised you right & installed the passion for United in you, then you too will have heard their stories of “I was there when…” It’s those iconic moments that forever live on in the fan’s hearts, from when United lifted the Treble or when Cantona kung-fu kicked that Crystal Palace fan. But it’s the truly spectacular goals that stand out the most whether it is an amazing cross in with flair or just a crucial win over an enemy.
Everyone remembers where they were for THAT goal. The Stretford End deafening with screams and yells, a mash of bodies just jumping all over the place and hugging everyone like you yourself just scored that goal. Wayne Rooney had scored into the 90th minute against our neighbours City. Crushing any dreams they had to get to the Carling Cup Final. That to me felt like the final, with the excitement, the nerves and that ever potent thirst for victory. That night we got everything we wanted, most importantly to not give City the chance to add a trophy to their dusty cabinet (no point having a trophy room just yet eh?). For Rooney it was the pinnacle of his success that season.
Since the departure of Ronaldo, Rooney flourished and we all enjoyed watching him come into his own. It was that perfectly arched cross from Giggs that led Rooney to rise up and thump that header in that destroyed the Bitters dreams. Maybe the lad used his head for one too many goals or he began to believe in his own hype. Whatever the case maybe one thing is certain for Wayne Rooney… Manchester United’s golden boy along with his reputation has gone down faster than Jenny Thompson ever could.
Last season he received a hat-trick at the clubs awards, winning Player of the Year awards as voted for by the fans and players. This season however a more fitting winner will be chosen unless Rooney takes some drastic action to repent for his sins. He not only insulted the Club he in the past has spoken highly about but also his team mates; are we possibly seeing the last of footballs gentlemen, Giggs, Neville and Scholes? Bleating United lacked ambition (have you seen the trophy room?) and blaming the Glazer’s for the lack of spending to bring in world class players. Rooney was looking for a pay rise and doubled it to £200,000 a week from a cash strapped club – wouldn’t that extra money be better suited to get those players he so desperately wanted? Also I’m confident in saying that demanding reassurance you want other players brought in, is saying you’re not happy with the current squad; a team that kept a close race for the title and only lost out by one point to Chelsea, to me is a damn fine squad. Also as proved so far this season sometimes unknown signings such as Javier Hernandez can prove talent no one expected. Since the day Rooney spoke his mind, he’s not been training with his team mates instead whisking off his missus for a luxury holiday and now in the USA receiving treatment on his ankle. As Mike Phelan said: “We have to get Wayne refocused and get him back on the job in hand, which is playing football for Manchester United. So what we intend to do is to send him to Nike’s facility.”
Upon his return he will find the fans are still angry to say the least; fans believed Rooney played football merely for the love of the game however he’s shown his true money grabbing colours and insulted the club and team mates in the process. This past bonfire night furious fans burnt an effigy of him, a step too far perhaps but the message was clear, Rooney has some making up to do.
Rooney needs to step up his game and show the fans why he believes he’s worth the £200,000 a week he’s getting, which maybe a lot to ask from a guy who’s be playing rather dismally. He needs to earn every single voice back, as I certainly won’t be singing or chanting his name at Old Trafford for the foreseeable future. Failing that he may have to apologise to each fan individually. One goal is not enough… he needs to recommit as a team player and reinstall the belief in the fans that he is a United player. He has tarnished his name and credibility both on and off the pitch and has willingly ripped the soul out of the fans affections… and that is deplorable. Maybe time will heal the damage he has caused. Some may forgive and forget. Some may never forgive him. But the real question is will you be chanting Rooney’s name when the prodigal son doth return?