Various news outlets have been suggesting that Wayne Rooney will not be picked in the Manchester United team to face Real Madrid in the massive clash at Old Trafford on Tuesday night. The Daily Mail ,among others, speculates that because Rooney was played for the whole 90 minutes against Norwich at the weekend – while others were rested or subbed – he will be overlooked when Manchester United take on the Spanish giants.
It’s strange that Rooney always seems to get caught up in nonsensical speculation about being dropped. Michael Carrick, for example, played the whole 90 against The Canaries, but noone is suggesting that he won’t play. The most laughable bit about this story is that, even if Rooney was completely off form in front of goal (he has 11 goals in 14 starts) he would still be selected by Manchester United. Because, aswell as being Manchester United’s best forward, he is also one of their best defenders. Few could do a better job shackling Ronaldo, for example. He’s ultra mobile, has a fantastic engine and is a born competitor. Fergie shocked many by dropping Becks 10 years ago for the home leg against Real but he would be mad to do the same with Rooney, who is the very heartbeat of this side.
Since Rooney slapped in a transfer request at Manchester United a couple of years ago there has been a underlying feeling in some quarters that Sir Alex Ferguson, who never forgets a sleight, is simply waiting for the right time to offload the scouser. PSG are the latest to reportedly show interest in the player. But noone at the club embodies what Manchester United is about more than Rooney. Simply put, he makes them tick. Rooney is at that crossroads where art and labour meet. His football, like United’s, is a perfect marriage between grit and guile. Fergie loves him . United fans love him. He will obviously play a huge role for Manchester United, whatever he’s asked to do tonight.
The papers will always need a big story but, unfortunately lads, Rooney isn’t it. So let’s stop all the nonsense and let him get on with his brilliant career at Manchester United.
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