Wayne Rooney denies that fitness concerns are behind his slump in form as the Manchester United striker went another week without scoring. Rooney contributed little during England’s scoreless match with Montenegro on Tuesday, sparking further questions over the player’s form, fitness and mental state.
If the team struggled to break down world 40th ranked Montenegrins then Rooney, as England’s creative heartbeat, barely sprung to life. Worst still, the United striker not only looked out of touch but increasingly ponderous too. All zip, spark, joie de vivre has seemingly drained from Rooney’s game this season as first the World Cup hangover and then lurid stories about his sex life hit the tabloids.
These are precisely the symptoms that Rooney has displayed in the past few months while supposedly hiding an ongoing ankle problem from his manager. Indeed, Sir Alex Ferguson said the striker had “not done himself justice” while playing with a “niggling ankle injury.”
“He thinks he’s fit because he always thinks he’s fit,” said Ferguson before United’s trip to Sunderland.
“And that’s the problem with the lad: he’s always too willing to play even with injuries”.
Not so claims the striker, who says he has been fit all season despite months of concern with the ankle injured against Bayern Munich in the Champions League last March. That Rooney patently and publicly contradicts his manager may not sit comfortably in Ferguson’s Carrington office of course.
“I felt sharp tonight,” Rooney said after England’s bore draw on Tuesday.
“I’ve been training for the last two months, I haven’t missed a training session. So I’ve got no problems with my fitness.
“I had a couple of chances, the first one maybe I could’ve done better. The keeper made a good save on the second one.”
Rooney may assert fitness but to take the claim at face value is to accept that the striker is as far from his best form as he ever has been. This despite Ferguson’s demand that the 24-year-old rest instead of making the trip to Sunderland last week.
The Scot also left Rooney out of United’s trips to Fulham, Everton and Valencia, in what many now believe was a show of force by United’s manager.
Against Montenegro Rooney’s contribution was limited to two shots on goal and an ungainly foul, which earned the striker a yellow card. Even as the fulcrum of England’s attack, playing about 15 yards deeper than partner Peter Crouch, Rooney found it impossible to get on the ball to any considerable effect.
When the striker did receive possession, often far deeper than necessary, the burst of acceleration that once enabled the 67-cap player to evade his marker failed to come on stream.
Rooney’s early season form and lack of goals is masked at Old Trafford by Dimitar Berbatov’s flurry of goals. Yet all strikers are judged by the goals barometer. Increasingly so in Rooney’s case with the player now permanently occupying a role further forward for United than was the case earlier in his career.
For England the goals have also dried up – save for a solitary strike against Switzerland – but the forward was at least involved in three of England’s strikes against Bulgaria in September. It proved a false dawn.
Perhaps the most pertinent question is when will the striker find some of the form of last season? Even after the intense media pressure over his sex life has died down, with his wife Colleen reportedly ready to forgive Rooney’s philandering, the player appears no nearer to a breakthrough.
On Tuesday’s evidence Rooney is far from the player that plundered 34-goals in all competitions last season. Worse, he appears in denial about it.
It’s unlikely a permanent slump of course; Rooney will star for United again but with fitness, marital and even contractual concerns ongoing there’s little doubt the player faces a tough season ahead.
Reports that Rooney has broken off talks on a new £140,000 per week contract can only serve to heighten the sense of instability surrounding the player. By next summer Rooney will have just 12 months left on his current contract, with speculation rife that Real Madrid remains interested in offering the striker a path to the Bernabeau.
With newly West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday, United supporters will expect Rooney to begin his goalscoring rehabilitation in earnest.
The player needs to, lest a dispute with his manager over fitness and a frustrating delay in contract negotiations escalate into a full-scale war.
53 thoughts on “‘Sharp’ Rooney still far from firing”
like i said in an earlier post relating to this issue, the main problems are the mental scars left by the Prostitutes Union after blacklisting Rooney.
Perhaps SAF can negotiate/persuade them to rescind their decision?
Maybe Glazers can slip them a few quid?
C’mon Wazza!! wake up!!!
Rooney is not on his game at the moment, needs a year off from football to get his personal life back on track and come back a better player. Spend quality time with his family, travel the world with his family, nice vacations in the Carribbean for example. Other than that, use him as a sub and see if that makes any difference.
