rss twitter facebook mobile

Rooney – Selfish or sensible?

Wayne Rooney has revealed the reason why he was unsettled at Manchester United last season was because he had been played in midfield by former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

A couple of years earlier he claimed he wanted to leave the club after feeling they weren’t ambitious enough. United later signed the best player in the league, Robin van Persie, meaning he was no longer a vital part of the squad.

He was played out of positions on a couple of occasions and did well when in midfield, but has claimed now, after keeping quiet all summer, that failure to play him up front is what lead to his unhappiness.

“Everyone at the club knew where I wanted to play and I think that’s why I was disappointed,” said Rooney. “I got told to play in midfield and I didn’t want to. I just think there had to come a point when, for my own career, I had to be a bit selfish really. I actually felt when I played in midfield I did OK, but I didn’t want to play there. I’ve had no problem in the past playing out of position. But I felt I deserved the right to play in my position and that wasn’t happening. I think, naturally, I was a bit disappointed and maybe that affected some of the games I played. I know myself that last year wasn’t my best season but there were times when I was playing in different positions. I didn’t feel I got a consistent run of games up front. Sometimes when you’re not playing in one position all the time it’s difficult to adapt.”

Whilst idealistic fans would like to believe that any player should be grateful to wear our shirt and play wherever the manager asked him to, that just isn’t reality any more.

Whilst I haven’t been shy in expressing my frustration with Rooney’s behaviour, I believe he is entitled to play for a club that plays him in his preferred position. He’s no Van Persie, but he could walk in to the starting XI at clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal in a striker role, so if he believed he was set to be used in midfield, there is sense behind him wanting a move.

The problem with this is that, despite Rooney’s claims, he hardly ever played in midfield last season. He spent most of the season in his preferred position, behind the striker. He relinquished penalty taking duties after missing a few and equalled his lowest goal tally since joining the club.

After playing in midfield for our 3-0 win over Newcastle, Rooney took to Twitter to talk about how much he enjoyed his new role.

Rooney tweet

Rooney’s job now is damage limitation and after getting away with trying to leave the club this summer, with reds greeting him warmly at both home and away games, he now has to come up with any excuse he can to try and smooth things over, particularly if he is to sign a new contract that United are reportedly going to offer him.

“I’m sure the club made that clear,” Rooney continued. “Obviously there’s been a lot of stuff happening and everyone has been waiting for me to say something, but I’ve spoken to the people who matter at the club and we’ve known ourselves what was going on. I didn’t want to come out saying anything. I just wanted to concentrate on my football. That’s what I’ve done and that’s what I’ll continue to do. I’m not going to go around saying: ‘I wanted to stay’ or ‘I wanted to leave’. I’ll concentrate on my football and see what happens after that. You can see I’m playing and I’m happy in my football. I’ll have more discussions with the club and we’ll see what happens from there.”

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.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. NBI Red Moyesy says:

    Let;s not forget, only one Club that has completely shit strikers bid for Rooney and bid £20k. We bid more than that for RVP age 29 in his final year. No Club on the continent was interested. Arsene might have taken him for £15mn but that was about it. So the great white pele can’t be all that. Watching him for England, ball bouncing off his shins.

  2. John says:

    @edcunited…I said he is the BEST EVER MANAGER BUT ONLY IN Premiere League..he was nt a brilliant tactician though i admit he covered it up with his motivating ability..I don’t care how many cl finals he reached, all i know it was schalke in semifinal b4 wembley and in Rome with the squad we had of Tevez, Rooney, Berbatov, Ronaldo and vida in prime we did have a decent chance to win bt we were outclassed..Yeah we all knw Fergie, he was quick to point out Barca being best ever which is debatable to hide in a hole..fact is he never used Berba in Wembley nor Tevez in Rome early who are the type of players that can keep ball..Alex Ferguson is NOT the best of all time n it is my opinion..Who knows what Guardiola or Klopp have achieved if were chosen aft Fergie..I bet they can achieve in Europe in 5 years wt fergie took 3 decades to achieve..fergie is a clever old fox dats why he chose Moyes to keep up his reputition as wt he managed to do with mediocre squad..Fact is We are Manchester United, the best n we gotta go for the best nt backwards with negative soul like moyes..Don’t forget Sir Matt by the way, he was better than Fergusion milion miles n reason behind wt we are today..

  3. edcunited1878 says:

    Don’t see how there’s much to debate about Barcelona being what they were when United came up against them. But agree to disagree I suppose.

