Alex Ferguson made a bold move in revealing the details of contract negotiations, or lack thereof, in a press conference. In said press conference he question Wayne Rooney’s character and made sure that he used
Pravda MUTV to make this statement:
“So there we are, we have got into a situation where we had to clarify this for our fans because what we saw on Saturday was unacceptable. When we got to 2-2 and they were chanting Wayne Rooney, it's a pressure on the players and didn't do the team any good so we had to clarify the situation and put it right."
Or reading between the lines: “You’re all a bunch of idiots, how dare you question my authority!”
And they there’s a lot of nonsense about loyalty and respect. Respect the club he says. The club which played him injured against Bayern Munich, aggravating that injury and knackering him for the World Cup. Yes, that’s worthy of respect, thanks Fergie.
I know everyone thinks their club is special but why they think a scouse lad should have any loyalty to a Manchester club which poached him from his boyhood heroes, bins players as soon as the manager gets sick of them and which represents the deep end crass commercialism in the sport is anyone’s guess. Hating Manchester United has been easy for years, with much of their fanbase being casual football fans and massive chunks of their home support travelling in from London of a weekend, and a whole lot of arrogance the likes of which Liverpool fans were guilty of throughout the late 70s and 80s. Of course there’s a lot of sensible and realistic Man U fans too, although they are generally not Keane on going against the word of Fergie. His statement has essentially forced Rooney out of the club. There’s no way back despite the ‘open door’ mentioned. The pride of both men has been hurt, and I can’t see either backing down.
The media have of course gone apeshit, and have created a variety of reasons as to why this has occurred. I imagine they haven’t seen eye to eye ion a few matters, but I think that the summer’s transfer activity was quite telling. Rooney wants to be in a trophy winning team. Manchester United seem to be lacking the resources to build one now that the interest payments are biting. Making such huge losses without a massive pile of cash to back it up is unsustainable, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. They can’t compete with Chelsea, Man City or Real Madrid in terms of financial muscle. It seems to me, and many other neutral observers, that it’s not the money or the press hounding, more a case of him wanting to win something in the next few years – he’s not exactly short of a few quid. This is why all the best players keep leaving Arsenal – ambition. This is also why Manchester City are becoming increasingly attractive to players (as well as the massive wads of cash) – eventually they’re going to win something.
Times change, clubs rise and fall, and I think the sun is starting to set on the Fergie era. You’ve had it good, now you might have to suffer like the rest of us.
Well, I say suffer, we’ll have to suffer the whinging on a grand scale, until the fair-weather fans disappear again. I can’t see a team that hasn’t won a trophy in a few years and with no star players left selling many shirts in Singapore, Malaysia and the like. How many Chelsea fans did you know in 2001?