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RoM Reaction to Rooney’s new contract

Last season, Wayne Rooney’s form became so poor, by his own high standards, that Sir Alex Ferguson dropped him. He was left out of the starting line-up for our biggest game of the season at home to Real Madrid, a decision that was working well for us until the referee’s scandalous decision to send Nani off, and it wasn’t that surprising to see Fergie do it. Obviously it meant the press and fans were talking about his future but based on the way he was playing, particularly in the first leg at the Bernabeu, it seemed a fairly obvious move.

Rooney came in for his fair share of criticism from United fans for his form but by the end of the season, only Van Persie, Suarez, Bale and Walcott had more goals and assists than him. According to the fans, it was one of his worst seasons in a United shirt, completely outshone by Van Persie, but he was still one of the most effective players in the league.

It is because of what Rooney is capable of even during a bad season that United couldn’t afford to let him leave the club, not for a rival at least. Maybe it’s silly to regard Chelsea as rivals right now, given they are 15 points clear of us, but they certainly felt like rivals at the end of last season when Ferguson confirmed that Rooney wanted off.

Chelsea were the only club to put a bid in and thankfully only offering £25m meant United weren’t put in a position where they had a tough decision to make. Had a £40m offer come in, maybe it would have been more difficult for United to stick to their guns. As it was, their resolve wasn’t tested and it was easy to bat the West London club away.

The next battle was convincing Rooney to stay though, which was probably an easier task once Ferguson retired. Ferguson outed Rooney, revealing that the striker wanted to leave, in a way that has been described as a bitter parting shot. Maybe that is an accurate description. Or maybe Ferguson wanted to take some of the heat off David Moyes before his appointment was announced, so that the new manager couldn’t be blamed for the revelations that were set to come in the summer, with Paul Stretford trying to prise Rooney away. Or maybe it was a bit of both. Maybe Ferguson couldn’t resist the opportunity of sticking the knife in Rooney, knowing that the situation would then become win-win for Moyes, either losing Rooney because the player had been intent on leaving before he was even appointed, or getting the credit for managing to convince the striker to stay.

Just like in 2010, Rooney was talked in to shunning the cow in the other field, and has now put pen to paper on a new ridiculous deal. When you consider Chelsea pay Eden Hazard £185k-a-week, it’s hard to imagine Rooney would be getting anything like the £300k-a-week we’re paying him if he left. Some fans are fuming that his lack of loyalty has been rewarded with a huge contract and the press claim we have been made mugs out of. Maybe we have, just as we were in 2010, but just like in 2010, offering him a massive pay rise is better than the alternative.

I was flying home to Manchester when Rooney last changed his mind and upon landing my phone erupted with text messages and missed calls. I had spent the last couple of days of my holiday e-mailing and texting journalists, learning just how close Rooney was to moving to City. Losing Carlos Tevez to them had been pretty awful. The Stretford End had chanted for him, drowning out Ferguson’s end of season speech on the day we were crowed champions for a record-equalling 18 times, making the whole affair fairly embarrassing. “Fergie, Fergie, sign him up!” was the echo of City fans whenever he scored for them. But Tevez had only spent a couple of seasons with us and his form of the second season was distinctly average. He hadn’t run around kissing the badge, repeatedly claiming United were his forever club, that he wanted to be a red legend like Ryan Giggs, amongst other lies, though. Rooney had us. Hook, line and sinker. We knew he was an Evertonian but he managed to convince us that he loved United.

Daniel Harris had given me a copy of his book about the 2009-2010 season and when trying to distract myself from the talk of Rooney, I decided to depress myself with memories of the season before, having lost out on the title to Chelsea by a point. But I couldn’t escape Rooney, with Harris asserting: “he appears to get United more than most of his teammates”. We were all conned.