VAN de SAR
RAFAEL VIDIC SMALLING FABIO
NANI HARDGREAVES ANDERSON BEBE
THAT is what you consider to be our strongest team? When? Now? Sure, Evra is off form atm but he’ll be back to being one of the best left backs in the world. Same applies to Fletcher; he’s gone off the boil but his class these days is evident (if not world class). You include Hargreaves so you must be ignoring injuries. But ignoring injuries, is Rio not a MUCH better bet than Smalling? Man, this list makes no sense. Where is Valencia? Do Scholes and Giggs not get a game for you anymore? You’d play Bebe over Giggs and Valencia (Nani would move to right)?? Wtf? Seriously…
“A year off from football”. Maaaaaaaaaan. Do you think before you type?
Valencia is out for the season with a broken ankle.
The Man Utd. website is saying Hardgreaves is going to play against West Brom. If Hardgreaves is unavailable, Fletcher will play. Evra is off form and is slow defending against strikers that are quick. I picked that team which is quite capable of thrashing West Brom. Need an attacking team with killer instinct. Giggs and Scholes are to laid back, team needs energy in midfield, thats whats lacking.
Fair enough, I may have been a *bit* harsh sorry mate :o)
I’d still play Rio though.
Reckon Hargo will get a cameo on 60 or 70.
As an aside… surely everybody knows Rooney scores in bursts? In a month he’ll be banging them in… then stop for a bit… then… etc
So, your plan is to force Hargreaves, dodgy knees and all, to do what’s been killing Fletcher this year: cover his and at least one other midfielder’s defensive duties? It’ll be alright, though, because Anderson will be at the center of all of United’s attacking efforts, right? It is strange, however, how the name Anderson and the terms “energy” and “killer instinct” are almost never linked.
Hargreaves doctor said he may feature
World famous surgeon Dr Richard Steadman, who operated on Hargreaves, has confirmed he is at last ready to return to action. “Owen should play some part on Saturday,” he said
Fuck does this doctor know about what SAF is thinking? Hargo hasn’t featured in a reserves match and has no actual game time. only way he features other than a sub would be due to injuries.
A year off for Rooney is ridiculous. He needs to be play and work his way through his rut. Besides United are much more dangerous with him playing poorly then leaving him off the pitch.
If United are to struggle with any team they put out against West Brom, then United are really got problems.
I personally will be looking for at least a 5-0 thrashing of West Brom. And yes you are right, I would not start with Hardgreaves. Two bad knees, I would play Fletcher and after United are up about 4-0, bring Hardgreaves on for the last ten 10 minutes. What I have read, Hardgreaves is super fit. He has spent all this time working on fitness in the USA with special trainers. But again, a player with two bad knees, how long will he last? Fergie has waited two years for this player to come back and I still do not understand why he just has not bought another world class replacement for Hardgreaves. With these kind of injuries, I cannot understand Fergie’s logic.
As for Rooney, he is playing and he is not improving. Also United are puting themselves in difficult situations by relying too much on one player, as when Ronaldo was there. If you are telling me that United can only play good football if Rooney is on the field, well there is something definately wrong there! A team has a style of football it always plays and if a player is missing, another player steps in and the team continues to play the same style of football. Sounds like the other players do not have any confidence in themselves. Maybe they are not good enough for Man Utd.
Though how long do we make excuses for Rooney its fine saying that he needs to play through this bad spell which has run roughly since he was brought back for the Bayern München game in the Champions League.
What exactly are his problems, is he injured or still carrying an injury from the Bayern game or has he got problems with his head due to his publicised problems recently or can he simply no longer be bothered.
Whatever both Wayne Rooney and Alex Ferguson need to find the reason and do something about it.
yeah there is no way hargreaves starts. off the bench MAYBEE, but i see him in an appearance for the carling cup team
after anderson and rooney mouthed off y’day, don’t be shocked to see them benched this w/e. i understand the need for wazza to get regular minutes (if indeed his ankle is fine as he says it is) to start on a goal run. but his presence on the pitch has been poor. if its about giving game time to him, start him in carling cup and fa cup matches…not premier lg where we are alerady 5 pts adrift of chels
Rooney is our one truly world class talent (despite idiots claiming he’s got no real skill). Just like when Ruud was a miserable cunt who wouldn’t get involved. There may be one moment in the match when he just does it, bang! Goal! And on this basis, opposing teams have to mark him, double up even. In doing so, they leave themself open.
Rooney + A.N. Other up front, I promise you.
SAF has given him a breather and will now be fuming at being contradicted. Rooney will have been told in no uncertain terms that he’s paid £140k per week to make and score goals. SAF will be supportive, but he won’t take this anymore.
If we don’t perform. We get fired. No matter what “personal shit” we have going on. Take it from me!!
