Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Rooney vs Ferguson 1

He's off. No more badge-kissing, at least for Manchester United; the spud-faced kid from Liverpool's backstreets is leaving. Wayne Rooney has to think of his future. Perhaps the Light Blues across the city will buy him. Chelsea also have oodles of money. Or maybe a foreign club will come in, presumably from a land where English is widely spoken. Otherwise, Wayne will have no friends.

But for me it's not Rooney who's of interest in this story. I don't mind who he plays for. It's more about Manchester United's manager, Alex Ferguson. Fergie.

For years, Ferguson has come across as a dour controlling bully who, if his face is anything to go by, drinks whisky in more than generous measures. He's fallen out with the BBC, refused post-match interviews, instead putting acolytes before the cameras. Ferguson's rants
over refereeing decisions easily top other managers' post-match moans. And any dissent from his players, even big stars, down the road they go: Beckham, Stam, van Nistelrooy.

We also have 'Fergie Minutes'. This is extra time allegedly added to games Manchester Utd aren't winning, forced on hapless, pressured officials by Ferguson's belligerent presence at the touch-line, demanding just a few more seconds for another attack, another goal.

So it was a pleasant experience to watch the Old Trafford manager on television, bewildered and disappointed, as he announced Rooney's decision. He was quick to deny they'd fallen out, saying, "We are as bemused as anyone can be, we can't understand why he would want to leave." Ferguson said the "door is still open" for Rooney to stay, but admitted feeling dumbfounded when he learned of the player's desire to go.

Clearly, United's chief asset has shaken his unlovable boss, who signed him from Everton in August 2004. And if Rooney does leave, his former club will scoop a small fortune. Everton have a sell-on clause in his contract; they will get 25% of any sum over the £27m United paid for him. A good outcome for Toffees boss David Moyes, who seems a thoroughly decent chap.

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