Seeing Tevez running around in a City shirt was rubbish, but the thought of Rooney doing it was pretty unbearable. Thinking of how he would make our lives hell by scoring goals against us for them and kissing the badge, tormenting us, the same way he did Everton fans. City had gone bonkers enough with Tevez, paying for that daft ‘Welcome to Manchester’ poster. Can you imagine what they would have done if Rooney joined them? We were desperate. Ferguson was desperate. He gave the performance of his life at that press conference and the press followed suit, mocking Stretford’s exit plan of suggesting Manchester United, fucking Manchester United, didn’t match his ambition. The true insanity of that claim was seen in all its glory a few months later, with United winning a record breaking 19th title and Rooney scoring a goal in the European Cup final at Wembley.

United are beyond desperate now though. Our only hope of playing Champions League football next season is if we manage to make up eleven points on Liverpool in the remaining eleven games, or if we win the European Cup this season. Both scenarios are fantasy, if we’re honest.

So what was the alternative to offering Rooney a ridiculous contract? Selling him to Chelsea for £15m with one remaining on his contract this summer, or letting him go there for free next summer. Imagine this Chelsea side with a striker who could actually score goals. Imagine Rooney playing as a number 9, as he did in 2009-2010 when he scored 34 goals in 44 games, with the likes of Hazard and Oscar feeding him the ball.

But it’s about much more than that. Chelsea may very well win the title this season even without Rooney, and that isn’t really our problem right now. The issue is, as it would have been in 2010, it would signal the beginning of the end. Losing one of our best players to a rival would have been crippling to our status, as if we’re not crippled enough already. United have never lost one of their best players to another English side and if that were to happen, particularly now we’re without the faith that Ferguson could make amends, it would spell disaster for the club. The signing of Juan Mata and retaining the services of Rooney suggests that we might be around next season, once we’ve managed to wipe this one from our memory. To be reminded of our inadequacies every time Rooney put one in for Chelsea, every time he lifted a trophy for them, would have been a bitter pill to swallow.

So, what now?

Worst case scenario is that Rooney stays at the club, earning a massive wage, until he is 33-years-old and way past his best. He breaks Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record, after hinting again, third time lucky, that he wants to leave the club.

But if that were to happen, it wouldn’t necessarily be groundbreaking. When John Terry was Rooney’s age, he revealed he had “sleepless nights” over an offer from Mark Hughes at 10th placed Manchester City and he was rewarded with an £150k-a-week contract by Chelsea. This deal made him the 2nd best paid player in the league (behind City’s Robinho!). Now aged 33, with that contract set to expire this summer, that deal makes him not much better paid than dross like Ashley Young and earning considerably less than the likes of Fernando Torres. That £300k will probably be fuck all by the time Rooney is 33, although I’m not sure that’s much of a consolation right now.

Best case scenario is that Rooney stays at the club for a couple of seasons, wins us plenty of games and some trophies, and then when United have the option to sign a better, younger player, they ship him off. The likes of PSG might still be keen, particularly because of his ability to sell shirts, or maybe David Beckham might be interested in luring the Rooneys to Miami.

But what this contract ensures is that any future sale is on our terms. If we want to get rid, we can, and if we don’t, we won’t. That’s not to say Rooney hasn’t got a fantastic deal out of this, because he has, but it puts United in a position where they hold all the cards. Stretford will have earned himself a fair bit of dosh, but not as much as he would have done at Chelsea who spend freely where agents are concerned, so not all is lost! One day Rooney will look at this parasite in the same way that Andy Cole does, and maybe that can be some consolation too.

For now though, we can just hope he does all he can to do something to justify the money he’s being paid. This season he has scored and assisted 19 goals in 22 appearances (20 starts), meaning only Suarez (31), Sturridge and Aguero (20) have contributed more to their teams than him. Players who have received rave reviews this season, like Hazard and Toure (17), Gerrard (16), Ramsey (14), Negredo (12), Silva (11) and Oscar (8), all lag behind Rooney.

He’s not the best player in England, he doesn’t deserve to have the best salary, but this situation is the lesser of two evils. For now, the cow is in our field, and that’s better than it being in Chelsea’s.