    My counterpoint about Sir Matt and Sir Alex is this….Jimmy Murphy and Joe Armstrong played a much larger role for Sir Matt and the development of the Busby Babes than they are given credit for.

    Sir Alex created the United youth system and academy for what it’s known for today and the training center…based on the history of the club, foundation laid by the Busby Babes era.

    Guardiola was the ultimate benefactor of Cryuff’s vision for football. Klopp’s tactics wouldn’t be working with the same United squad Moyes has inherited because he wouldn’t have the players.

  4. John says:

    @edcunited…n don’t forget the chuck of luck in both 1999 n was very possible for Mr. Ferguson to have won nothing in cl..also if u go back to last season match with Madrid as soon as Nani got red carded Fergie instead of trying something tactical like tigtening up defensive set up aft a man down started to get lost over the occassion n Jose who tactically is better actually far better than ferguson won the match for madrid then n there at that wt i am trying to say is, ferguson was just a manager nt tactician n dat makes all the difference in Europe..Look after January when the real heat is on n when moyes have to handle the pressure ”if” we are still in all competitions then u will notice wt the fuck fergie chose as our manager!!!…oh shit, it was same fergie who chose Bebe, kleberson n fergie is nt God..he was fucking PAID employee of our club..Now put that in head..also, the reason for choice of moyes may be coz of broke glazers using old fox as shield to protect themselves frm fans backlash n spend less in the name of Mortal God ferguson when things go south which will..

  5. The Truth says:

    Wayne Rooney: bullshit artist and shameless self-publicist.

  6. The Truth says:


    In my experience there’s no such thing as luck.

  7. John says:

    @The Truth…ok take it as probability then or permutations and combinations can too sufice..

  8. The Truth says:


    Haha that’s right. United don’t have dicks like Nico Anelka and John Terry and even if we did we wouldn’t let them take crucial penalties! ’99 for me was all about that squad’s unbreakable spirit, but maybe there was a sprinkling of divine intervention too!

  9. gazzer says:

    I don’t know about all this.
    One of the problems liverpool have is that their fans will support them no matter what. That includes standing up for scummy behaviour from Luis Suarez on more than one occasion.
    Clubs can take advantage of that blind loyalty.
    Rooney has played out of position whenever asked for many years now.
    He covered back when Ronaldo could not be bothered too.

    So, yes, I think he has earned the right to be a little ticked off and selfish.
    Unfortunately, his lack of fitness last year boxed him into a corner where he ends up being the bad guy.

    But let’s not forget, the club has plenty of jackasses like Ed Woodward (who publicly dissed Rooney), and Rio (who fucked us up royally over a missed drug test) and Browne (who showed no loyalty after all the years of us standing by him through injuries).

    It’s no surprise that other clubs buy players like Tevez, Hazard, Oscar, Ozil, Kompany, Suarez while we buy players like Angelo Henriquez (who doesn’t play for us), Buttner (who’s NEVER going to play for us in a meaningful game), and so on.

    The club has been riding Sir Alex’s success, and we continue to pay the season tickets and shirts that help to pay down their debt.

    I don’t blame them for operating this like a business, but let’s at least open our eyes to what is going on. I think maybe Rooney is more in tune with things than we are. It’s certainly no surprise to me that the club is “graciously” thinking of offering a contract extension, and he is thinking – no thanks.

    i suspect he is a whole lot smarter than the rest of us.

  10. MP says:

    OCTOBER 11, 2013 AT 14:00
    spot on.
    this is the main reason we don’t
    score from open play too.

  11. King Eric says:

    scholes – The same Herrera that was subbed at HT last week? To make him our most expensive signing EVER would have been a piss take.

  12. King Eric says:

    samme – Carrick has NEVER had pace because he has never needed it . His reading of the game is second to none. Last chance for Valencia? Yeah good one, a poor 12 months and you want him gone yet Anderson has been here 7 fucking seasons or summat and done fuck all.

  13. King Eric says:

    tony – Ha fuck me pal. Fergie never addressed the problem since Keano left? Yeah and how shit we have done. Only 5 league titles and a European Cup.

  14. King Eric says:

    And then you want Cabaye who would do fuck all at United. You seen his character? Yeah exactly the sort of player I want at United. A cunt who goes on strike and refuses to play after a bid from Arsenal. Carrick OK? Yeah he is just OK. He is fucking quality. We are a better side with Cleverley in it.

  15. King Eric says:

    John , yeah you really are a prize prick. Bore off you cunt.

