Date:Thursday October 21 2010
Chelsea players, and even Carlo Ancelotti, have said positive things about the idea that Wayne Rooney could join Chelsea. They have their point of view. Allow me to have another.
"We've got a great squad of players and he would add to that and strengthen the squad. He is the best player in the world for me" is what John Terry said about Wayne Rooney. Nicolas Anelka added "if he wants to come to Chelsea he would be very welcome. Would I buy him? Of course I would, he's a good player." You`d think that, if the Chelsea players welcomed Rooney, everyone else should roll out the Blue carpet.
But here`s another point of view: Chelsea should bodyswerve the guy and let him find a club at his own level of vulgarity.
On form, why should Chelsea shackle themselves with a player who has failed to score for ManYoo since March? We accept that Wayne has been frequently injured (and that includes the difference of opinion between player and manager as to whether he is currently knacked), but when fit, he has been a waste of space. He was, after all, the worst England player in South Africa during the World Cup, and that is really saying something. If it was purely on form, Wayne Rooney doesn`t make the starting United lineup. It`s arguable whether he will ever recover that, and why should Chelsea take that risk? We signed Andriy Shevchenko at a time when he was a better striker, he was already in terminal decline. Let`s not repeat that mistake.
Signing Wayne Rooney means playing Wayne Rooney. In the long run, Chelsea will have to replace Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka. We should consider someone who can ease in to Chelsea rather than someone who will demand starts. Let`s not also forget that Wayne Rooney is a red card waiting to happen. When the games aren`t going well, he becomes petulant and a liability. Is that a risk Chelsea want to take?
But Wayne Rooney`s current form, the worst of his career, is far from being the reason why Chelsea should no sign him. Let`s quickly deal with the off-pitch stuff. By all accounts, Wayne Rooney is not really a candidate for Mensa membership. He was caught out in a sex scandal when younger, and he managed to repeat that, learning little. In fact, his recent playing away is spectacularly stupid when you consider the careful way that Wayne Rooney has tried to build up his nauseating image and media presence. This is not to be censorious about a bloke who cheats on his wife, even who hires hookers for his gratification, only to point out that you have to be quite thick to invite the media into your life, to the extent that Wayne has, and then not to take far more precautions to hide your indiscretions.
In fact, better still, don`t invite the media into your life. Don`t try to 'transcend` football by become a multi-media personality. You are a footballer, stick to the back pages. Ryan Giggs, a far better example of loyalty and decency, already asked Wayne at THAT wedding to Colleen whether he really wanted to sell the wedding pictures to Hello magazine (or was it OK?) even for £1 million. When you invite the media into your life, you shouldn`t complain when they start looking in the cupboards and under the carpets for skeletons and dirt. Best to ensure that there is none to be found.
That`s something that Ashley Cole and John Terry have already discovered the hard way. Do Chelsea want to have an even more troubled player on their books, one who is in the newspapers even more? One who has such a bad reputation, who attracts the opposition supporter taunts, the bad publicity? And Rooney is not like Ashley Cole: Wayne`s troubles off the pitch affect his performance on the pitch. That`s a hell of a liability.
But Wayne Rooney`s rap sheet doesn`t end there. By accounts, the main motivation of his move is, well, entirely understandable: money. Wayne Rooney wants to be the best paid player in the world. The news in Spain is that he`s targeting €14 million per year, or €1 million more than Cristiano Ronaldo. Wow. Just as Chelsea have rationalised their finances a little over the summer, they would think about paying Wayne Rooney some £150,000 per week. Or it could be £160,000. Or £250,000 (depending if you believe The Sun or the Daily Mail). Of course, that kind of salary offered to Wayne would lead to John Terry and Frank Lampard seeing an automatic ratcheting of their wages to match Wayne`s. From the point of view of the club finances, and as UEFA`s new rules kick in, that sounds like a terrible idea.
Besides, honestly, does Wayne Rooney deserve that kind of money? What kind of pretension is that from a player who has had the past 12 months that Wayne has had? Chelsea already offloaded Joe Cole for demanding silly money. Wayne Rooney has done everything that he can, in the past 12 months, to convince people that he is not the World`s Best Player, why should anyone, least of all Chelsea, make him the best paid player in the world?
