The Fergie Frown Affair

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.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson Manchester United 2010/11 Manchester United V West Ham United 28/08/10 The Premier League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom
I’ve seen better days

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.

Wayne Rooney Manchester United 2010/11 Manchester United V West Ham United (3-0) 28/08/10 The Premier League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom
Who? Me?

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.

  • Howard Roark

    Rooney, like Terry once did, is going through a terrible phase in his career. Lack of form, extra-marital flings, temper et all have just added up, and that has given the media a free-hand at shredding his reputation to shreds.

    I, for myself, believe that whatever a player does in his bedroom should not be linked with his on-field life. Only if, the performance does not get affected. Even if there’s a dip in performance, only his team-mates and his manager have the right to question him and reprimand him, not the media.

    Maybe, just maybe, Fergie did the right thing by giving him a week off, as that saved him from the Toffee torture and would put him away from the spotlight, at least for a while.

    Carlo also allowed Terry to go to Dubai to mend his marriage.

    BTW, an insightfully humorous take on the issue. Brilliant! 😀

  • Manchester is Red

    Didnt really miss Rooney’s goal scoring ability to be honest, Berba was good as the lone man, its early on in the season anyways nothing is lost as such. Plus Terry wasnt going to go back to his old club to play the next match anyways and the kind of abuse Rooney usually gets would have been compounded ten folds.

    Everton fans were prepared with chants like “No women no Kai” and other such distasteful humour, by not playing Rooney, Fergie knocked the Everton fans off guard.

    now all that would have seemed perfect had we defended like professionals for the last 3 mins. :(

  • blueissh*te

    Hillarious article.. looks like a dumb concoction of Daily Heil and News of the screws.. Is this really a football blog or a desperate soap-opera script snippet by a Chelsea fan to glorify John Terry and Ashley Cole..

    “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.”

    Haha.. this bit cracked me up.. oh and dont get me started on the Coleen and Cheryl bit..

    What was this blogger smoking?

  • Sarad

    Am sorry to point this out but this article in real bad taste.

    A blue writing on Reds – trying to hide his bias but unable to? Let fans of respective clubs write bad or good about the club they support because fans of another club, writing about their rivals and mixing things from bbc boycott to rooney drop to taxpayer Mr General – would never be un-biased, or will it? Looks to me like a fan waiting for long for an opportunity to pour it all on Fergie.

    1. Rooney dropped – because he said he won’t like to hear “Kia Rooney must die soon”. End of story. I’m happy SAF still protects his players like he did to his son against that f###ing BBC Panorama. But how does that relate to Utd dropping 2 points due to 2 goals conceded in the last 1 min of defensive madness, is beyond me. Only the author of this article and Henry “effing” Winter can answer this.

    2. Nice try from Chelsea fans to find solace in Rooney for Terry. But let me remind, whereas, one screwed a hooker (Not that I expect Indians to understand this but FFS hookers are to there to be screwed after all), the captain of Chelsea and England national team, screwed his team mate’s fiancee. One has to wear those fake blue specs sold on London Bridge not to see the difference.

  • Ullas

    I thought this was supposed to be a site where the fans of a club write about their club and not supposed to be a chelsea forum/site meant to take a dig at other clubs(arent there enough of that for every club already?)

    Coming to the article, this is in extremely poor state and should be taken out if this site plans to maintain its dignity as an unbiased site (if not, well, its fine but then please dont make silly statements and expect others to believe it).

    BTW, where was the hard skinned Terry during that FA cup match? Wasnt he given a xxxental leve to mend his life in Dubai (where god knows what happened, may be the england and club captain went on his knees to beg mercy and was ready to take 40 beatings with the cane to repent his skins…I think we saw the marks!)…Oh I forgot that with a blue tainted glass its easy to forget all that!

