Friday, October 15, 2010

Fergie: "It's me who picks the team, not Rooney or Dr Steadman"...

Fergie has given his withering response to Rooney's England post-match comments: "It's water off a duck's back", said the United manager.

In speaking out in such a provocative way, it's fairly clear that Rooney was doing his level best to put pressure on the United manager to select him after being axed for the recent games with Valencia and Sunderland.

Following England's bore-draw with Montenegro on Tuesday, Rooney gave a live TV interview in which he claimed that he'd not been suffering with an ankle injury this season. Rooney's outburst was ill-advised and it put him on a collision course with his manager, who has been doing his best to protect his star striker following the problems in his private life. It was a kick in the teeth for Ferguson and an act of disloyalty and the latter will have angered the United manager.

Ferguson is now in a very tricky situation, because he faces a dilemma this weekend: IF Rooney starts from the off against West Brom - it will look like the player has got his own way. If Rooney is left on the bench and if United are not winning comfortably the Old Trafford crowd will be chanting for Rooney to come on. Here again, it will look like Rooney has won. For these reasons and you may call this stubbornness if it actually happens, Rooney could be left out of the United squad entirely, but personally I doubt that will happen. More likely, Fergie will start with Rooney, but make no mistake and despite the manager claiming the outburst is "water off a duck's back" he will be deeply disappointed in the player.

Ferguson has every right to be livid with Rooney, because he demands and expects respect and above all else loyalty from his players.

Fergie should be picking the players who are in form and nothing else should matter. If you do not play well then the manager has every right to drop the player in question and based on some of his performances this season, Rooney could have few complaints if he is benched from time to time.

In other news Fergie has reacted angrily to the quotes which have been attributed to renowned US surgeon doctor Richard Steadman who earlier this week trumpeted the return of Owen Hargreaves by claiming he'd play some part in Saturday's game with West Brom.

In Friday's pre-match press conference Ferguson made it clear that Hargreaves is still injured, but this time it's his calf and not his knees that are causing the problems. Fergie told the media that he picks the team and that he's been doing the job for quite some time now. The United manager has been rattled by the surgeon's comments which have come at a sensitive time with Rooney appearing to contradict his manager in relation to his own injury problems.

In some ways it could be argued that Fergie has created a rod for his own back over these counter-injury claims, because over the years he's told so many white lies about similar 'injuries', but it has always been done with the very best intentions in mind - usually to protect the feelings of the player concerned.

It is to be hoped this sorry saga with Rooney is put to bed quickly and everyone regains their focus on the task at hand starting against West Brom tomorrow with three much needed points.

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