Despite a soft red card for Nemanja Vidic as well as boo boys favourite Michael Carrick starting (who am I kidding his performance was still one of the game’s most talked about features) it was Wayne Rooney kissing the badge that seemed to get people talking.
Last night’s game was a hard one, tougher than expected against a team I, as well as many others, expected us to roll over but it took two Rooney penalties to dispatch the Romanian side.
Having converted the first effort, the striker proceeded to do the unthinkable and plant a smacker on the club’s emblem.
It was around this time last year that Wayne Rooney appeared to sever all ties with the club and fans by declaring he wanted a move away as the Manchester United’s ambitions did not match his own.
There was uproar, this was a man that had kissed the badge and stated just months previously it was his intention to remain at the club for the rest of his career so what had changed?
Cue banners being brandished at our game against Bursaspor and visits from masked men to his home to threaten against a proposed move to neighbours Man City but in the nature of the whole whirlwind affair by the end of the week, the situation had been rescued and Rooney, having admitted he was wrong, signed a new deal (a much more lucrative deal!) that would keep him at United for years to come.
The damage had been done though, Manchester United being Manchester United are a club not too fond of Scousers but Rooney had been our Scouser now he was as bad as the rest of them. Rooney wasn’t helping matters either, still performing like he had a problem. People thought he would be moving on in January or at the end of the season and that the signing of a new deal merely meant that we would be able to command a bigger fee but something finally clicked and in a flash Rooney began to restore his reputation.
The overhead kick against Man City went some way to healing the rift, scoring the solitary goal against Chelsea in the first leg of our Champions League quarter final first leg tie did too and by the end of the season with title 19 wrapped up and yet another appearance in the Champions League final (Rooney’s goal in the 3-1 loss was our sole moment of joy) it appeared the transgressions of the past Autumn were a mere after thought in what was another successful season.
I have always stated I could forgive without forgetting, I could not did not fully discard my liking of him in light of his comments and looking at how the matter has panned out those that were screaming that we sell him will be happy with how Sir Alex dealt with it as the striker has been knocking them in for fun this term, already on 13 goals.
I think despite Rooney’s apologies and the work he has done to make amends, we have every right not to forget as he questioned the quality of our club, it’s legends and the work of great men like Sir Matt and Sir Alex. I can also understand why some choose not to forgive too as that is a big thing for a man who had only just seen his first birthday when Sir Alex Ferguson took control of the club to do.
Rooney kissing the badge last night wasn’t as big a crime as it is being made out to be by some, by now we all know that Rooney is quite temperamental. When things are going well he is in good spirits. Despite what is going on with England and with his father, for United Rooney is flying and fingers crossed could beat the 34 goals he scored in 09/10 with 11 goals to the 7 he had scored by this time in that season.
Rooney is loving his football and the kissing of his badge, all though too soon after last season’s events, could benefit us as it may mean he is now back in love with United.
People have every right to remain cautious in regards to dealing with Rooney but for now take the gesture for what it was and allow him to continue to prove his apparent love for us by scoring goals.