The first loud cheer of derby day last weekend came when Wes Brown made a thumping challenge on Petrov in front of the Stretford End. In contrast to Manchester City, who played on derby day with just four Englishmen in their sixteen man squad, none of whom were Mancs, United boasted local lads Scholes, Brown, Giggs and Simpson and should have been up for derby day success. It wasn’t to be.
Wes Brown’s father passed away just three days before the derby clash and was clearly playing with this in mind. Despite obviously being given the option of sitting out the match, Brown insisted he wanted to play. It is this kind of commitment to the club most Premiership sides seem to be lacking at times and the idea of Wes moving on seems like insanity.
Offers for the defender were rejected in the January transfer window, and despite claims from United he would not see an improved contract, with Neville still not back in the fold and Hutton signing for Spurs, it would be nonsensical to allow Wes to leave.
I have usually been of the opinion that if the money is what makes or breaks it for a player at United, they should move on. Beckham is probably the best example of this, hungry for more money than we’d give him on image rights. Jog on. However, with Brown, I have a better understanding of where he is coming from. He has given his entire career to United, having a regular place in our starting XI for large periods of time, and has been our first choice right back since Neville’s injury in March last year. Despite this, he has reportedly been offered just £40,000 a week, a third of the contract players like Rooney, Ronaldo and Ferdinand find themselves on. I’m not suggesting Brown should be earning the money Ronaldo is and I imagine Brown isn’t asking for that either, but I believe he should have been offered a more generous contract.
This is not the first time Brown has had problems with his contract offer, but they were resolved. For his ability, his willingness to play wherever and whenever he is required, his passion for the club, we need to give him a more respectful contract.
Last time an agreement was made, can the same happen again? The question is who will back down first, or at all, the player or the club?
Made in Manchester is available for just £3. Some of the best football writers take a player each, from Sir Bobby Charlton to Ryan Giggs, George Best to David Beckham, Duncan Edwards to Paul Scholes, and many more, with 30 articles in total. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.