First of all lets make one thing clear, I fully appreciate that with his hat-trick against West Ham on Saturday, Wayne Rooney has in all likelihood handed United that momentous 19th title.
I’m extremely grateful to his Wazzaness for helping to turn the game on its head and for stepping up when he was needed, despite up until then, in all honesty not enjoying the greatest of afternoons.
The problem is, and this isn’t the first time, controversy and a potential suspension could have been avoided so very easily and are now a major concern.
Rooney’s swearing outburst has kicked up a media frenzy as many in the ABU press delight at having more petrol to throw on their anti-United fire.
Reds have been almost unanimous in their ‘circling the wagons’ approach and defending our striker to the hilt. I myself have even written how prior to his mini rant Rooney had been subjected to boos, and chants of “you fat bastard “all afternoon from West Ham fans.
Saying the F-word into a camera is not the worst thing that Rooney’s done, or could have done for that matter and it has been blown out of proportion by almost all sections of the British press.
A particular nadir was Patrick Collins in the Daily Mail who wrote arguably the most ridiculous and sanctimonious article I’ve ever read which included the line: “If Rooney is allowed to bellow the sexual oath at a live microphone without repercussion, then nobody in authority will ever be taken seriously again.”
While Collins like the rest of the Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool fans of Fleet Street has nothing but contempt for United which is clear in his pious ill-informed writing, there is one point to be made. Without that two seconds of unnecessary petulance at Upton Park, the media would have been forced to sing United’s praises this weekend.
Perhaps that’s part of the reason so many journalists have jumped at the chance to crucify Rooney, as after a truly great comeback and with Arsenal and Chelsea both dropping points, it now looks as though the title is heading for it’s usual cabinet back at Old Trafford.
Were it not for Rooney giving the United haters a get out of jail free card they would have been forced to acknowledge the greatness that is Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, well at least in comparison to the other title rivals.
They would had to have used words such as “historic, record-breaking, unstoppable and awe-inspiring” when writing and speaking about United, while using words such as “disappointing, below-par, poor and mediocre” to describe out rivals.
Now though, they can avoid heaping at least some of the credit that’s due to United, by focusing on the man who they, along with every football fan outside Old Trafford love to hate.
They can use Rooney’s snap as an example of everything that is wrong with football and how it needs fixing, how children have been left scarred for life after hearing the F-word at two o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. They can warn the footballing world how if Rooney goes unpunished then the planet will surely spin off its axis and go hurtling through outer space towards oblivion killing us all in an excruciatingly painful and slow manner.
Rooney’s actions need to be dealt with severely otherwise every child who can walk will surely become a gun toting, crack dealing, degenerate within months.
While the level of vitriol aimed at everyone’s favourite Scouser has become ridiculous already, the question is: “can we really be surprised?”
No. The press hate United, hate Rooney, hate Sir Alex Ferguson and hate the fact that all three are successful, so what better way to stick the knife in than an attack on Rooney’s behaviour.
The fact is all this could have so easily been avoided and this is a point that seems to have gotten lost with more than a few United fans, myself included.
I’ve always been a staunch supporter of Rooney, defending his mistakes and misdemeanours and lauding him as one of the world’s very best strikers.
When the whole contract debacle ensued I stated how until he was no longer a Manchester United player he would always have my full support- and I’ve stayed true to that statement.
When some were labelling him a ‘fat greedy Scouser’ who should be sold to whoever was willing to pay for him, I was quick to argue how valuable he was to the team and wrote an article imploring the board to do whatever it took to keep him at Old Trafford.
It’s not as though I don’t like or value Wayne Rooney. I do. It’s just with his latest “episode” we’re forced to worry- yet again whether he’ll be available for all the crucial games.
Wazza may well not get any ban and in all honesty, I don’t believe he deserves one, my point is, why did he have to take the chance of one? Did he really need to shout an obscenity into a live television camera? I know it’s called passion and I’m a big advocate of that in United players but that’s still not really an excuse.
No two players were arguably more passionate and dedicated to the United cause than Roy Keane and Bryan Robson. Either man was the sort you’d happily take into battle with you. Both men gave their absolute all for United and played with a ferocity and determination that will echo in eternity for every single person who ever follows The Reds.
Take arguably there two greatest triumphs as an example of what they could achieve at times almost seemingly single-handed.
Robson against Barcelona at Old Trafford in 1984, overcoming a 2-0 deficit from the away leg and not only scoring two goals as United won 3-0 but also winning every ball, covering every blade of grass, never once letting a certain Diego Armando Maradona forget who “owned” the pitch.
Continued on page two.