Manchester United fans are a forgiving lot, well this is according to Gary Neville. In his column for the Sunday Times of Malta, Neville has taken it upon himself to assume the feelings of the United fans and believes that the vast majority will forgive Wayne Rooney for his recent shambolic conduct. Rooney has managed to ascertain an increased amount of money in his contract, whilst simultaneously creating a sordid affair that leaves onlookers dismayed and confused. Surely it could have all been dealt with privately and with a certain degree of decorum? Whereas now the fans are being told that they will forgive Rooney by Neville, but I think this is more of a rallying cry and pleading with United fans than anything else.
With a newly signed five-year contract sealed for all parties involved, how are Manchester United fans to react? Do they have a certain degree of gratitude that Rooney felt the club just about meet his immense amount of ambition or do they renounce and revile the player altogether? Gary Neville writes: “The main thing is that after a difficult week the best outcome was reached for all parties. He has apologised to the fans and everyone else connected with the club so we have to put it to bed now.” Is that the end of it? No further repressed feelings of irritation or resentment will be held by any one of the players at United who were deemed inferior by Rooney. This is only speaking of the players, what of the fans? Do they completely absolve Rooney of all of his misdemeanors?
What can be confidently said is that time is short and football is a fickle business. For if Rooney reasserts himself as the goal scoring force we saw last season, it will go an innumerable distance towards winning the favours of everyone at the club. This is what Neville holds true to by stating that, “While there will always be fallout from an incident like this, as soon as we get back to playing football and Wayne gets back on the pitch it will all be forgotten about.”
Let us construct a parallel reality in which Rooney doesn’t recapture his previous form and continues upon this terrible vein of form he presently finds himself. He will no doubt incur the wrath of opposing supporters nationwide and, I believe to be fairly safe in saying this, United fans will lose patience with a player who won’t have justified the money being paid him. There seems only one reality that Rooney must use all of his powers in order to fashion; otherwise a troubled future lies ahead.
“He has always given 100 per cent when he has pulled on a United shirt, and that is the overriding factor. No-one can doubt that he loves playing football for this club and I have no doubt the fans will support him through the rest of his career here.” These sorts of statement, including the aforementioned ones, can come across as peremptory. They seem to suggest knowledge of the fans that can be, beyond all reason, affirmed. Does it align with your instinct or thoughts concerning the player?
But enough of my thoughts and perspective of Neville’s faith in Manchester United fans, how do you feel about this saga? Will United fans be so easily forgiving and fully back Rooney? Or has the time come that just because you’re a highly talented sports professional doesn’t mean you can disrespect fans without being reprimanded? Are fans superfluous when it comes to matters of this regard? All of your thoughts are welcome below.