I was at Cardiff in the pissing down rain, amidst the anti-Glazer protests, when United battered Arsenal for two hours but lost the FA Cup final on penalties. I was at the first FA Cup final at the new Wembley when two absolutely knackered teams, in United and Chelsea, competed against each other in one of the worst finals ever, only to lose a couple of minutes before the end of extra time. They weren’t great days, if I’m honest. That feeling of losing at the death is sickening enough, without it being against either of those clubs.
Life goes on though and league titles, along with European Cups, tend to ease the pain.
Not for Rooney though, who is still desperately eager to put right the wrongs of FA Cup campaigns of years gone by in winning it this year.
“The FA Cup is the only trophy I haven’t won yet and I am absolutely desperate to get my hands on it,” said Rooney. “I’ve lost two finals with United and that frustrates me – I want to put right. What made those defeats even harder to take was that we could have won both times but Arsenal and Chelsea got lucky on the day. A lot of people tend to regard the Premier League and the Champions League as the only trophies that matter, but to me the FA Cup is magical. Even when United won the Premier League and Champions League last season, there was a massive disappointment around the club when we lost to Portsmouth in the cup. We all wanted to win it – and it is the same this season.”