So Wayne Rooney did ask for a transfer request and is indeed contemplating his future with Manchester United..
….for a second time.
Why would Wayne want to leave?
Well first things first, the 2012/13 season has been a frustrating one for him. Thanks to Robin van Persie’s arrival he is no longer the top dog at the club and in many respects Rooney has had to play second-fiddle to the Dutchman who almost from the word-go has been United’s biggest threat to the opposition goal.
Football players at the highest level all have egos. Whilst Wayne has in the past been played out of position, most memorably at key-times in the 2007/08 double campaign when he was sent out wide to allow for Cristiano Ronaldo to play up front with Carlos Tevez, this season perhaps he has been less satisfied by being played out of position (in midfield) due to the fact the club have ONLY won the Premier League.
Being dropped for the crucial second-leg at home to Real Madrid may well have got to him. After all what big player wouldn’t want to play in a game of that magnitude. Whereas in the past Rooney would have been one of the first-names on the team-sheet with other players being dropped for tactical reasons, this season he has not been.
Whilst the use of Danny Welbeck in midfield to stop Xabi Alonso gaining control proved to be working well for Sir Alex Ferguson until Nani’s sending-off, footballers have short memories and Wayne no doubt would have been hurt by being dropped. After all he has done a job in midfield for United before and to have been left out for Welbeck – who has limited experience in playing not only in that position but in big-games of that magnitude – no doubt will have hurt him.
Perhaps Rooney is thinking something along the lines of… ‘If I am not good enough to play up-front in big games and not good enough to do a job elsewhere on the pitch, then perhaps the manager has lost faith in me and perhaps the best thing for me is to move on’.
A player has to be honest and brave enough in order to think like that. Wayne’s not an idiot. He knows that only a small number of clubs in the world (and you can count them on 1 hand) can offer his talent the back-drop of winning silverware at the highest level. He knows that more often than not when you leave United the only way is down.
Rooney’s view of his own form might be the reason why he has put in a transfer request. Whilst he remains a world-class player it would be fair to say that since his ankle-injury in March 2010 that he hasn’t quite got to the level of performance that he was before then. He suffered a poor World Cup with England and despite averaging 25 goals a season since perhaps he feels that he needs to move to take up a fresh-challenge if he is to get back to the sensational form that he was in before.
Sir Alex has said that the club won’t allow Rooney to go. However if David Moyes and the senior figures at the club and in the dressing-room cannot turn Wayne round then perhaps it is time to say goodbye regardless whether he stays in England or not.
After all there’s no point in keeping an unhappy player, no matter how good he is, as the last thing the new manager will want is for ripples of discontent to rub off onto the rest of the squad. Then again this is Wayne Rooney and the chances are, he’ll stay at the club and score a winner early on next season and everything will be forgotten.
By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87