Sim­mer­ing ten­sion

Wayne Rooney needs to tread care­fully around Manch­ester United’s Sir Alex Fer­gu­son.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FOOTBALL - by MARK OG­deN

WAYNE Rooney was a prodi­gious boxer dur­ing his youth so ought to know the per­ils of al­low­ing his supreme con­fi­dence and sense of in­vin­ci­bil­ity to lead him into a fight he sim­ply can­not win.

The mo­ti­va­tion for Rooney to chal­lenge Sir Alex Fer­gu­son by con­tra­dict­ing the Manch­ester United man­ager’s claims about his fit­ness is some­thing only the 24-year-old can dis­close.

The Eng­land for­ward is in dan­ger of missing the warn­ing signs if he be­lieves his de­fi­ance will lead to Fer­gu­son sub­mit­ting in what is be­com­ing an in­trigu­ing and com­plex bat­tle of wills.

From the moment that lurid al­le­ga­tions of Rooney sleep­ing with pros­ti­tutes emerged in Septem­ber, Fer­gu­son’s han­dling of the striker has been ac­com­pa­nied by a sus­pi­cion that he had sim­ply dropped him as pun­ish­ment for al­low­ing United’s name to be tar­nished.

Fer­gu­son’s ruth­less streak has led to him drop­ping or even dis­pens­ing with star play­ers on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions.

Rooney is sim­ply re­ceiv­ing the same “tough love” ap­plied to many of his pre­de­ces­sors. The axe has fallen, but Fer­gu­son has pro­tected his player in pub­lic by al­lud­ing to in­jury and fears of abuse from the ter­races.

He has even spo­ken of his con­cerns for Rooney be­ing “ex­hausted” by the celebrity spot­light, yet Rooney ap­pears to have in­ter­preted Fer­gu­son’s pub­lic com­pas­sion as con­dem­na­tion. And by ques­tion­ing his man­ager’s ver­sion of events, Rooney has given a fur­ther ex­am­ple of how his judg­ment has de­serted him in re­cent months. Rooney can ex­pect to be treated with in­dif­fer­ence by his man­ager, with the rider that he will have 90 min­utes against West Brom on Satur­day to draw a line un­der the af­fair by pro­duc­ing a per­for­mance in keep­ing with his bullish talk. Any­thing less and Rooney will have given Fer­gu­son am­ple am­mu­ni­tion to de­liver some home truths.

The pair’s re­la­tion­ship is not bro­ken, but Fer­gu­son will ex­pect a re-align­ment of Rooney’s per­spec­tive of the player/man­ager dy­namic.

The com­ing month is likely to be cru­cial in as­sess­ing what hap­pens next and whether Rooney’s pub­lic de­fi­ance has put him at a cross­roads in his re­la­tion­ship with Fer­gu­son.

Fer­gu­son will re­gard the in­ter­na­tional break as an op­por­tune di­ver­sion for Rooney to draw a line un­der his trau­matic start to the sea­son and the fu­ture be­gins against West Brom.

For now, Rooney sim­ply has to land his blows on the pitch rather than off it. – © The Daily Tele­graph UK 2010

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.