José Mourinho Finally Gives Manchester United Fans A Rest From Wayne Rooney

Posted: September 15, 2016 in European Football, Football, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
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(Even when younger Rooney could often be found snoring away during a game when overcome by tiredness!)

Somehow, I get the impression that Wayne Rooney doesn’t think he needs a rest. It wasn’t that many years ago that he was saying he would play football every day if he could.

That was the child within him speaking of course as anyone who can remember playing those games in the park will testify.

Sometimes three-a-side, sometimes thirteen-a-side depending on who was allowed to stay out and who had to go home. The game would be joined by others throughout it’s duration which was anything from one hour to ten hours depending on the start time. A long game would involve a break for everybody to go home for lunch, but would resume as soon as enough players returned.

The rules would be decided beforehand. What is meant by this is not that we made up any rules, we just decided which to implement and which to ignore. We frequently chose to scrap the offside rule for two reasons. The first being that it penalised goalhangers and every team had at least one of those. The second was that it caused arguments which were always won by the team with the biggest players. So it became easier to just do away with it.

The rest of the rules were usually OK. We even included “obstruction” which seems to have vanished from the game completely these days. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t occur in games, in fact, it happens all the time with no punishment whatsoever. In the present vernacular it is known as “shielding the ball”. However you want to dress it up it is blatant obstruction and should be penalised by the award of a free kick.

Strangely enough, having spent around ten hours playing football one day, we all turned up to do exactly the same the next day. Nobody complained of tiredness, nobody had lost the passion for the game overnight.

During the lengthy summer holidays there was little else to do other than congregate in the nearest playing fields and hope that somebody had a ball. No computers, iphones, tablets or game stations back then. No, we just had to get absolutely shattered every day by being out in the fresh air playing a game we loved.

This, I imagine, is how Rooney was brought up playing football and, like the rest of us, he would be there all day, every day, kicking a ball around with his mates.

In fairness to football players in general, I have never actually seen or heard any evidence of them saying they are tired. It is a manager thing. The manager is the one who thinks that it is far more polite to say a player is being rested than to tell the truth and say that his performances have been below standard so he has been dropped until they improve.

It is also the managers who claim that there are too many games played in this day and age, a statement with which any schoolboy player would vehemently disagree.

Wayne Rooney has been on the receiving end of far too much leniency from the recent different managers at Manchester United. David Moyes, in truth, wasn’t really there long enough for us to know what his eventual plans were for Rooney but he made it very clear that he would be an important player for him. As it turned out, he wasn’t.

Louis van Gaal, for reasons known only to himself and Roy Hodgson, made Rooney the captain and even awarded him special privileges as if his life wasn’t privileged enough already.

Now José Mourinho can take his turn baby sitting “The Spoilt One”. He did try to sign Rooney for Chelsea after the second toys-out-of-the-pram-throwing incident, which only resulted again, unfortunately, in Rooney being given a pay rise and a new contract.

Maybe Mourinho has now seen enough. He has dropped Rooney. Not only has he dropped him, but he has left him in Manchester while the rest of the team travelled to Rotterdam. Is it just possible that José has worked out who the weakest link has been for the last three years?

Yes, he has done it politely. The usual utterings about giving other squad members a game and resting some players, (there’s that word again). Rooney, at the end of the day and beyond, is only 30. At most, for the foreseeable future, United will be playing two games per week. That is 180 minutes of football so, hopefully, dedicated followers of these chronicles can see my point. If Rooney gets too tired to play that much football in a week then there is something physically wrong with him.

So the only true conclusion to be drawn from all this is that finally, at last, eventually, somebody has had the guts to do what the fans have been wishing for for ages. ROONEY HAS BEEN DROPPED.

Now that this wish has come true I can turn to my next one, which is that the manager of Manchester United, or any other big club for that matter, have the guts to say, “I am dropping this player because his performances have not been good enough, even if he is supposed to be the star of the team.”

When that happens and obstruction is again an offence on the football field, all will be well with the game.


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