IS ROONEY

United striker faces un­cer­tain fu­ture as his ca­reer winds down

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MANCH­ESTER

EARLY in Wayne Rooney’s time at Manch­ester United, a psy­chol­o­gist vis­ited the club’s train­ing ground and one of the things he talked about was re­tire­ment.

“You reach 32 and you are coming to the edge of the cliff,” re­called Roy Keane, one of Rooney’s pre­de­ces­sors as United cap­tain.

“The psy­chol­o­gist said the de­scent could be grad­ual or “Bump” — you’re over the cliff. You just hope it will be grad­ual.”

Rooney is 31 now and look­ing over the edge. Re­tire­ment doesn’t wait at the bot­tom but a life away from United does. For many play­ers that ends up be­ing the same thing sooner than they think.

Rooney’s march for the exit at Old Traf­ford seems to ac­cel­er­ate with each pass­ing week. For much of this sea­son his poor form has been the topic of de­bate.

Jose Mourinho ar­rived at United last summer ex­pect­ing Rooney to be fun­da­men­tal to his re­build­ing project. Soon he de­cided Rooney was pe­riph­eral. Now the suit­able ad­jec­tive is ex­pend­able.

This week­end the talk re­turned to an­other fa­mil­iar Rooney topic — his life­style. newspaper in­formed us that Rooney lost £500,000 (RM2.75 mil­lion) in two hours in a Manch­ester casino two months ago.

Those fa­mil­iar with Rooney’s games of choice — black­jack and roulette — say that is a phe­nom­e­nal

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