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Will The Real Wayne Rooney Please Stand Up?

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As the buzzards gathered to pick clean the bones of the Rooney-Ferguson relationship last Tuesday night, it was appropriate and slightly poetic that the Buzzcocks rendition of ‘should I stay or should I go ?’ belted out over the Old Trafford loudspeaker before the team was announced, devoid of Wayne.

‘He’s fat, he’s Scouse, he gonna rob your house’, Wayne’s chant perfectly describes the unfit, sausage, beer and cigarette Liverpudlian who is always a blue yet paid to be a Red. Once lauded as world class Rooney is now a fleeting bundle of broad shouldered, short legged power, occasionally demonstrating the talent that saw his teenage rise to the top.

Rooney’s future was debated at length by newspapers desperate to sell hard copy, in today’s Internet dominated media, but Sir Alex Ferguson put paid to the £20m speculation by informing the copy hounds that Shrek will play on at Old Trafford, even as early as Sunday against Roman’s Chelsea.

The game itself saw Rooney start, and finish. 90 minutes that captured his Manchester United career.

In the United States the co-commentator on Fox Soccer, supporting a clueless American main commentator, was Ian Wright, announced as the second top all time scorer at Arsenal, a title he said was hard to listen to. ‘I’m second at nothing’ he announced, and he was certainly not second at his job.

Making a comment at every Rooney touch, became his verbal signature as Rooney continually lost possession, misplaced passes and generally broke up promising United attacks in a vibrant first half.

Wright berated Wazza, wondering why he couldn’t retain possession in the minutes before he whipped in a free kick that David Luiz completely messed up unsighting his keeper and allowing the man in question to register a rather lucky strike.

The rest of the half was filled with Wayne moments of mixed fortune as he laboured to please the crowd but simply demonstrating his physical limitations and lack of confidence.

He is fat, he is Scouse but he hardly needs to rob your house on £250k a week. He isn’t the aggressive player we bought, he just jockeys players making faces, waving his arms and trying ever so hard to move that bulk on those little legs, like Maradona did when he was long past it.

After Wayne had rested at halftime, with 2 sugars and a scone, he returned to a United team that had lost its fizz. Second half we saw Wayne tracking back, in Special One TV style. He jogged into Evra’s vacated space, tried to clog up the middle and generally get about the park. Slower and slower as the game wore on!

Ian Wright was moved to call for Danny Welbeck to replace Mr Colleen Rooney but Sir Alex wanted to let him pant for a while longer and left the labouring striker on the field.

Scoring a goal became more and more unlikely as Wazza focused on the bath and the glass of 73 Burgundy that Colleen bought in an Internet auction, or was it the sausage and mash the new cook from Toxteth has prepared for dinner? Who knows but he was running on empty as Chelsea threw the kitchen sink at the fading Reds, only for David De Gea to spare our blushes.

So that’s 4 goals conceded in 2 second half performances at home, back to the drawing board for the defence. Real Madrid and Chelsea have both exposed us.

Yes, Tom Cleverley faded badly too. Rafael returned to his Bernabeu form, and Antonio Valencia remains a shadow of his former self. But this is about Wayne who was poor start to finish.

Roy Keane might ask Wazza if one prawn sandwich too many has made this family man only half the aggressive winner we bought. What would Wayne say?

Whether its money, food or comfort – can Wayne Rooney capture the spirit that made him the player he was?

Right now whatever Sir Alex says, this is not the player we hoped he would be at this age on this stage.

Should he stay or should he go ? I don’t know but right now he is overpaid, overweight and over here (Manchester).

It’s time to wake up Wayne, decide how you want to be remembered and change your lifestyle, get some vigour and make things happen. Just imagine Keano having a word behind the North Stand after the game and behave like that.

Give us something to be proud of. This was just going through the motions.

By Steve Burrows CBE @ifollowsteve