Ten months ago, Wayne Rooney stunned United fans by claiming he wasn’t prepared to sign a new contract. After spending the previous six years kissing our badge and pledging his career to the club, nobody could have predicted the predicament he would leave us in. With just 18 months remaining on his contract, we were faced with the prospect of selling him in the January transfer window, just so we could make more money on him, than if we kept him until the end of the season.
The media criticised him for claiming United didn’t match his ambition, United fans showed up at his out and Sir Alex Ferguson gave the speech of his life. Rooney changed his mind and signed a new contract, before going on to help United win a record breaking 19th league title a few months later, as well as scoring in the European Cup final.
Rooney has today claimed that his U-turn was the best decision of his career.
“I’m thankful I ended up staying and signing because I said at the time after I signed my new contract that I had made a mistake and I owed performances and goals to the fans for what happened,” said Rooney. “It’s the best decision I’ve made in football career. To still be there and enjoying it, winning things and seeing the team coming through and playing the way it is, is fantastic. The average age of the side in the last two games has been 23. That’s great for the future for us and hopefully we can bring more success to Old Trafford. What I did say at the time was wrong and I admitted that. We’ve brought players in, which is great. I’m enjoying playing with these younger players. It is not only going forward where they help us, they do a bit more running as well which is always good for me. I’m enjoying it. I’m in a happy place both on and off the pitch. We’re playing a different way, a lot more high pressure on the opposing team and playing with a lot more energy and pace and that’s certainly helping us.”