    Well, this is the sort of comment I dont wish to write on a public forum but then if the article is like this, you will get these…

    PS: On a serious note, If Rooney can handle ‘Kia must die soon’ chant, he could take anything and hard skinned enough…And there is a small matter of 5 games in 2 weeks too (unfortunately he doesnt fake injury for England like other professional captains!)

  • Happy Chap!!

    I think this article wouldn’t have come had Utd seen off Everton and unfortunately wayne could not have done anything in protecting those late late goals. Berba played well enough to jusitfy SAF’s decision in resting rooney. Sir Alex’s comparison to anyone let alone Carlo in man management is just pathetic as nobody has handled more superstars than him in the current generation of managers.

    I agree this post is in a poor taste and should be taken off.

    P.S.: Terry’s performance against Man City in the 4-1 drubbing proved how well both him and the manager handled the situation.

  • Sarad

    MoTD: Alan Hansen & Lee Dixon : Rooney not playing was the best thing happened to the game. The media, 22 players & fans focused on the game. I agree but these writers like Henry Winter?

  • DarrenFletcher”football genius”

    Yeah people fail to see the bigger picture, Man Utd > Rooney and the show went on, But alas the tabloid want their story. Let the ABU press be i say, its always been like that. People need an oppurtunity to have a go at the greatest football manager the world has ever seen.

    p.s. Sir Alex always has and will always know the best.

  • Fergie4ever

    Maybe the author got his popcorn ready to munch while the Toffees crowd slaughtered Rooney.
    Too bad for him that Fergie looks to play football, rather than satisfy the author’s juvenile fantasies.

    Rooney will play again, when he’s fit. And when Fergie decides he’s ready. Not when some ignorant Blue deems it necessary.

    Sorry, Rooney is streets ahead of Terry and Cole. Only a douche would disagree.

  • WengerNation

    I think the author’s been smoking too much pot. In the ensuing haze, he must have felt the whole world would listen to a Blue lecture them about family planning.

    Everything about Chelsea screams ‘illicit affair’ and San$ki wants to know why Rooney wasn’t played.

  • Jason

    I think if Arteta didn’t score that goal, this article wud have gone null and void. United almost handled Everton widout Rooney. Sir Alex has done this in the past, he has shielded players from the limelight. Almost like being a ‘father figure’ to Rooney. It ‘almost’ paid off.

    On a diff note, if the author has taken a sling at Rooney and Fergie, let it be. Why bother! If you are a true United fan, you know the worth of Sir Alex and Rooney. Why talk abt the website and the author!

    I am not an United fan, so it doesnt bother me really. 😀

  • blueisshite

    So what’s the point of this article anyway?

    That Fergie should learn from Carlo Ancelotti the art of man-management? Or
    Or Rooney should learn the art of infidelity from Terry and Cole and better be thick-skinned? Or
    Or Colleen should learn from Terry’s wife how to hold on to your cheating husband? Or
    Or United should learn from Chelsea FC how to mend their spoilt brats?

    Seriously what is the blogger trying to convey? For F###’s sake, is this a football blog or a rant by a Chelsea fan who was waiting since Terry ran off to Dubai thinking let one of United’s brats do something similar and one day I will vent by frustration by writing a blog but he never imagined that it will turn out to be like a cheap bollywood production.

    Dude, again what were you smoking?

    “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.”

    Wow.. Hats off to your crystal “balls”.. as you know what will happen this season too.. A club with its fans non existent till 2003 in this part of the world screaming at the top of their lungs today.. doesnt seem right does it? Well.. I remember what happened in Moscow, do you?

  • Man United fans,

    I, on behalf on the entire THT team, would like to state here that since the beginning our aim has been to cover football sans the sensationalism. Many articles have been outrightly rejected if they were not inline with our philosophy.

    This is a website on which fans write on their respective clubs, and we’re not against or in favor of any particular club. In reality, United has the most number of articles here, in the last month itself, pro-United articles like ‘Losing My Religion’, ‘Let My Bebe be’, ‘THT Heroes – Darren Fletcher’ have been published.

