As a Manchester, United fan, I was ecstatic that when on the 28th of September 2004, in a 6-2 demolition of Fenerbache, a young English (even though I’m Scottish, I recognised the significance) striker scored a hat-trick on the debut for the club, one of those goals including an amazing free kick (something that he would then use to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s record goal tally in 2017). He was a young prodigy just bursting with enthusiasm and talent. For the next 10 seasons Rooney did not dip below 10 goals per season, something that should not be sniffed at! His astonishing scissor kick against Manchester City on the 12th of February in 2011 is a goal that I will never forget as long as I live. So surely he is a Manchester United hero and someone who the fans will never get on the wrong side of, right? Incorrect!
In 2010, Mr Rooney put in a transfer request to Manchester United because he was wanting to be one of the highest paid players in the club. Fergie rightly refused, as he was a boss and should be the one to deem whether your performance was wage-rise worthy. At this time also, Manchester United were at their most vulnerable than they had been in years. Reeling from the losses of Tevez and Ronaldo, Rooney knew how valuable he was to the club and chose to say he wanted to leave, putting the club in a bit of a pickle. The Glazers decided to go over Fergie’s head on this one and chose to renew his contract to make him the highest paid player in the club. Sir Alex had spent over 20 years cultivating the perfect system where everyone answers to him and there is no man bigger than him. Rooney was selfish, impetulent and wanted a pay rise. In doing so he started what was to be downward spiral in my adoration of the man. He went on to score that overhead kick against City, but always in the back of my mind was this niggling doubt that this man did not care for our club. My relationship was further ruined when in 2014, he preceded to do exactly the same trick again, handing in a transfer request in a bid to get higher wages. In this contact he was given a clause that would mean that he must be equal with the highest paid players in the club. Poor David Moyes was never going to sell one of his best players so again he got his wish. Football may be a business, and trying to get yourself good money is fine, but when you hand in a transfer request to do so, when you’re a talismanic figure-head of the club like Manchester United, it’s just not right.
Rooney was then given the Manchester United captains armband in 2012 and since then his form has dropped significantly and he is looking lethargic, angry and just generally uninterested. He limped over Sir Bobby Charlton’s record goal tally having scored only 13 goals in the 3 seasons preceding this one. Some may say he is a midfielder now, but he should still be scoring more goals. He is not old, only 31 and he is the captain of the biggest club in the world. Surely you should at least give some passion to the team. He is a self-obsessed, childish and frustratingly talented player who I feel should just leave Man United and go to America. When he retires, I will look back fondly on him, as he was a great player, but just now: he is the nadir of everything wrong at United now, and I want him gone.