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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79 Comments

  1. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    even though rooneys been poor for 2 years, which means? top players will want close to 300K a week

  2. The_red_devils says:

    De gea we trust
    in matter of players wanting big wage after rooney’s deal, i think its depends upon status of that player and if the club think they need that player even with pay rise. Ibra at psg, ronaldo at madrid, other players don’t have wages close to them at their club. There is probably only 1 players at united currently who got that status to ask for huge wage….
    Tommey, hazard earns 175 doesn’t mean rooney would get same wage. Rooney would at least get the wage he was earning(250 k per week was his reported wage). Mourinho knows rooney won’t come to chelsea for 175 k when he is earning 250 k. He made bid means he was ready to give him the same wage atleast…

  3. Blacksocks says:

    My thinking behind this is that RVP will be sold back to Arsenal in the summer. Rooney will become first choice number 9 and that will give Mata chance to play in his favoured role behind the striker (rooney). Januzaj will be first choice to start on the left next season, backed up by Young (wish we could sell him but no one will buy him and pay him anywhere near the money he is on now). That will leave one of 3 fighting for the right attacking spot – Nani, Zaha and Valencia – if indeed they are all here next season.

    I suspect Kagawa will leave in the summer, he is still highly thought of in Germany and Hernandez is also likely to be on the move too. I wonder if Moyes will use Welbeck and Henriquez as back up to Rooney and the improving Powell and Lindgard as the back ups to Mata.

    His priority, I suspect, this summer will be rebuilding the defence and midfield. Carvalho appears to of the list (and from what I heard, rightly so) for midfield but not sure which defenders will be targeted. However, with the Europa Cup looking increasingly likely next season, the stress of playing on Thursday nights will mean a large squad will be imperative. On the bright side it may well give many of our young players opportunity to shine and I hope they take it.

  4. Fletch™ says:

    Cheers lads. Can’t wait for Olypiacos. The Greeks are weakened by transfers and injuries so pale in comparison to the team that progressed to this phase., Thinking we should nick a result.

    As for Rooney contract, well done to Moyes and United.

    Base salary about what he has now 250K/week. Rest is incentives for CL and league titles.
    Not much wrong in that.

    All evidence is that RvP and Rooney are getting along just fine thank you.
    Really doubt there is anything in the Robin off rumors.

    We are desperate for someone who can bury some 30yrd free kicks. Maybe someone in the summer.

    Seems Rafael really was out of the side with his concussion. Now back in training.
    Evans, Jones and Rafael all will have late fit tests according to Moyes at his presser.

    Role on Tuesday and Champions League footy

  5. Fletch™ says:

    Happy Birthday to the king!

    The Lawman turns 74 today!

    Played for some minor teams before and after, but only won silver with us.

    Won the lot to be fair!

    2 leagues
    1 FA Cup
    1 European Cup

    And European Footballer of the Year in 1964.

    Well done Denis! Well done indeed!

  6. Blacksocks says:

    Happy B’day to the Lawman – 237 goals from just 404 games for United!

    One of the ‘Holy Trinity’ – Best / Charlton / Law

    Olympiacos are definately there for the taking – but no team should be underestimated at this stage of the competition. However, an away win would be a great result! Good luck lads I’m really looking forward to the match.

    I hope all our away support have a safe and enjoyable trip too.

  7. Marko Maric says:

    If we give 300.000 a week to Kroos, then we are out of our mind…i mean, if someone is good, pay him wages, but 300.000 a week, that s crazy.

  8. The_red_devils says:

    @Blacksocks
    rvp will atleast stay one more season in my opinion. Btw why would rvp go back to arsenal? He put transfer request and move to united to win titles. Now United have 1 bad season and he joins them back. It will be quite stupid thing to do. Also united won’t sell him to league rival. If he leaves, it will probably be club outside england

  9. Tommy says:

    @Blacksocks

    Disagree mate I think their is no chance of RVP rejoining Arsenal, After some of the shit hes got off the Arsenal fans, hes not going to be going back thats for sure if he does leave it would be abroaed

  10. lecho says:

    There’s absolutely no chance that RVP will be sold back to Arsenal, same as no one would accept Tevez back in United.

