Football is often described as a love affair, so this blog may sound like the ramblings of a bitter ex-girlfriend. In a lot of ways that’s exactly what this is. A jilted fan telling the player he used to love just why he can’t cheer him anymore….
I’ve always been of the opinion that if you can’t relate something to an episode of Friends then it probably didn’t happen.
Coming home from work (or school in the younger days) to find Friends on TV has always been like seeing Ryan Giggs’ name on the team sheet – a constant source of comfort. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen it, or how old it is, it’ll always be brilliant.
So, it’s not really much of a surprise that the Wayne Rooney situation kind of reminds me of Ross and Rachel’s breakup….
“No. I can’t, you’re a totally different person to me now. I used to think of you as somebody that would never, ever hurt me, ever. God, and now, I just can’t stop picturing you with her, I can’t, it doesn’t matter what you say or what you do Ross. It’s just changed, everything, forever.”
Swap the Ross for Rooney and swap “picturing you with her” for “picturing you in a City kit” and you have got the perfect quote to sum up how I felt after the transfer request. It’s difficult to feel that betrayed by somebody until you’ve completely trusted somebody, let them into your life.
I’ll always like Michael Owen for his England career and the goal against City, but I’d never be truly hurt if he asked to leave. Owen was originally a Liverpool player and he has had the decency to not engage in badge kissing antics. Rooney is a bit different. Ever since he smashed a goal in against Arsenal he’d been doing United favours. As an Evertonian he hated Liverpool as much as most United fans. Looking good so far. After a few seasons with Manchester United I think the fans genuinely believed he was one of their own. The “once a blue, always a red” song certainly suggests this.
Rooney seemed to be on the way to being an all time legend at United. He’s only 25 years old and has already won the Premiership 3 times and a European Cup to go with 2 League Cups. He’ll probably never match Giggs or Charlton for appearances. He’d need to go hell for leather to beat Scholes or Neville. But he had a chance to be remembered as one of the true greats of one of the biggest clubs in the World. I’d do that for minimum wage. Hell, I’d pay to do it. I’d work an extra job, train every day, matches on the weekend and I wouldn’t care what I had to do to do it. I’d give anything to have the opportunity to put on that shirt and walk out at Old Trafford.
What kills me about Rooney is that it wasn’t enough for him. The adoration of 80,000 fans every week, a BACS payment of £90,000 every week, the opportunity to be part of greatness, it wasn’t enough for him. In the end Rooney retracted his transfer request, he signed a new contract (a massive new contract!) and declared that he wouldn’t ever have left for City. That it was a mistake. That they meant nothing to him.
Ross: Listen. Oh hey, hey, the important thing was that she meant, she meant nothing to me!
Rachel: And yet she was worth jeopardising our relationship!!
The problem is Wayne, the love has gone now. You’ve forever tainted everything you ever do for United. Today a true United legend announced his retirement. Wayne Rooney has more natural talent than Gary Neville could ever dream of possessing. But Gary Neville made the most of every single ounce of it. Gary Neville would do anything for United and expect nothing in return. Cynics will say that he has made a very good living from being a footballer. They’d be right. But I honestly believe that he’d of done it all for free if it was the only way he could do it. Jamie Carragher is a similar player. A player who would walk through walls for his club.
When he dislocated his shoulder he was screaming at Kyrgiakos to get a move on because he didn’t want Liverpool down to 10 men. I can safely say that I don’t love Jamie Carragher. But I have a huge amount of respect for the type of player that he is, and if he’d been born in Manchester and played for United he’d be one of my favourite players. Not for his ability. But for his spirit and his attitude. I know plenty of Liverpool fans will say the same about Gary Neville and that, for me, is the way football should be.
The problem that I have with Rooney is the love seems to have gone from his game. When he first came to United I honestly felt that he cared so much about the club, and I loved that. Now it feels like he really does think he’s doing United a favour every time he plays and it feels disgusting to think that we loved him so much, that we’d of defended anything he did.
Rooney could still go on to enjoy great success with Manchester United, and if he does, then I’ll be pleased. But only about the part where Manchester United enjoy success. I’m not the type to boo players on my own team. I don’t think it’s productive and if anything has a negative effect on a Manchester United performance then I don’t want to be a part of that. But I don’t think it matters how many goals Wayne Rooney scores for United, I’m never going to be able to cheer him again.
Deep down I’ll always be thinking, you Judas bastard. Seeing Rooney score against Aston Villa I was delighted with what it meant for United, but I just couldn’t feel the way I used to when Rooney produced an amazing first touch and rifle finish. For me, the ideal way for this to go is Rooney scoring and setting up some goals to help United win the League and maybe even more this season, before Madrid or City go stark raving bonkers and spend stupid money to take him away. Then we find a player who will care as much about the shirt as the fans do. It’s a tall order, but it would save me feeling awkward every time he scores, because I hate not being completely behind a United player.
People will read this and think “you need to get over it mate” and they are right. But it’s really not that easy when you have to see the person who’s cheated on you every single week. Luckily though, I’ve found somebody else. Someone who hopefully won’t ever do to me what Wayne has done. His name is Javier Hernandez and I really hope things work out for us………
For those of you taking the Friends comparison all the way to it’s conclusion, Rachel eventually forgave Ross and they had a baby together. If Wayne Rooney and I combined to make a baby it would be hideous. So I hope that doesn’t happen. But if Rooney can score 100 goals in his next 100 games and help United win the next 8 Champions Leagues then I might talk about letting him have a statue outside Old Trafford. After all, Dennis Law relegated us with a back heel whilst playing for Manchester City.
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