Saturday, June 10, 2023

Let’s cut Rooney a little slack

He was wrong, he apologised, let's move on

I read with interest David Nugent’s article the other day about Wayne Rooney. David made the point that Rooney is never far from controversy and that if he is to completely fullfil his potential and maybe one day captain England, he must start to learn from his mistakes.

In part I agree with David. Was Rooney right to hurl four letter abuse into a television camera at lunchtime on Saturday after his hat-trick? No, of course he wasn’t. It was out of order and that fact was quickly recognised and an unreserved apology was issued. For me, that is where the matter should end. It won’t, because the morally perfect FA will want their pound of flesh and the even more morally perfect tabloid press will be absolutely outraged and demand he is banned for a considerable time.

This is all hypocritical and shows a lack of understanding.


On the one hand we want our footballers to be the best they can. This means playing from a young age and dedicating everything to football. Up until very recently, and still now to some degree, that dedication has meant a lack of schooling and, once it is clear you are going to be good, being surrounded by money makers with no care for the individual. On the other hand, we seem to also expect our top players to be educated, well mannered and act as a role model for children everywhere. You can’t have it both ways.

Wayne Rooney came from a lower working class background and grew up on Croxteth, one of the most infamous estates in the country. He is what he is and no amount of money and talent will radically change his personality. I have heard people say that he has got everything so it is ridiculous that he seems so angry. I think it is more ridiculous to think that money buys happiness. We all know that it doesn’t.

I have no doubt that Wayne Rooney is fully aware that he is in a priviliged position. He is also aware that he has worked bloody hard to get there and now that he is, he is faced with personal and professional criticism publicly almost every day and the fact that his every move is scrutinised to the nth degree. I am nearly fifty and had a good education but I would not be able to cope with that no matter how much money I had.


I’m not saying that we should defend whatever Rooney does, because it is wrong and he needs to be told and he needs to stop doing it. I’m just saying that we should all cut him a little slack and maybe not criticise all the time without showing a modicum of understanding.

The other thing of interest is the fact that people watching football were so offended by hearing the F word. Really? Do people not hear that word and others, similar or worse, sung at the top of their voice by thousands of supporters at these matches?

So I agree, Wayne should be told off and those who exercise any control over him should try to educate him to amend his ways. In the meantime I’m going to understand that he is a rough, council estate, working lad who has a big talent, but will still occasionally go back to his roots. I’m just going to enjoy watching him play football. That is, after all, why we were all watching in the first place.


Graham Fisher



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12 years ago

Amen, brother! I completely agree with everything you say! 😉

David Nugent
12 years ago

Hi Graham, I agree with most of your comments. I think the matter should have ended with a warning over his future conduct.

However the FA have overeacted again by banning Rooney for two games. Just to corret you slightly on one thing though Graham, Croxteth is actually an area of Liverpool, not an actual estate.

David Nugent
12 years ago

Sorry Graham, I meant correct not corret. How ironic!

12 years ago

Haha, David. I find it strange, I watched that game (amazing comeback by my boys, btw) but I don’t remember hearing Rooney using the F bomb. Even if I had, all I would’ve done is say, “That’s rude”, and be done with that. Thing is, it is unprofessional, but the way the FA is acting makes it look like we was swearing at an official.

sam Ohio
sam Ohio
12 years ago

Absolutely cut him some slack, more than a footballer, he’s a young man who will make mistakes, as we all do! Hopefully we can apply this rational to players from other clubs (City for instance) and not just balding self important United players

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