Friday, October 22, 2010

Rooney staying, but Fergie's problems are far from over...

Forty eight hours ago Ferguson stated that the Rooney deal saga would be put to bed the following morning: at that point in time, no one, apart from those directly involved could have known what the manager meant when he said: "put to bed".

Personally, I had a feeling there might be one last attempt to get the player and his agent around the negotiating table, because United were facing a real crisis that could have had far reaching consequences for the club and manager in the short-term.

Losing Rooney following his claims that the club could no longer match his ambitions was to put it bluntly, embarrassing, for United. The reasons given for wanting to leave were justified, because United have not gone out and signed the players who would ensure the team keeps on winning trophies. The manager and many United fans didn't like it, but what Rooney said in his statement was true.

The reaction to news that Rooney wanted out was predictable: the fans were really upset, the talk of joining City just ramped up the pressure on Ferguson and United.

In the wake of the quit story breaking, there's been various theories punted: Rooney had been tapped-up by City; Fergie and Rooney had brokered some sort of elaborate conspiracy with a view to convincing the Glazers' to back the manager in the transfer market; the latter scenario is a stretch too far for this blog - there's no way this has been a conspiracy, for one thing, there isn't enough intelligence in one of the camps...

The news that Rooney has agreed to sign a new five-year deal will receive a mixed reaction. For those fans who'd called Rooney the scum of the earth and a lot worse, there will no doubt be a period of reflection and healing because the love has clearly been lost, but hopefully not forever.

Rooney's crime was expressing his seemingly greater ambition than our own beloved manager, who has failed to make decisive moves for several world-class midfield players over the last couple seasons and contrary to his expressed views - these players have been good value for money: I refer Wesley Sneijder (15 million Euros), Mesut Ozil (£12m) and Raphael van der Vaart (£10m). Contrary, the views of some observers, this wasn't about wages and following news of this new deal, hopefully that will now be accepted.

Rooney and every Manchester United supporter has the right to express their views on the current squad; by going public, Rooney might well have done the fans', supporters' groups and his manager a huge favour because hopefully the club will take a more pro-active approach to solving the very obvious issues in the current squad. United need four top-class players and the search cannot start soon enough.


  1. Rooney's camp should have handled this indoor.. They went public with "Never been injured"...

    now he lost his face in front of fans and team mates..

    Every contract negotitaions goes like this.. Even Vidic did the same..atleast they handled it internally..

  2. I agree it would have been better if this all happened behind closed doors, but at least we now know how passionately Rooney wants to win trophies. HE was prepared leave to fulfil that objective. The gauntlet has been thrown down to Fergie and the Glazers' they have to pick it up and honour their promises...

  3. i like your optimisim :) but i dont think it has anything to do with winning trophies..

  4. So I'm assuming you think this is about money? I strongly disagree. Rooney could have more than doubled his wages at City. It has nothing to do with money and everything to do with ambition or lack of it IMO.

  5. Will Rooney reimburse me for my Rooney Man Utd shirt I put on the fire last night?

    If you read this Rooney. XXX Large please!

  6. Strap,

    I was thinking the very same. How many United fans will have dumped their shirts in the bin?

  7. I agree in that I dont believe its directly about money. Well in a wage sense.

    I really think that his concerns about the quality of the team and about it being strengthened were addressed. That they said sign a new deal. Give us time to work on the squad. If you still feel the same next summer then you can move on. You get more wages in the meantime. We get a higher transfer fee if you do want to leave. Its win/win.
    Meanwhile we get another year or so to work on the squad and strengthen it in the hope that he does want to stay long term.

    Now I dont believe we will strengthen the squad much if at all in the following 2 transfer windows but at least according to Rooneys statement this was the reason he was going. So for him to do a u-turn and stay they must have addressed his concerns about the side no?

  8. Dave,

    You are right, of course these issues have not been addressed, hence my headline...

    What the club has done is promise to try to address the issues. Only time will tell if that happens but I agree, it appears to be win, win for now at least.

  9. It would be a superb gesture if Rooney would now help out Nobby Stiles and buy his football medals etc and donate them to Man Utd for permanent display.

  10. Cashstrapped,

    I agree with you. The money Rooney & Co earn is ridiculous, they could do more.

  11. I really don't think this is about money or about the club lacking ambition. There's much more to it than meets the eye. Rooney's the kind of player who likes to take on the burden of leading a club, so I really don't believe it's about ambition. And players need to understand that we don't have the Galactico mentality, we've for the most part been a club that signs young players with potential for good value. And when you lose stars like Ronaldo and Tevez, rebuilding takes time - it's a cycle. Sure, we could have bought Ozil, but did he really want to go anywhere but Spain? Is Van der Vaart going to add a lot to our current squad? Missing out on Sneijder was a mistake. Benzema and Vila were never going to come to England. Getting big names isn't easy I'm sure.
    I've got two theories on this whole saga:
    1) Maybe it was just to deflect all the bad press surrounding Rooney's personal life - hooker etc. With this entire episode being played out in the press, everyone's forgotten about him being a bad husband/father and just talking about his contract.
    2) This one is similar to what Dave has mentioned. Maybe they've cracked a deal with Rooney by telling him to stay on till the end of the season by signing a contract so that they get a good transfer fee, more time to identify a replacement and hopefully not get the prices driven up on us when we're looking for that replacement. Cause when everyone knows we've got cash, we'll certainly end up buying expensive.

    It's hard to believe how quickly all of this happened - one day he releases a statement confirming he wants to leave and seems adamant about it, meanwhile the rumour mills are working overtime in suggesting that his transfer to City is a done deal. Even Guillem Bague has been quoted as saying that there's an agreement between Rooney and Man City. And two days later, he signs a 5 year contract. A bit baffling.
    I'm not really complaining, cause we certainly need him when he's in top form - I'm a big Rooney fan so I'm glad he's staying.

  12. I don't think this is anything to do with Rooney's personal life and I don't believe there's any agreement to sell Rooney.

    IF Rooney had really wanted to go, signing the new deal would have been the wrong thing to do, especially as we are told there was already an agreement for Rooney to join City.

    But, on the flip side, Rooney has to once again prove his worth because he has to show his commitment to United after seemingly upsetting so many people at the club and its fans.

    Some people are questioning if Rooney has actually gone beyond his best - only time will answer that one - but if he cannot recapture his form I'm not ruling out a sale.

    Let us not forget, Rooney has been used to getting his starting place and now he appears to have some genuine competition in Hernandez, so we could yet see Rooney moving on at some point, but I doubt it will be this coming summer.

    I appear to be one of the few who believes Rooney has done everyone at OT a huge favour by speaking out. It could be argued Rooney has actually done more than Fergie in some ways because he's forced the Glazers' into backing the manager and would that have happened if he'd not threatened to go? I doubt it.

    Interesting times ahead for Rooney and United.


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