Anderson is a different story. Although to be fair, all he’s said is that at some point in the nearish future, he wants to play for Porto again. He’s not demanding a transfer. I still hold out hope for him to blossom. We do get to see genuine skill, but all to often his workrate and impact lets him down. He HAS had spells of better-than-decent performances though, don’t forget this. A lot of injuries, but at 22… let’s see how he does this season.
Midfield for me must include Anderson, Nani, and Fletcher on Saturday. Plus maybe Park for his workrate. This is a key game for Fletcher and Park to get their heads sorted and step up to the level they’re capable of playing at (I know Park isn’t top class but he is a lot better than he is at the mo). I have no real concerns over Fletch. West Brom should provide a decent-if-limited opposition, and one that the four I mention here should be able to see off, and hopefully in some style.
I can’t be arsed mentioning Carrick.
I wouldn’t rule out Giggs or Scholes playing though.
————— VDS —————
Rafael — Rio — Vidic — Evra/Fabio
Park — Fletcher – Anderson — Nani
——— Rooney – Berba ———-
“Rooney is our one truly world class talent (despite idiots claiming he’s got no real skill). Just like when Ruud was a miserable cunt who wouldn’t get involved. There may be one moment in the match when he just does it, bang! Goal! And on this basis, opposing teams have to mark him, double up even. In doing so, they leave themself open.”
Thats the exact reason Rooney has to play.
Park is having knee trouble again and didn’t play for South Korea because of it. I hope he’s okay. People will say we’re better off cause he’s been shit. but we are incredibly thin on the wings.
WBA just beat Arsenal at Emirates they will not be a walkover.
I like your team, but I’m going to put BEBE instead of Park only because its a home game and its West Brom.
BEBE is of world class, seen some video of him in action in Portugal. Needs playing time as he is now fit. Bebe has got that pace and tricks, killer instinct. He’s a mixture of Tevez and Ronaldo but not as experienced yet.
Fergie needs to put him out there and turn him loose.
Fair enough to both points – I’d forgotten that Park has a knock.
If Rooney is carrying a knock he is less than 100% physically.
Rooney’s marriage is in real trouble due to his infidelities so that is hardly going to make him 100% mentally. We are all human beings are the end of the day.
So less than 100% physically & less than 100% mentally = below par performances on the pitch.
Its that simple.
The hard bit is trying to get a football addict to let go of short term urges for long term gain. To get Rooney back to his best could be Fergie’s finest man managing hour.
Its not so long ago when Rooney was firstly the rough diamond & then the family man, tamed by Sir Alex. The key also is get Rooney back on track without neglecting the rest of the squad & results.
Maybe he needs another night out with Jennifer. When this alleged affair was supposed to be taking place, Rooney was scoring a lot of goals for United. Rooney is more of a rebel type, same as Tevez and Bebe. You need at least one rebel type player in your team. Rebel players bring that don’t care, let it all hang out, killer instinct to the team. Tevez had that fight and determination, like Rooney. Rooney will be back firing. He should have a couple of games in the reserve team. If he bangs a couple of goals in there in ONE game, he will start to get that instinct back!
Iam just reading a new article from Wayne Rooney himself saying he no longer wants to play for Man Utd? He says he and his wife want to move to Spain and start all over again. Has anyone seen the article? United fans on other websites are already making their comments.
Could be nonsense, but if Fergie decides he is a distraction there might be more truth in it than you think.
The money could be used to replace VDS & Scholes. Of course we should have enough money to keep Rooney & buy VDS/Scholes replacement. Beckham went so Rooney might too.
No player is bigger than the club & its not as if we don’t have enough forwards at the club. If we play 4-5-1 more in the future then its something else in favour of a sale.
The Glazers & Gill would be in favour of it.
There’s still a long way to go this season – yes his form is concerning but there’s plenty of time yet.
What I find hard to fathom is why we would pay him £140,000 a week. Its completely ridiculous. And besides, NO hooker is that expensive.
“Talks between Wayne Rooney and Manchester United about a new contract have been ended by Rooney himself, prompting rumours that the England striker could be heading to Spain.
The news comes in a report by Spanish newspaper AS, which reports that the England player has become so frustrated with media intrusion into his private life that he is ready to consider a move to La Liga.”
That bit alone is ridiculous… if you’re tired of media scrutiny… the last thing you do is move to Spain… they’re even worse.
When Rooneys frustrated he drops deep. The manager should make him stay up top. If he gets even a tap in he will be back to his old self.
