What I do want to do is to examine the comments of Sir Alex Ferguson who said the other day that Rooney has been feeling the strain of the media scrutiny he has been under and suggested that may be having an influence on the form of his mercurial striker.
Once again on Saturday, Rooney cut a forlorn figure in large parts of United’s draw at Bolton. There is no doubt that he is still a very long way short of his best. He has managed just one goal in six games and has looked a shadow of the player he was last season. He has continued in the same wretched form that he showed for England in the World Cup.
Former England boss Kevin Keegan has spoken out against the criticism of media scrutiny. He told ESPN,
“You can’t then turn around and say there’s too much paparazzi around or too much publicity. You can’t have all the contracts, sell your wedding to magazines and things like this, and suddenly say, ‘That’s the tap I want to turn on but we want to turn the other one off’. It’s just one tap and I know from when I played that if you are advertising boots and all these things, you have to go and make appearances. You are going to appear in the paper. But the one thing I would say is keep your home and your family out of it and just take your endorsements if that’s what you want to do. One minute you are courting it, the next minute you’re saying ‘I don’t want this’.”
When Rooney was substituted on Sunday he had an ice pack applied to his ankle, but there was no injury that United feel will keep him out of the Champions League game in Valencia on Wednesday. He simply looks devoid of form and absolutely devoid of confidence.
When Ferguson talked of Rooney feeling the pressure of the media, he claimed that Rooney was not lacking confidence. Keegan disagrees.
“His performance at Bolton tells me his confidence is shot. Last year, you’d fancy him to put some of these chances into the net. For United to get back to where they should be, and winning at places like Bolton, they need to be getting Wayne Rooney firing on all cylinders.”
I think that Keegan has a decent point about the media. The likes of Rooney and other top players use the media to increase their fame and their wealth and help them to have a lavish lifestyle. The flip side of that is that when players step out of line they have to expect the media to make the most of it.
If players do not want the problems that go with this sort of reporting then they should surely withdraw from the benefits as well.
What do you think? Is media intrusion wrong or is it just part of the job and something players need to be able to brush off?
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