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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Manchester United: What should David Moyes do with Wayne Rooney?

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Given the madness of the last week at Old Trafford, Wayne Rooney’s transfer request has somewhat slipped under the radar. When asked if the striker will still be at Manchester United next season, outgoing manager Sir Alex Ferguson gave a wry smile and simply said: “It’s not my decision now.”

The man who will make that decision, David Moyes, will walk through the doors of Carrington on July 1 to begin the impossible job. First item on the agenda: Wayne Rooney.

In Wayne Rooney, David Moyes has the first challenge of his tenure at Manchester United. The English forward, who Moyes sold to United in 2004, has once again expressed a desire to leave the Old Trafford club, something that the departing Ferguson would not sanction.

It is no secret that Rooney has not enjoyed the best of seasons at Manchester United. The signing of Robin Van Persie, whilst arguably winning the Reds the league, has left United’s number 10 in a less familiar position, and more susceptible to substitutions. Rooney has been left out of some of United’s most crucial games this year, and most United fans will agree that he has not been one of the main figures in the starting eleven.

It is entirely plausible that, just like three years ago, Rooney will change his mind and will stay at Manchester United. It is apparent that the forward’s issues are not with the club, but with the outgoing manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.

It has been Ferguson who has been subbing Rooney, not the club. It has been Ferguson who has played Rooney further back, not the club. And it has been Ferguson who Rooney has grown despondent with, not Manchester United Football Club.

Unfortunately, it has been Manchester United Football Club that has suffered because of Rooney’s actions, something fans have not forgiven in the past and will not start forgiving now. Rooney will have to convince David Moyes that he still loves the club and wants to play and give 100% for Manchester United. At the same time, Rooney will seek assurances that he is to be a key player under Moyes.

Moyes should not give Rooney that assurance.

It’s no secret that Rooney and Moyes have had their issues in the past and, even though they have publically made up, old wounds run deep in football.

David Moyes has the chance to instantly make his mark as Manchester United manager. By selling Wayne Rooney, Moyes will send a message to the entire team, the same message Ferguson has said time and time again over his 26 years at the top: “No one is bigger than the club.”

Moyes will have to be careful, however. The press has linked Rooney with numerous clubs across Europe but if Moyes sold the striker to another English team he will have severely strengthened a rival. And as everyone knows, a happy Wayne Rooney is a deadly Wayne Rooney.

In the long run though, allowing Rooney to leave is the best decision for all parties in this saga. Rooney finally gets his wish to leave the club and David Moyes shows that he is the boss and will not take any disruptive behaviour in his dressing room and that the club and its future are much more important than one ego. Much like his predecessor.

Calling all Manchester United fans: What should David Moyes do with Rooney? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.

You can follow Mitch on Twitter: @MitchWaddon


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