The breaking news at the time of writing this is that Wayne Rooney is not in the squad that will face Swansea at Old Trafford for Fergie’s final game, the game after which they will lift the Premier League Trophy.
Their relationship has been beset by difficulties on and off the pitch but there’s no doubt now that Rooney has fallen completely out of favour with the Godfather of Manchester football.
I was having lunch in Dublin in 2010 when the news was breaking that Rooney had asked to leave Old Trafford. And it seemed as though it was a done deal. Ferguson spoke to the media and told the world that Wazza wanted away due to the fact that he hadn’t received the necessary assurances about the direction of the team, how the squad was to develop, so that they could challenge for great honours.
It was gobsmacking news and I wondered at the time how Rooney was able to sit in front of SAF and ask for these assurances without having had his gob smacked by the gaffer, then and there.
Now we hear he did it again, only weeks ago. Again he asked to leave, not sure of the reasons this time but speculation is that he has been unhappy with his role, or lack thereof, in the team.
I can’t help but feel that today, his omission from the squad, on what is an astoundingly momentous occasion at the Theatre of Dreams, is Fergie’s revenge for October, 2010. How Rooney must have felt like the cat that had got the cream when he got his new contract plus his ‘assurances’ about the squad. But long runs the fox and Sir Alex Ferguson strikes me as the type of man who doesn’t like to be made a fool out of. And the cold embrace between the pair at the title hand-over spoke volumes.
So what of Wayne’s future? I don’t know, but his relationship with Moyes has had its own problems, including a courtroom chapter. Ferguson is only going upstairs so my guess is that Rooney is heading for the exit door, and I believe that Manchester United have proved time and time again that they can and will survive the exit of a big player with a big ego.
image: © nasmac