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I’m Quitting, Sidelined Rooney Tells United Boss

 I’m Quitting, Sidelined Rooney Tells United Boss

So, Wayne Rooney has declared his intention to walk out on Manchester United after having serious differences with manager Sir Alex Ferguson. I find this story extremely fascinating because it’s ultimately a power struggle between two egos, Rooney and Ferguson. As manager, Ferguson has every right to bench Rooney during previous weeks because of his poor form, supposed injury and his mind not being in the right place due to the allegations in the newspapers about his sexual indiscretions. But Rooney feels he has been wronged, claims he was never injured and obviously feels he’s had enough of Ferguson.

Without knowing exactly what happened behind-the-scenes at Manchester United, the story sounds to me like Wayne Rooney is using Sir Alex Ferguson as a scapegoat for his poor form. When faced with adversity which has resulted in his form being significantly under par, Rooney has reportedly decided to quit United and deflect the “blame” on Ferguson instead of taking it on himself and admitting that the reason for his poor form on the pitch is self-imposed.

Not only is it a power struggle between Rooney and Ferguson, but it’s also a stand-off between player and manager. In today’s world of football, players often feel they have more rights and power to make changes even when they’re under contract. And they can sometimes force issues such as being sold when in previous times they couldn’t. Rooney could refuse to play which may reduce his value, so it’s important for United that Rooney stays fit, both mentally and physically, and that if he leaves he does so when his value is at its peak.

Wayne Rooney is that type of player. One of the best in the world. A game changer. A man who can, at his peak, score at the highest level.

My fear, however, is that Rooney is believing his hype too much and that he feels he should have the right to play with Real Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona or Manchester City, a club that would pay him a ungodly amount of money each week. He has the potential to play at that level but he hasn’t been in that zone for several months now at Manchester United.

Ultimately I side with Ferguson in this debacle. Sure, Fergie has had similar spats in the past which drove Beckham, Ronaldo, van Nistelrooy, Keane and others away. But in this instance, I believe Ferguson has been doing what he should be doing which is protecting the player, and dropping him when his form has been under-par. Ferguson has also dropped Rooney from the starting line-up for disciplinary reasons, as we believe is what happened during this past weekend’s match against West Bromwich Albion. Plus, most importantly, Ferguson is Rooney’s boss. He understands what is best for the club and Rooney should respect that. Since it appears that Rooney does not, then Rooney appears to have taken the childlike approach of fleeing and blaming everything on Ferguson instead of himself.

What do you think? Do you side with Ferguson or Rooney? Share your opinions in the comments section below. And vote here to tell us where you think Rooney will end up in January’s transfer window:

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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37 Responses to I’m Quitting, Sidelined Rooney Tells United Boss

  1. Stacy Richardson says:

    I side with neither of them. Yes, Rooney may be using Sir Alex as a scapegoat, but Ferguson has a history of being hard on his players. There’s more than enough blame to go around.

  2. peter gachau says:

    he has not to move, he wiil stay at united, anyway if he has to go, its ok, we have seen ronaldo and beckham regretting after their move

  3. bob marley says:

    I personally dont think that the Glazers are in a position where they can let go of Rooney. The club is underperforming, there is no money being infused into the club………the future does not look good for United. A Rooney sale will only help the Glazer detractors to strengthen their case. if more united fans join the protest like the Liverpool fans then the Glazers will have to let go and move on. The Glazers will hold on to Rooney at all cost.

    • Scott says:

      The Glazers situation is very unlike the Hicks & Gillett situation in that the Glazers are able to actively remove large amounts of cash from Man United whereas Hicks conspired to somehow screw Liverpool and himself

  4. Simon Burke says:

    No sympathy for Rooney, he really did this to himself.
    Only way i can see Rooney staying is if Ferguson goes at the end of the
    season which he might as his retirement will eventually happen.

  5. Sparks says:

    We have not heard from Rooney himself or the club yet. Do I think there is something to it, sure. But until Rooney says in public he is out. I am still holding out hope that he stays and that his form improves. If not “Viva Chicharito”!