You’re right! If your tired of media scrutiny, stay away from the wild girls and let these sneaky media cameraman get pictures of you and your wife out together in nice places. Other than that, keep a low profile and put in some good performances on the playing field. If goes and plays in La Liga, the opposing teams will give him hell everytime he touches the ball.
what i find ridiculous is that people think berbatov is the answer to our problems when he hasn’t scored for the past 3 games or so..he’s back to his old self already, and with this i hope the furore about this being his season dies out too, as he wont do shit for us over the next 7 months or so…
What we need is Rooney playing and playing his way out of his dip in form..berbatov is about as much use as a razor coated volleyball at a Hemophiliacs beach party
Yes, I have noticed also that Berbatov has not scored lately and he has not played all that well. SAF will need to keep his young strikers motivted and focused over the next few months. What he going to do with Michael Owen?
owen will score more for us given games
hes our trump card this season imo
I hope you’re right. On paper he still has plenty to offer. I hope he hasn’t “found his level” as our Ed here suggests.
yeah, owen is our secret weapon
put aside the hatred of owen and you realise he is all we have to fall back on
If he wants to go let him go. £140,000 a week is obscene & he’s not happy let him go. There’s no “I” in team!
Surely 4-5-1 and a combination of Berbatov, Hernandez, Owen & Macheda/Welbeck would be able to do enough damage. Diouf will be bought by someone in the close season & if somebody came in for a bid for Kiko then it would have to be considered.
Rooney just needs a goal
he doesn’t wanna go yo cock, and if we force him out the club will have nothing left, they’ll be no value in us
I read today, SAF is saying Rooney will feature in the game against West Brom but Hardgreaves is out, now has a calf injury. How many more years will SAF wait for Hardgreaves to return? I don’t think SAF is interested in buying a midfielder because he is saying that he is bringing back Tom Cleverley from Wigan in January.
Hargreaves is out of contract at the end of the season, if he doesn’t play a large part in the campaign then I would imagine we would let him go and take the huge loss.
“If” he wants to go. Read the post properly.
It was Hargreaves’ surgeon who said he would play on Saturday, not Fergie
Fergie said: “It is ridiculous. I pick the team and I have been doing it for quite a while.”
rooney is still supping on his John Player Specials with a bottle of WKD and a scallop in the other hand.
he needs a wash for a start – just look at the state of him
second he needs a proper month off – let him sort his house out, his relationship, his fucking bed.
he needs to get on some sort of diet – detox that body, he was shit at the world cup partly because his body was fucked.
At least Fergus has the bollocks to drop him
this rooney out shite is pissing me off
the worst bit is wed replace him with another wigan cunt rodalegaa or someone
The Mirror have it a nailed on cert.
Rooney obviously wants to go to a team on the up and not one living off a reputation with a mediocre squad. He could just as well have stayed at Everton then.
And more along the same lines from the the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/oct/17/wayne-rooney-manchester-united
Wow, it looks like this is for real, Rooney is off, I’d never have believed it until the past few weeks. I won’t be terribly bothered if we reinvest in excellent players, but that’s the big question isn’t it. Let’s face it, Rooney finally seemed to be living up to his potential last season, but he has now lost the plot completely. In footballing terms, his loss is much less serious than the loss of Ronaldo.
If we don’t get some serious talent in though, things look grim on the pitch.
motd have just said he’s said he wants to go, I’m getting scared now
I don’t want him to go
hes wayne, he’s all we’ve got…
sell nani ffs
there’s no value in this
He’s a wanker, there’s no defending everything he’s done. I can handle my team losing, but when everybody from the owners down to the players prove themselves to be cynical, money-grubbing scumbags, what’s the point in watching any more? More and more these days I feel like a mug for giving them my time, let alone my money.
United have said that stories of us selling him in January are nonsense – and they rarely comment on specific stories regarding tabloid tittle tattle. Good enough for me.
At this time.
is fergie bigger than the club
The problem I have with it is there are no actual quotes, only “sources”
He could just be trying to negotiate a better contract
After all I was dead certain Vidic was gonna leave, but eventually a deal was done
Malcolm is bigger.
meh, i don’t think rooney will go anywhere. i can’t see him leaving england, and if he does, there’s only chelski he could join. i can’t imagine him playing at city.
wouldn’t blame him if he did though.
Here´s another report that Rooneys has refused to renew his contract or is going.
Whether true or not we will see.
For the first time since he’s been here, I seriously think he’s going to go. Daniel Taylor’s usually pretty good, too. There are too many stories appearing and it’s worrying when they’re not just in the red tops. The worst thing is too, is that with the losses recently reported, where will the money go?
It makes me feel sick, really, really sick.