Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Roo, Roy and a Pair of Bust-Ups ; Sir Alex Reveals the Secrets Behind Heated Showdowns with Two of the Most High-Profile Players of His Old Trafford Reign. Stuart Mathieson Reports

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Roo, Roy and a Pair of Bust-Ups ; Sir Alex Reveals the Secrets Behind Heated Showdowns with Two of the Most High-Profile Players of His Old Trafford Reign. Stuart Mathieson Reports

Article excerpt

WAYNE Rooney DID ask to leave United at the end of last season - but Sir Alex Ferguson says he would have him in his Reds team now if he were still boss at Old Trafford.

Fergie insisted in a postmatch interview following his farewell Old Trafford match last May against Swansea City that the England striker had asked to quit Old Trafford.

It has been a matter of debate ever since and Rooney has remained tight-lipped throughout on the issue.

But Ferguson revealed in his autobiography that the player asked to go the day after United clinched the title in April against Aston Villa when he was subbed during the 3-0 win by Danny Welbeck.

The request also came before the bombshell news that Fergie would retire at the end of the season.

"He came into my office the day after we won the league and asked away. He wasn't happy with being left out for some games and subbed in others," Ferguson pointed out in his book.

In his autobiography launch press conference the ex-United manager added: "I have no problem with Wayne Rooney. There seems to be more made of it than there actually is. Wayne asked away and I have written that in the book.

"He felt he was being played out of position. I can understand that because as a player myself I was dropped 10 minutes past two before a Scottish Cup final and I was top goalscorer.

"I wanted to know why and I had a heated discussion with the manager on the very day of the final. For Wayne to come and say he was disappointed that he wasn't playing in his normal position, I could understand it.

"But at the time Wayne was not playing well enough. That was my judgement. Now we see him in the form he is in do you think I would drop Wayne Rooney if he was playing the way he is now? Absolutely no way.

"That is how we want to see Wayne Rooney. We want to see him in the form he is in now all the time.

"The expectation on him now is huge. He is the white hope for England. He is one of the great players of United. When he is in that form we see a different player, a fantastic player."

Ferguson also faced a showdown with Rooney in October 2010 when the player questioned the club's ambition before making his U-turn and signing a new five-year deal.

One of Rooney's suggestions was the Reds should have signed Mesut Ozil before he went from Werder Bremen to Real Madrid.

"At that meeting he was hugely sheepish. I felt he had been programmed in what he was trying to say. The basis of his complaint was that we were not sufficiently ambitious," says Sir Alex in the book.

"My response was to ask Wayne: when have we not challenged for the league in the last 20 years? How many European finals have we been to in the last three or four years? I told him that to say we weren't ambitious was nonsense.

"Wayne said that we should have pursued Mesut Ozil. My reply was that it was none of his business who we should have gone for. …

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