    This is a waste of time anywayz as RVP WON’T exit United in the summer – why should he?

  11. tallestreD says:

    All these paper talk is just doing my head in.

  12. Jackie Spain says:

    How did Law get a European Cup medal? He was injured for the final.

  13. Fletch™ says:

    Updates:

    Evans Jones Nani all miss training today.
    Mata absent as well (ineligible for CL)

    Team fly out at 1pm

  14. Fletch™ says:

    Jackie,
    He is listed as a winner in a couple sites. But maybe that needs looking at?

    Perhaps deserved because of playing in the prelim games?

  15. m09538061 says:

    Happy Birthday Denis.
    I think he got a medal in 1968.
    Also he didn’t sent us down as many people believe.

  16. Dan Young says:

    theres only 1 thing more depressing then the results we have been getting this season and thats the opinions of some of the people on here

    i for one am taking it as good news that our best player has signed up until 2019. i highly doubt that it was done because we will sell rvp back to arsenal in the summer. why would he go back there? their fans have been chanting about him being accused of rape and slating him since he left. we got him his first premier league medal and he is happy here.

    i couldnt give a shit about how much money rooney gets out of the glazers pocket, or how much we spend on our transfers. if a player that is perfect for our set up costs £35 million, but we choose to go for a player not suitable that costs £15 million then thats a waste of £15 million and will not improve the team. the same goes for offering rooney £300,000 a week instead of paying £50 million for a suitable replacement and having to pay them £200,000 a week.

    as for crystal palace, we played some good football. everyone was in an attacking free role apart from januzaj who provided the width of play. fellaini was very impressive apart from his left footed shot that went wide but its his first game back in months. and he had a good shot from the edge of the box later on.

    we were playing with 5 players that are suitable for the ‘number 10′ role, and we were playing more of a 4-1-4-1 then a 4-4-2. in time there will be more understanding but moyes really needs to bring maulensteen in to coach them into a good attacking unit cause there didnt seem much organisation and was a bit ‘cluttered’ at times

    rumours are starting to grow about gundogan, is it just a few journalists or is there actually something in it? for me i would like to see him come in but then what about powell? powell is good enough for his breakthrough and we cant send him out on loan again. unless blacksocks is right and rvp will be sold (doubt it will be back to arsenal though)

  17. Blacksocks says:

    It’s just a funny feeling I have that RVP will be going in the summer. Maybe not Arsenal (although stranger things have happened) then but perhaps to Spain.

    My thinking behind this: Rooney + Mata + RVP = doesn’t work. Sorry I just can’t see how you get the best out of all 3 at the same time. Mata spent half the game against Palace coming in of the flank, all their counter-attacks came down the right flank and a better team would have caused us some serious problems.

  18. Dan Young says:

    blacksocks – mata was everywhere, he even played alongside carrick as a deep lying playmaker at times. although we were lining up as a 442 we were actually more of a 4-1-4-1 on the attack and a 4-5-1 when defending which is great news for our style of play. i have to admit though, in a 4-1-4-1 the striker has to be in the box to be an option for the midfielders behind him aswell as having to run the channels when we are on the counter attack in order to give the defending players an outlet. rvp can do it, but its really not using his abilities in the best possible way and thats the only reason i can see him moving on. rooney is our best option for doing that, and in the future james wilson or welbeck will be good for it.

    what do you think our transfer activity will be this summer?

    i think we need a left back, midfielder to replace carrick, winger and depending on outgoings a box to box midfielder

  19. Blacksocks says:

    @ Dan Young

    I believe we need at least 1 international standard centre back, a LB and a RB. A half decent RB would at least push Rafael whereas Smalling is better in the centre despite a good performance on saturday.

    In Midfield, Carvalho, Gungadon (my bad spelling!) and Kroos seem to be the three most mentioned and if we can get 2 of those that would be amazing although I suspect it will only be one at best.

    Our strongest area of the squad arguably is forwards but if someone shines in the WC for example then a bid wouldn’t hurt!!!

