So what’s the REAL story behind Wayne Rooney’s ankle injury which was given by the club’s website as the reason for him missing the trip to Valencia? According to Neil Custis in The Sun “Officially, boss Ferguson is leaving out his 24 year old frontman because of a right ankle problem. The Scot said yesterday ‘He will be out for two or three weeks. It is a straightforward ankle ligament injury’ But the manager admitted last week the pressure of public attention on the player is starting to weigh him down. An extended break will help recharge his batteries.”
Yet, in what the Daily Mirror claims to be an ‘Exclusive’ published late on Wednesday night, Alan Nixon reports that “Wayne Rooney left a Manchester hospital yesterday clutching the scan results he hopes will show he is fit to play for club and country.”
Confusing? Wait, that’s only the beginning. The Mirror goes on to report that “Rooney was left behind as United went to Valencia on Champions League duty. And the troubled England star was puzzled and stunned when Ferguson claimed he would be out for three weeks to let his ankle recover – with the hint that he was also being given time to sort out his personal life. Rooney, who played golf on Tuesday as his mates flew off to Spain, will be back in training today as he bids to prove he is right physically and mentally.”
The report by Nixon clearly indicates that Ferguson, the club, or both, are lying about the REAL reason for Rooney being omitted from the squad that travelled to Spain. It goes on to say that “Rooney reckons the scans will help persuade Ferguson he should be ready for the Sunderland trip on Saturday as his ankle problem only requires short spells of rest rather than any form of surgery. The combative United ace is reluctant to be put on the sidelines for the game – or the England Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro – for other reasons.”
“It leaves little doubt” the Mirror continues “that Rooney is not at all happy with the statements coming out of Old Trafford. Rooney wants to return to a normal football existence as soon as possible after the trauma of lurid front page headlines over a prostitute and he does not want to be kicking his heels on the sidelines.”
The Mirror report goes on to say that “The striker has not been told by Fergie why he is being ‘rested’ and is desperate to show his manager he is ready to roar back, starting with a session today. The United manager and his star have not gone into details about how to cope with Rooney’s mini crisis, but the player is keen to find his form and sparkle on the pitch.”
Rooney may well be keen to get back on the field but Ferguson has never been known to back away from taking a calculated gamble. He made a winning bet in Valencia by excluding Rooney from his squad and still coming away with all three points. Nixon concludes his Mirror ‘Exclusive’ by correctly stating that “If Rooney misses the Sunderland game United will have a case for withdrawing him from England duty, so it is another reason for him to be available quickly.”
That may not be as simple as it sounds. The wily manager holds all the cards because if Ferguson decides to take another gamble by not including Rooney in the squad for the Sunderland game, there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about it. While it may be tough for both Rooney and England to accept, Sir Alex knows exactly what’s best for his troubled strikers’ own, long term well being. Whether or not the sulking Rooney accepts it!
Does Rooney need a complete break from football for his own good?