  6. eplnfl says:

    Rooney is a child and a spoiled one at that. When the most recent story broke about his off the pitch issues it had appeared to me that the real problem was going to be with his club and not his country. SAF is right to sit him down. It may be the first time in life that Rooney has had to deal with someone who was bigger than him so to speak. Later in life he will thank Sir Alex for what he has done. That is if Rooney learns from what is going on and accepts what his manager is doing for him and the team.

    If Rooney takes the spoiled brat approach he will be at another club and it will become even more apparent that Rooney has limited skills and his fame was as a result of the Man U. system.

    • Iain Foulds says:

      Much as I don’t always go along with Sir Alex, especially in his response to his players being yellow carded and the like, at the end of the day he’s the gaffer and is probably one of the most decorated managers of all time. Rooney hasn’t shown form for months, can hardly blame Ferguson for his World Cup non-performance, and at the end of the day needs to realize he needs to toe the line and suck it up.

      I still think Rooney would shine at one of the other major European clubs, but we have seen Beckham, Owen, and the likes fail to do so when they got their desired moves. I just feel it’s setting the wrong example that when you stomp around and spit your dummy out you will get what you want, whether that’s to back on the pitch for Man U or given a ridiculous amount of money to play for another club.

  7. Brandon says:

    Rooney has been crap this season, I have no sympathy for him, but it is starting to become a habit that United’s best players no longer want to stay at the club. Decide for yourself the reason behind that.

  8. Lyle says:

    Love it.

  9. rob says:

    Hope he stays at man u and grows from this.

  10. Gaz Hunt says:

    Ridiculous stuff by Rooney.

    Sir Alex will sell him if he doesn’t come around. He’s not afraid to get rid of big players that don’t fall in line and Rooney isn’t even that important to the club at this moment. Plus, the club wouldn’t mind a hefty transfer fee.

    Send him off to Real Madrid and he can follow in the footsteps of Michael Owen after he forced a transfer overseas due to an enlarged ego.

  11. tonyspeed says:

    i think it’s time we let go of rooney. he’s not a good striker and he never will be. if he were moved into midfield, he’d be much better.

    • Robert says:

      This is objectively untrue, and that’s coming from a Chelsea supporter. Rooney, until this spring, was a fantastic striker.

      • tonyspeed says:

        you mean he was fantastic at the end of last season. you mean he was good when ronaldo was there to partner him and hold his hand?

        • Dave C says:

          Wow, that’s bizarre…he’s “not a good striker”, but he was “fantastic at the end of last season”???

          He’s “not a good striker” but he scored how many goals last season?? 34??

          And you suggest he be moved into midfield, despite never having played there??

          I’ve got a better idea. Edwin Van der Saar should go up front. He’d thrive on the deadly crosses provided from the left wing by Gary Neville. And they should play Giggs and Scholes at centre back, now they’re getting older and slower.

  12. jose says:

    beckham, donovan and now rooney for the galaxy, sounds awesome.

    • AJ says:

      As ridiculous as it might sound….

      I could actually believe that, or….

      Real trade Huigain to Barcelona, a starlet of Barcalona to Arsenal, Jack Wishire to Chelsea, Drogba to Man U and then Rooney to Real in a 5 way super convoluted never going to happen plan.

      Or he could always do a double piss off and go to Liverpool.

  13. Andrei says:

    I think that the media and the fans should share the blame for this sad story. They had blown Rooney’s hype out of proportions and most importantly as OP pointed out made Rooney believe that he is already one of the greatest players ever in the game. Whereas imo Rooney’s undoubtedly outstanding performance last season was to a great degree a team effort with the tactics centered around him in the process sacrificing other MU players. It did work reasonably well given the circumstances but it was shortsighted and backfired this season.

    My guess is that MU will try to offload Rooney in January but he will stay as there are very few clubs that can afford or foolish enough to accept his inflated price tag. City may go for Rooney but I doubt that MU will sell Rooney to them.

    • Sam says:

      Nah, Rooney was simply the man last season.

