Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Will United fans forgive and forget?

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/Football fans are very forgiving types – if my football club were a person I’d have stopped speaking to it a long time ago.

Pretend for a minute you are Manchester United and Wayne Rooney is your best mate. He swears undying loyalty to you – it’s a friendship that will last forever. Then suddenly he tells you you’re basically not good enough for him and that you should get lost.

In real life you and Wayne would be finished – no going back. And you might hammer the message home with a barrage of four-letter words. If he doesn’t want you, it’s his loss.

In football life, you sweet talk him, tell him he’ll never have to buy a beer again and kiss and make up.

Will ‘Little Pea’ make Rooney green with envy?

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez’s two-goal and match-winning performance against Stoke City at the weekend for Manchester United could give manager Alex Ferguson the ideal headache.

Two thirds of United fans have yet to make up their mind on whether to forgive and forget the whole Rooney saga, Sky Sports reported from a Manchester Evening News poll, and with Hernandez and Berbatov on song is there an argument that the England man should have to wait to get his place back when his fitness is resolved?

Breaking news: Rooney to stay at Manchester United

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/Well, what an extraordinary twist this is: Wayne Rooney has agreed a new five-year deal with Manchester United and is staying at Old Trafford after all. Here’s the club statement:

Wayne Rooney has agreed a new 5 year contract to stay at Manchester United until at least June 2015.

The agreement follows intensive discussions between the Club and the player’s representatives and means that by the end of his contract Wayne will have been a Manchester United player for 11 years.

Will Rooney’s departure signal United’s decline?

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/Wayne Rooney’s demand for a move away from Manchester United has stunned manager Alex Ferguson, especially given the striker’s poor form and support the club have given him through personal problems.

After winning three successive Premier League titles with United and the 2008 Champions League, Rooney enjoyed his best personal season with the club in 2009-10 — when his impressive tally of 34 goals in all competitions was only enough to bring  the League Cup to Old Trafford.

Breaking news: Rooney wants to leave Manchester United, Ferguson shocked

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/England striker Wayne Rooney wants to leave Manchester United, manager Alex Ferguson said on Wednesday.

“We are as bemused as anyone can be, we can’t quite understand why he would want to leave,” Ferguson told a news conference.

Champions League podcast, episode 3

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This week the podcast panel discuss the clash of European aristocracy at the Bernabeu, where nine-times winners Real Madrid host seven-tiems champions AC Milan, plus the Wayne Rooney saga and the plight of Liverpool.

Kevin Fylan is joined by Owen Wyatt, Mark Meadows, Jon Bramley and Toby Davis

Rooney’s place on United periphery needs urgent resolution

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/In eight months Wayne Rooney has plummeted from “the best player in the world” to a substitute against West Bromwich Albion and his current position on the Old Trafford periphery will need to be sorted out very soon.

Manchester United’s fans — and their American owners — do not expect the England striker to be warming the bench, particularly when the player says he is fit, even if manager Alex Ferguson says otherwise.

Ferguson spares Rooney but opens the door to more abuse

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Wayne Rooney has been taking, and largely ignoring, abuse from Everton supporters for six years but Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson decided on Saturday that a garnish of tabloid tittle-tattle on top the traditional “Judas” fare was too much.

“He gets terrible abuse here and I’m not going to subject him to that,” Ferguson said when explaining his decision to leave the England striker out of the remarkable 3-3 draw. 

4-2-3-1…4-5-1…4-4-2…that’ll be four midfielders and two forwards then?

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So Fabio Capello’s masterstroke in revitalising Wayne Rooney and turning England from World Cup no-hopers to instant Euro 2012 favourites was….to tell the Manchester United striker to hang back a bit.

That sage advice, if most of the English press is to be believed, transformed England’s formation from a prehistoric 4-4-2 to the liquid 4-5-1 that all the modern young bucks were using in South Africa.

Set your watches for Rooney Recovery Time

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/ROONEYAnyone tempted to suggest Wayne Rooney’s minor groin injury might give him a nice rest before the World Cup would be wise to fire up their copy of the Mathematica GraphMonkey iPad app* and first try to factor in one of the great immeasurables of English football — Rooney Recovery Time.

Rooney Recovery Time is comparable in its unfathomability only to Scotty’s estimates of how long it would take to get warp engines back on line as the Enterprise  hurtled towards a collapsing Lime Dyson sphere*.

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