    That time, there were certain people who strongly believed that Fletcher has not done enough to be called a ‘hero’, but if a resident United author feels, he’s a hero, then he surely is. THT approved the article and it stood on the site.

    Previously, articles such as ‘A Letter to Rafa’, ‘Carlito’s Way’ have been written by the very same author, taking subtle pot shots at Ancelotti, Benitez, Chelsea and Liverpool, and they were well appreciated by all sets of fans.

    Now coming to this article, this was not meant to hurt the Man United fans, you can take my word for it. It was intended to be ‘on a lighter note’, but maybe the timing and the issue touched was too emotional for you folks, for us to do a piece like this. I understand that, and we assure you we will be more careful in future.

    I hope some of you commenting above are discerning enough to understand this. We do our work with utmost honestly, and try our level best to do justice to each and every club we cover.

    What I can assure you is in future, if an author wants to write on a rival club, the write-up will also be reviewed by a fan of the club the write-up is about, before the article gets published on the site.

    We, at TheHardTackle, truly understand your grievances. We have come this far, with the help of your support and patronage, and we hold you folks in very high regard.

    Thank you for providing the feedback.

    With ever-increasing regards,
    Karan Yadav
    (on behalf of THT Team)

  • Red Devil

    No comparisons can be made between Carlo and Sir Alex….even Terry and Rooney for one represents Chelsea and other Man United. Though Sir Alex has stated that he wanted to protect the striker, it might very well have been the case of dropping Rooney for not conducting himself in the right manner. Fergie has done it before and might very well be that he has done it again. Rooney plays for the biggest club in the world and he should behave like a player who belongs there.

  • Google

    I think the real reason behind not playing Rooney was Damage mitigation. By what we know about Rooney, he would have ended up being sent off with a red card (in response to the crowd that would have provoked him to every possible limit) followed by a 3match suspension.

    Lossing him for 3 matchs could have cost United rather costly. SAF did what he should have done.

  • punn_intended

    @ red devil
    Rooney plays for the biggest club in the world?? :O
    Are you sure you didn’t have your EPL tainted glasses on when you were writing this comment. A club with one of the biggest debt (I am sure) but the biggest club in the world on whole (laughable)
    heard the name of Real Madrid, Juventus (they fit the bill not Manchester United i am afraid)

  • Judeth

    Are u serious? Juventus who??.. ohh yaa the team that plays in Europa league. Wake up United have the biggest fan base in the world, are the richest club by value, go check out forbes list. FFS Madrid are big, really big but they havent won a thing in years nor do they have any stability at the helm. They are a joke with the way they treat players and managers.

    As for Juventus … ROFLMAO… What was their league position again? Serie B awaits 😉

    Biggest and best right now Barcalona or Man utd.. and i hate the catalans but its the truth and i am sane enuf to see that.


  • punn_intended

    if you wanna know who the best are then i am afraid its Barcelona and inter (performance wise over the past 2 in Europe ). you were talking about the biggest club and i think you meant biggest following.. before laughing about Juve and their failure over last 5 years lemme ask you do you have remotest of idea about the fan following of Juve in Italy and Europe i am assuming you don’t ….

  • Thanks this made for intresting reading. I adore your wordpress theme, i continually come back here and i dont know why. I just really like your web site lol… I just now read something simular to this i think they might of stolen the blog?

  • Mike

    Jeez… United fans, take a break. You guys are without a doubt the most humorless bunch I’ve ever seen.

    Had this been an article poking fun at the Scousers or the Cockneys, these same pretentious Devils would be laughing their hearts out. But Fergie can’t be touched?

    Red Devils need to understand they can’t keep venting their frustration everytime they come up a few goals short.

    My only criticism of this blog is that it does not mention Atkinson obviously gifting the draw to United.

  • SIr Alex

    @Mike : why so bitter mate? Atkinson giffting us the draw, how exactly? He didnt score for us did he? and we are humorless bunch, i rather be that than consider chanting songs about “MUNICH” crash.