Let’s put an end to it, Wayne.

“I would never forgive Rooney.” sighed a fellow United fan.

Despite knowing nothing would convince him, I argued, “Dude, it is okay. Reading from what the former United players have told, he is an emotional lad and is unhappy about the way Sir Alex treated him last season. He has every right to be unhappy right now because he has been played out of position for a good while now. He had stated his desire to emulate the goal scoring record of Bobby Charlton, but despite that, he has not been treated the way he should have.”

The fan retorted,“No dude, I am not going to forgive him.”

I don’t understand what is it with United fans. Why are they unhappy even if Rooney has handed in an alleged transfer request?

Do you think that Rooney has been treated like a star at United?

For the sake of personal ambition – At least I’d be unhappy if I were played out position most of the time, even if it was for the better of the team. It is at this point where there comes a line – do you continue playing selflessly for the team or do you aim to be what you “could have been”? Rooney has surely been one of the players whose potential has not been tapped to its fullest.

The pair's relationship soured at the end of the Scot's reign

“I played with Wayne Rooney, I know Wayne Rooney and I’m a coach of Wayne Rooney. He’s an emotional lad, and he wears his heart on his sleeve.”
– Gary Neville

When Gary Neville says this, I believe him. No argument whatsoever. When you think of Wayne giving his first transfer request in 2010 and giving a reason of a “lack of ambition by United to win trophies”, you are left flummoxed. One simply cannot argue with United’s ambition towards winning trophies. With Ronaldo leaving in 2009, Rooney flourished in the next season scoring 34 in 42 games. He played in his favorite position, scored a shitload of goals, and handed in a transfer request. Why would he do that? Money is one reason. Or possibly, his concern back till then was his playing position as well. A season ago with Ronaldo in the side firing goals, Rooney’s role was more of a supplement to the Portugese show-stopper. He seemed happy assisting Ronaldo, providing through-balls and crosses aplenty for him to score. The wings, the midfield, behind the strikers, Rooney was everywhere. The phase of the “playmaker” Rooney had started.

You could very well argue that Rooney stabbed United for the first time when he put Sir Alex and United to the sword by demanding a hefty raise in his pay. Maybe this wasn’t expected of him. He wanted to be the focal point of the team but after this, Sir Alex wouldn’t let him be. In his last season as a Manchester United manager, he threw a bomb at the United forward by dropping him from United’s biggest game of the season against Real Madrid. Quite evidently, this did not go down well with Wazza.

This was when Gary Neville again observed,“You can see in the last few months he’s not been quite himself. When you see Wayne Rooney on the football pitch, challenging every single challenge, fighting for every refereeing decision, you can see he’s not quite been himself.”

Yes, his behavior on the pitch shows how much football means to him and how emotional he is. A player who gave many selfless years for United was a substitute in United’s biggest game of the season and was subsequently dropped from the side for the final few fixtures.

United have acknowledged that Rooney has not officially handed in a transfer request, contradicting the statement that Sir Alex made towards the end of last season. There are quite a few strings torn apart in their relationship. The club is bigger than anything else was the motto of Sir Alex’s reign. Rooney infringed on that. He paid the price last season. Now, let’s move on.

Moyes can revive Rooney's career

I do not blame Rooney for the way he has behaved. If I were an emotional person like him, I would behave in a similar fashion. United should have definitely nurtured their prized asset in a better way. In my opinion, Wayne probably needs to sort out stuff in his head and get assurances from the new manager. What David Moyes said in his first press conference should be music to Rooney’s ears. He did not clearly state that Rooney would be played as a center-forward,  but he did mention that Rooney is a world-class player and is largely involved in his plans. Some definitive statements here.

“Rooney isn’t leaving.”

“He is a wonderful talent, without doubt.”

“What happened between Sir Alex and Rooney is past now, and I am fortunate that I know Wayne since he was 16.”

Moyes pulled the right strings there.

To be a bit soft on Rooney, we have to admit that he has not played in his favored position and has slogged for the team when needed. The least he deserves from United and United fans is a bit more respect and perhaps, another chance.

He is emotional. He fights. He swears at referees. He is a selfless player. There is no other Wayne Rooney.

Both parties, take it on the chin, and move on.

Dhaval Malnika

Manchester United fan. Electronics Engineer. Masters student at University of Colorado at Boulder. Associated with Football Paradise since its inception. No non-sense center back in love with the beautiful game.