He’s not happy. And like The Simpsons‘ groundskeeper Willie, you can bet he’s not going to be very pleasant to talk to, which is why his refusal to talk to the BBC should be seen as a blessing. That ghastly taxpayer-funded monstrosity would have to empty its coffers to find someone naive or willing enough to go stick their head in his mouth, when Fergie’s in heat.
Fergie had one throw of the dice before the game, and it didn’t prove very fortuitous for him. Choosing not to field Rooney, was akin to an admission of the existence of an Achilles heel. His lack of recent goals notwithstanding, Wayne Rooney remains a striker who would walk right into any squad even if he were just three-quarters fit. None of United’s other attacking options inspire the same level of fear – which brings us to the possible reasons behind Rooney’s exclusion from the squad.
The news of the affairs becoming public could have done Rooney no favours, but does Fergie prize integrity over all 3 points?
In all likelihood, Ferguson must have felt Rooney was not in the right frame of mind. He certainly wasn’t, but that was months ago when he was jumping from one seedy hotel room to another, doing what Dimitar Berbatov consistently failed to do last season -score!
The argument that Rooney must be experiencing some sort of a nervous breakdown, is plausible. Whether that warrants placing all your eggs in the Bulgarian’s basket, is another matter altogether. Or was Ferguson protecting Rooney, from what would inevitably be a chorus of boos that would have greeted his every touch on the ball?
Unlike John Terry and Ashley Cole, who are blessed with great temperament and a Teflon-attitude (just another way of saying, they’re admirably thick-skinned), Rooney is not exactly a practitioner of transcendental meditation on the field. This was a man who punched corner flags when he was in a relatively good mood. Fergie seemingly invested a lot in him as he cultivated a possible leader from what he saw as essentially a diamond-in-the-rough, but what the rest of us saw as just plain rough. And to be honest, Fergie’s had some reasonable success. Rooney’s name did do the rounds as England captain and his suitability was debated with straight faces – unthinkable even a few years ago. Credit for that must go to the Great White Scot.
It also begs the question, as to whether Fergie believes Rooney’s much-publicised behavioural improvement over the years is something fashioned entirely on shaky ground. Just as the fictional scientist Frankenstein would know the limits of his monster, does Fergie ultimately have little faith in his star forward? Taking a player off , to spare him the taunts on the field, is unfair to whatever progress he must and should have made as an adult in control of his emotions. It is also unfair to those who shelled out several pounds for the United-Everton game, hoping to catch Rooney do an Eric Cantona-style kick and rearrange some booing Toffee supporter’s face.
The only other possible reason Rooney could conceivably not be fit for this Everton-encounter was if Colleen Rooney took a page out of Elin Nordegren‘s book and came at her husband swinging a golf club. Or maybe Fergie tortured Rooney with the hairdryer-treatment till he suffered a heat stroke.
Rooney’s day would not have gotten any better after hearing that his wife has been keeping in touch with Cheryl Cole, of all people. Women, when faced with a situation, look toward other women for guidance. For Rooney, it would be best Colleen headed to John Terry’s wife – after all she kept her man. Instead, and this sounds ominous for Wayne, she looked to Cheryl Cole for guidance. Now that’s not necessarily bad news, since the two women aren’t alike. Colleen isn’t technically a celebrity in her own right, while Cheryl has undeniable talent – she can lip-synch on stage.
Perhaps, Ancelotti’s generosity when it came to dispensing advice to Rooney in the past few days, irked Fergie to no end. Since Terrygate and Colegate, Carlo Ancelotti has developed something of a reputation for getting his men to leave their off-field troubles behind. Both Terry and Cole exemplified professionalism under the Italian’s Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell regime.
Fergie may not have been tempted to do a Carlo, and not many managers would like it if their rivals offered unsolicited psychological support to their star forwards. In the end, what mattered last season and what will this time around too, is that Chelsea handled its skeletons in the closet better than United currently seems capable of.