It’s been a huge week at Old Trafford, which has left many fans distraught. After Sir Alex Ferguson announced he would retire at the end of the season, United supporters were already in a fragile mood. But the news that Wayne Rooney has asked to leave the club has hurt fans once more. These stories do sound familiar though. In 2002, Ferguson was set to retire, only to change his mind late on, whilst Rooney requested to leave the club in 2010 before eventually signing a 5-year contract.
But it seems this time it’s for real. Sir Alex really is going to leave, whilst Rooney looks intent on departing Manchester. After being forced to play out of position for the end of season run-in, it appears the English striker has become fed up at Old Trafford, and wants a fresh challenge. With Robin van Persie becoming the club’s main striker this season, Wayne hasn’t been able to handle not being number 1.
With the news that Sir Alex is to retire from management at the end of the season, it seems Rooney doesn’t even want to wait to speak to the new manager about his future. Unless he shocks the footballing world, it appears Everton manager David Moyes will become the new man to manage the Premier League champions. But Rooney looks intent on leaving even if his former boss comes to the club, without hearing Moyes’ plans for the striker, or for the team.
So what about the rest of the Old Trafford squad? With the only player to play under Moyes desperate to leave, it doesn’t paint a good picture about the Everton manager. And with players in the dressing room such as Anderson and Nani who are also reportedly unhappy with their involvement at the club, they too may be thinking of leaving after Rooney’s clear intentions. So before Moyes arrives at the club, he could well find a queue outside his door of players asking to leave the club.
Ideally, Moyes would come into the club with Rooney spending the last few weeks of the season speaking gold about the Scotsman, and talking about how much he is looking forward to being reunited with his first manager at senior level. But instead, it looks like these next two weeks will all about Rooney possibly playing his last games for the club, and causing doubt amongst other players about whether they too should leave with Sir Alex.
Although Rooney reportedly talked about wanting to leave before Sir Alex announced his retirement, the fact he’s formally asked to leave after the legendary manager told the world about his intentions, shows a lack of faith in any new manager, especially his former one. The timing of Rooney’s decision shows an absence of belief in Moyes, who has been the odds-on favourite for the job ever since Ferguson decided to retire. Rooney’s desire to leave will damage Moyes’ reputation in the United dressing room, and could well lead to a few more players publicly requesting transfers.