It was assumed that injuries as well as fatigue were robbing us of the Wayne Rooney that had scored 34 goals the previous season. He had been rushed back from the ankle injury that effectively ended his season and our title hopes too soon. Coupling that with the fact he went to South Africa with England for the World Cup meant we had been given back a weary and unfit striker.
But at the start of October rumours of the strikers infidelity were smeared across the front pages of newspapers worldwide. Everybody had an opinion on it and subsequently Wayne Rooney made his intentions of leaving Old Trafford clear.
We all know how that saga panned out and it is merely an aside in a season that saw us win league title number 19 as well as reach the Champions League final for the 3rd time in 4 years as Rooney came good and his poor start was put down to off field problems amongst other things.
With that said I don’t suppose I’m the only person with a feeling of Deja Vu here?
News today that Rio Ferdinand has lost a court case to prevent papers revealing cases of extra marital activities make this a very familiar scenario to the one we faced last season.
Last season as he returned against Chelsea in the Champions League we sang his praises, welcoming the returning hero but this season, with the rise of Chris Smalling and the signing of burgeoning talent Phil Jones, it appears Ferdinand is becoming a whipping boy.
Injured in the first league game against West Brom, this season has been a stop start one for Rio Ferdinand and when he has played he hasn’t looked his assured comfortable self and the game against Basel highlighted this.
It wasn’t just the sloppy manner in which we gave away goals with a defence supposedly being marshalled by the former captain, it was silly things that we don’t expect from the usually class Ferdinand, things like his slip that felled Frei, an indiscretion that a harsher ref may have deemed a foul and sent him off for as the last man.
Injuries haven’t been kind to Ferdinand in recent years and it seems this season is no different, at his age they will definitely start taking a toll so having to worry about personal problem won’t help his case.
Whilst Ferdinand’s form hasn’t been as drastically bad as Rooney’s was it has still been bad enough for people to highlight but like I said in Rooney’s case, players don’t just turn ‘shit’ overnight so I expect that his off field problems will be taken into account when people start writing him off.