    As for outgoings I suspect the following will leave:

    Buttner
    Kagawa
    Vidic (confirmed of course)
    Ferdinand

    And possibly
    Nani
    Evra
    Young (please!)
    Fletcher (a shame)
    Cleverley
    RVP (as I’ve discussed earlier)

    Although being English may well help the causes of Cleverley and Young.

    How would this be for a starting line next season?

    De Gea
    Rafael
    El Garay
    Jones
    Shaw
    Carvalho
    Feilani
    Gungadon
    Mata
    Januzaj
    Rooney

    Not beyond the relms of possibility I think. Playing a 4 321 formation perhaps?

    it would be great to see another youngster break through like Januzaj has this season too.

  20. Tommy says:

    @Blacksocks

    I still dont see RVP leaving although out of the others I can see them all leavng aybe except Fletcher who I think is being given a new contract even tho I think he is passed his best, Evra gets a contract automatically due to some clause in contract stating if he played a number of games he gets an automatic extention, but it would be a strong side that line up, fingers crossed

  21. wayne barker says:

    Nani is also a tough call he’s barely played for 2 seasons,Moyes might be tempted to keep him rather than give him away,the World Cup could determine Nani’s fate,weird fucking injury to keep him out this long

  22. Fletch™ says:

    Fletcher will stay (Reliable reports club will give him a 2yr 60k/wk deal, which is basically an extension of his current wage.

    RvP will stay.

    As to changes, doubt we move more than 4 players this summer from the talk from both Woodward and DM

    Both have mentioned not wanting to destabilize the team

    But I feel some of it will depend on who is available. If 5-6 targets miraculously came available, we might get all 6. My guess is that it will be 3-5, with 4 being considered the optimal.

    As to Rooney’s contract, I am over the moon.
    Cheeper by a third than any top European target if wages and transfer fee are considered.

    Also, you don’t buy guts like Wayne has.
    Anyone who remembers
    Ruud vanN (bless his socks)
    Juan Seb
    Diego Forlán
    knows that money players check out at times.

    Like I said, I think we will all be pleasantly surprised at what we find Rooney still has in the tank.
    That’s my guess any how.

  23. Blacksocks says:

    Cheers Tommy, yes I think it would be a strong side with plenty of others to come in when injuries etc hit. Although I aways think you find out if a player is really good enough in their 2nd season so maybe a title challanging team 15/16 season.

    I hope RVP stays too, like I’ve said before it’s just a funny feeling I’ve got and not really based on anything I’ve heard.

    Evra staying would be great for the dressing room and I think he would be a great back up (even impact sub) next season but probably not 1st choice. I Hope Shaw replaces him but we may struggle to beat cheslki to his signature and no doubt Southampton would love an auction between the two clubs if they were forced to sell.

  24. wayne barker says:

    RVP seem’s to be a very private person doesn’t say much to the press,that’s what probably fuels the situation.Get a couple of online rags or twitter making up a story about RVP wanting out with no direct quotes and it develops a life of it’s own.RVP came out quite a while ago said he’s happy at Utd and has no issues with Moyes as far as he’s concerned end of story

  25. Blacksocks says:

    No doubt some rag will have seen my posts today and tomorrows headline will be “United Fans Want RVP Out”!!!!!!!!

  26. wayne barker says:

    read today according to el confidencial Madrid want DDG i guess it was just a matter of time before these rumors started.Wasn’t DDG bugging Mata to sign for us can’t see him encouraging Mata to sign them him fucking off

  27. Tommy says:

    @Wayne

    Wouldnt worry mate, De Geas an Athletico man, He cant sign for Real Madrid, its the equivelant of G Nev signing for city, Only club he would maybe leave United for is Barcelona and Barca look set to replace Valdez with the Mounchgladbach keeper so hes staying for the immediate future

  28. wayne barker says:

    Tommy read a few weeks ago DDG was close to signing a extension

  29. Marko Maric says:

    If we get Gundogan and Kroos, we will be invincible, unbeatble…in the middle. I dont get it how we cant put RVP, R and Mata together. Dont we get any strategy in 21ST century that we get they together?

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