Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Wayne 'Rude boy' Rooney: Weekend Obvservations 2nd-3rd April 2011: Part One

Last time around I sat here and briefly bemoaned the fact that the Premier League title race had become about as exciting as a three hour lecture by Alan Shearer on twigs! A cocktail of sedatives and a box set of Gardener’s World couldn't induce sleep any more effectively that watching Manchester United saunter there way to their 12th League title in 19 seasons while their supposed challengers display all the consistency of prison porridge.

This past weekend saw the reds show their supposed title-winning credentials with a remarkable 4-2 win at West Ham despite being 2-0 down at half time. A feat that would otherwise have looked quite impressive had United not already made similar comebacks time and time again.

The main talking point from the match however came when human Rottweiler and future sociopath case study Wayne Rooney celebrated his highly impressive hat trick by trying to pick a fight with a TV camera and launching into a needlessly aggressive, sweary tirade seen by millions of people the world over. The fallout has seen the scouser censured by the authorities and facing a short term ban.

Much has been made of the incident with some choosing to condemn and others, quite unbelievably, defending Rooney. It boggles the mind how some people choose to reason. As it was 'emotional' and in the 'heat of the moment' that apparently makes it OK? Really? I wonder how many murderers can get away with the same defence....

Of course, Rooney isn't the first, last or only player to swear on the pitch. Yes, players are often caught on camera blurting out all kinds of obscenities - Let's face it, the United striker is no stranger to this - but how often do they actively go over and seek out the camera and start going all Malcolm Tucker in the way Rooney did? This unique situation differs greatly to those other examples and given his previous penchant 'giving it' to officials, this punishment has been a long time coming.

Rooney is actually quite calm in his celebration before actively shoving his horrible snarling mug into the camera lens. Having scored a hat trick and seemingly propelled his team to a record breaking 19th title, was there any need for him to fly off the handle? The rage and anger in his face would lead the amateur psychologist to suggest that maybe young Wayne actually has something of a screw loose. His demeanour was no different to that of the rowdy street thugs that rampage around city centres up and down the country every Friday and Saturday night after getting kicked out of Weatherspoons. Stick a Ben Sherman shirt on him and WKD Blue in his hand and he matches the photofit for at least half a dozen patrons of the Ice Wharf on Camden Lock. The only difference is that at least they have the excuse of sweet, sweet alcohol for their behaviour.

It’s a weak argument to try and excuse Rooney. Of course, given he was at Upton Park, I very much doubt he was the only person in the ground to utter the 'F' word that afternoon. People mouth off all the time at football. I’m not adverse to a good swear while watching a match as my poor mother would testify but does that make it right? What about racism and hooliganism? Just because they "happen all the time", doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Apparently, some racist abuse was said to take place during the same game and should the culprits be found and punished (as they should) then so should Rooney 100%.

Forget the role model argument. I wholeheartedly agree that footballers aren't there to be role models. If you look to the likes of Rooney as an example of how live your life then something is seriously wrong with you. But how about a simple case of taste and decency? We all know that swearing causes offence to certain people so there is no way his actions can be justified. If he dropped his kegs and started playing with himself, would his same defenders say it was acceptable because it was in the 'heat of the moment'?

Imagine if this was Joey Barton? They would probably have brought back hanging by now. For too long people just shrugged off Rooney's actions chalking it up to the enthusiasm of youth. But he is no longer an excitable young boy. Just a few weeks ago he got away with a deliberate elbow in a game at Wigan so last Saturday can hardly be labeled an isolated incident. His failure to 'grow up' has seen him suffer his worst season as a professional and for my money, he's only going to get worse from this point onwards. The fact he clearly isn't learning from his mistakes and is only going to be a detriment to his career.

Rooney's potty mouth aside, draws for Arsenal and Chelsea mean that, even with 8 games left, United are effectively champions in all but name. Despite the reds still having to play both their main rivals, it's unlikely that either the Gunners or the Blues will be able to go the rest of the campaign without dropping further points.

City's emphatic victory over Sunderland have the blue half of Manchester still thinking "maybe" but in truth, any earlier suggestions that this season's title race could actually be something of a competition with as many as 5 teams 'in with a shout' have gone up in smoke faster than a Japanese nuclear power plant.

Despite being far from their best for much of the campaign, despite ongoing problems with injuries and despite even on a few occasions being unable to field anyone better than John O'Shea, Sir Alex Ferguson's men have mastered the art of still being able to win matches even when things aren't going their way and at the risk of labouring a point that everyone in the country has already made time and time again; that is the hallmark of champions. A point I'll no doubt be repeating over the coming weeks if I can at all be bothered.

Part Two to follow

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