Let`s end with some question marks about Wayne`s loyalty. He`s a footballer, he`s a mercenary, by definition. But Wayne is different. At 17, he was a diehard Everton supporter. If he left, apparently it was to further his career. He has been hated by the Everton faithful ever since, not for having left them, but for having proclaimed his eternal love for the toffees before shafting them. It could be funny to see that Wayne has done exactly the same thing to the third biggest club in the world: going from declaring his intention to retire at United to jumping ship. However, the stunning lack of loyalty doesn`t end there.
For whatever you can say about Siralex, you can point to the way that he has been fiercely protective of his players. And that protection has been particularly defensive in the case of Wayne Rooney, a player considered the rawest talent seen in England for a very long time, but requiring extensive nurturing to turn Wayne into a world class footballer. To do that, Fergus has had to build a shield around Rooney. Fergus has had to defend Rooney from the (justified) questions about his temper and petulance on the pitch, as well as turning a blind eye to the problems off the pitch. In fact, ManYoo has offered only support to Rooney, particularly in the past few weeks when Rooney transgressed any number of the United rules and brought embarrassment to the club. Ferguson has been fiercely protective, paternal towards Rooney. It is this attitude that has made Rooney the player he is today. But if Rooney is not one of the World`s Best, it is entirely because of his own lack of application, and despite Ferguson`s best efforts, not because of them. It takes a special kind of person to betray that kind of protection, not to mention the fans who have always idolised Rooney (to the extent that even on Saturday, before the story even broke, they were chanting for Rooney to come on when United squandered their 2 goal lead). You need to be particularly nasty and ungrateful to do that to the second person (after David Moyes) who has nurtured your talent. You have to be particularly devoid of loyalty. Is that the kind of player Chelsea want on their books?
Finally, we have to take at face value the justification that Wayne has given for wanting to leave. In Rooney`s statement, he suggested that he wanted to leave because he considered that the club 'didn`t match his own ambitions`. "For me, it's all about winning trophies - as the club has always done under Sir Alex. Because of that I think the questions I was asking were justified." Those questions were about "the continued ability of the club to attract the top players in the world."
And I honestly think that Rooney, in his delusions, actually believes this. If he stays at United, what guarantee does he have about trophies? Clearly, in Rooney`s mind, that depends on bringing in the top players in the world.
Here, we see that Rooney, at age 24, now considers himself bigger than Manchester United. Bigger than the manager who started as a manager at Old Trafford when Rooney was 1 year old. Manchester United is no longer 'matching Rooney`s ambitions`. What ambitions, Wayne, are they (beyond that of deciding and judging ManU`s transfer policy)? What a breathtaking delusion and arrogance.
The thing is, Wayne, you might have not fully understood where you fit in United`s current malaise, and have excused yourself from helping the club that has given so much to you. If ManU are slumping in the League, conceding sloppy goals, it is, to a large extent because of you. You have brought the circus to United, against the desires of Siralex. Ferguson had to sit you out of the Everton game to protect you. He was prepared to do that. He then may or may not have invented an ankle injury so as not to play you against Valencia. Whatever his reasons for having done that, your boss was prepared to put his team (and your team-mates) at risk for YOUR benefit. United have been dragging around a zombie, it turns out since the middle of August, once the season had started. Even when fit, you have been playing as if you were wading through soup. Still, your club has been prepared to play you. That`s how important you were to United, and how strongly Ferguson feels about you.
And now that the club is having a difficulty, this is how you repay them? A truly loyal player would think how he can help that club. A truly talented player would consider how he could lift up the team. A truly gifted individual would see how his talents can help the team, rather than blaming the fact that the club is not bringing in the 'world class talent`. And a person with a modicum of intelligence could understand that it is, in fact, Wayne Rooney who is the cause of much of the club`s malaise rather than citing external circumstances.
Wayne Rooney should consider what responsibility he has to shape Manchester United`s future. Instead of that, through his megalomaniac actions, he`s as culpable as the Glazers in fostering the club`s decline.
It would be tempting, since we are talking about a big rival, to laugh at all this. Since Chelsea have been linked as a possible destination, however, I`d like to ask that we don`t get involved with this individual. He`s show a staggering lack of judgment and loyalty, his pretensions, self-delusion and venality dwarf even his own view of his own talent and worth (and there is some doubt as to the precise nature of that talent in October 2010).
In a Blue shirt? No thanks. ManU fans, I`m with you on this one. You have all my sympathy here.
Date:Thursday October 21 2010
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