      HIS play was suffering when Ronaldo was here and the entire gameplan was molded around him. It wasn’t until Rooney was able to be the focal point (not necessarily the one for whom the team was tailored) that he was able to shine.

      We definitely played as more of a team when Ronnie left. It just so happened that more often than not, when we needed a goal, Rooney was the man scoring it because…he’s THAT guy.

      • Andrei says:

        There is no question that Rooney was the man last season. The point is that Rooney’s outstanding spell of form was in a way the beginning of his undoing. He was immediately elevated to a god like status by the media and fans. Unfortunately, Rooney was too quick to believe that he was already there among the greatest and nothing could go wrong no matter what he did. While in my opinion he still had a few years until true greatness. His biggest fallout is the failure as a leader. Yes Rooney was the man and the team grew increasingly dependent on him. This year when the team needed him even more he failed to lead. Instead, he decided that it is time to cash in; it is time to get involved in petty politics. Without Rooney’s leadership United seem to have lost their way. If it is not Rooney who else can lead? Nani? Berbatov? Scholes? Somehow I don’t think so….

  14. bob marley says:

    Now on the contrary if Rooney doesnt leave and Sir Alex does decide to leave the only viable option for United as Manager is………………………………………………Fabio Capello. That is something you dont even want to imagine.

  15. Patricio del Orsay says:

    Alas, Rooney’s tear ducts have become Fountains of Wayne.

  16. SoccerTube says:

    I think it is just a rumour. Most likely Rooney will stay in Man Utd.

  17. jonathan edge says:

    Rooney will always be able to pretty much go wherever he wants. If for his name and nothing else.

    It’s just sad that someone will pay sinful amounts of money for a striker who can’t seem to put himself in the right state of mind to find the back of the net.

    Personally, I hope he leaves and no one shows any interest in him. I think Sir Alex is completely within his rights to bench a bad player, for the love of crumbs. It’s Man U, if you’re not going to score, someone else will.

  18. Dave says:

    The only real thing Rooney is providing this season is a English marketability because frankly on the pitch Chicharito, Berbatov and Nani have all been more than enough to win them games. Why wouldn’t they sell him and bank 80 mil or whatever a team will pay? It’s clear they don’t need him.

    They do however clearly need better defense because their lack of points this season is from giving up late goals not the lack of scoring. I’ve always been of the mindset that if you can win without overpaid egos you should.

    I say they should move him.

  19. rafi shaik says:

    Rooney is believing he is bigger than the club and he has to play all the matches irrespective of his form and his mental state.I think fergie is right to decide what is best for the club if the guy does want to play every game his contribution should be there he has lost his spark recently now rooney does not have valencia to support him for his tap in’s and he can not create goals like he used to do before.Rooney has to understand that he will need to put his head down and work hard to get his form back and first and foremost he should make peace with gaffer.He owes sir alex to make him a star he is now.He will not succeed in madrid or barc since they do not play hit and run game like in EPL. I would love to see ronney’s reaction if he is not started by fabio will he stop playing for england again?

  20. Smokey Bacon says:

    Rooney may well have peaked last season so now may be a good time to part company, especially if Real Madrid or City are willing to overpay for him. The key to United’s long term benefit will be what they do with the money. If it all goes to service the debt like it has with the Ronaldo money then United will be worse off. Unfortunately, the train wreck that is United is getting closer. In 2 years, there will be no Scholes, no Giggs, no Fergie and now no Rooney. Van der Sar retired and Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick etc all in decline. United’s situation will make Liverpool’s recent run-in with Hicks & Gillett seem trivial by comparison.

  21. pacificStyle says:

    SAF will look to renew his contract in Jan, then dump his over-valued a$$ next season if he still cant perform. It’s the most financiall sound thing to do. Meanwhile, if he does rediscover old form then. Man U can party!

  22. somerville07 says:

    rooney believes he has devine wright to play when ever he wants, fergie was wright too leave him out of the squad when he is under performing so he now has too raise his standards to actually prove he is good enough

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