  16. King Eric says:

    John just reading further and what a cunt you are. How the FUCK do you make out Fergie tactically was average? How the fuck did he win all he did? Mug. Yeah just shows how shit he is because of the hammering by Barca. A team who were on a different planet that night, I was there. They would have taken ANY side to the cleaners.

  17. King Eric says:

    Ha Ha Ha. You now say Klopp is better. What a tosser you are. Show some fucking respect you knob.

  18. King Eric says:

    I was also at the Madrid game and it was just a ten minute spell where EVERYONE inside Ot was stunned. You are talking utter shit pal. A man who has brought us so much joy over 26 years and your making out he’s some Pub side manager. Spoilt cunt. As for the “if this” had have happened, it’s all conjecture. We DID wiin in 99 and 08. You need luck and we got it.

  19. King Eric says:

    Oh my days. He is now being slagged for buying Bebe and Kleberson!! You couldn’t make this shit up. How fucking dare he buy a few shit players in 26 years you prick? How’s about the top players he DID buy? Fucking clown. Basically Fergie was shit who jsut happened to get lucky in 26 years.. Fuck off you knob.

  20. DreadedRed says:

    John? What an apt username.

    A toilet-bowl of shite that should be flushed away to the sewer where it belongs.

  21. jigpig says:

    Haven’t we been through all this “I want to be the main striker” thing before when Rooney ousted Mr. Berbatov out of the team.
    Looks like he’s trying to say he’s better than RVP and should be playing up front instead of him.
    I think it might be time to read him the riot act and tell him it’s a fucking team game. If you don’t want to play as a team player then fuck off and play in the reserves for a while, maybe until your fitness goes way out of the window, then see what you’re like in Brazil.

  22. Mr C says:

    The thing is with Rooney is that he’s won all he possibly could at United. At club level, he’s done the hard yards and has got nothing to prove. Apart from the £250k per week, which other clubs seem loathed to pay him, there is no logical reason for Rooney to want to stay at the United unless the club plays up to the main man status he seems to crave, regardless of how this impacts on the players around him.The time for Rooney to go has come, which I suspect SAF thought too, but I’m not convinced those now in positions of power at the club have the balls to let him go. No matter, as Wayne will be off anyway once Chelski come knocking again.

  23. John says:

    @DreadedRed…yeah u seem to knw abt it, must urself belong there!!!..was Mr. Moyes was with u down there??..”stand by your manager”= “stand by the Glazers”..put dat equal statements in your head n think abt for thought in ur obviously empty head!!

  24. DreadedRed says:

    If that’s the case, then: ”fuck by your manager” = “fuck your club”

    I’d rather have an empty head, than one filled with ‘dat’, ‘knw’, ‘n’, ‘abt’, and ‘ur’

    You are such a selfish cunt that you can’t even be bothered to type ‘th’ instead of ‘d’, giving not a fuck about the global readership wasting time trying to decipher your code, only to find that its a load of shite.

    U really r the ‘u’ in cnt.

  25. John says:

    @Dreated…sigh!!..calm down!!..relax nw go n suck up ur tutorial!!

  26. Markowire says:

    If Rooney wants a new bumper contract then for fucks sake sort it and quickly. Give him a 5 year contract on and 20k more a week. Sorted. Hes the highest paid player at United and on over 200k a week. Chelsea wont offer him more and there would be too much a risk there. You never know whose coming and going at Chelsea. If he turns it down then let him go but at least we know it is him wanting to leave.
    I bet Moyes is crying that he let Ozil slip the net. Big mistake.

  27. Axeman says:

    Sod off John and go support the Bitters or Chelski. Rent Boys like you have nothing in common with Manchester United values

  28. 20-and-beyond says:

    It did come off as petulant, but it was somewhat justifiable.He is not the first or the last star player with a big contract to complain publicly when things don’t go their way. I don’t think Fergie was much at fault for the whole fiasco, he just needed to play his best team and make things work with the players he had. Rooney started off last season looking a few pounds heavy and had a lack of fitness which disrupted his form. He still had some very good spells but lacked the usual consistency he had in previous years.

    This, with the fact that the RVP signing proved to be so crucial and cut down the playing time for most of the other forwards. Roo was more frustrated with himself but i guess the whole situation just got to him.

    No idea what he plans to do in the future and if he feels settled enough to stay in the club or not. I hope he does because despite everything, he has become an icon for a new generation of fans and is still one of, if not the best English talent playing today.


You must be logged in to post a comment.