Sir Alex Ferguson has come out swinging in response to rumours that wanted Wayne Rooney on his way out of Old Trafford, following his omission from the starting line-up against Real Madrid on Tuesday night. Speculation had since grown on tabloids and broadsheets that the United striker could be leaving the club in the summer, a notion Fergie has categorically dismissed in his press conference this morning.
“The issue you’re all going on about in the papers is absolute rubbish. I’ve banned two papers from the press conference and they won’t get back in here until they apologise,” said Sir Alex.
“There is absolutely no issue between Wayne and I
“To suggest that we don’t talk to each other on the training ground is absolute nonsense.
“He [Wayne] will be here next year. There are absolutely no issues with the player and he will be involved on Sunday against Chelsea.
“He understood that the reasons for not playing him were purely tactical and I think we were right.
“We don’t always get it right but I think we did on Tuesday. Danny Welbeck is the best player we have in terms of playing a double role, in that we had to choke out Xabi Alonso’s ability to control the game, which we did.
“That took away his ability to control the match and also his ability to go further forward as an attacking player
“Wayne had no problem with that. I explained it to him before the team was announced.
“He understood exactly what we were doing. I left out Shinji Kagawa, who scored a hat-trick on Saturday, and no-one mentioned that. I thought I might get more criticism for that, to honest.”
In an appallingly poor effort some journalist and their publications chose to forget that Fergie’s gameplan had been working brilliantly up to the point when Nani was sent off, preferring to focus on Rooney’s omission and his possible destinations.
Sir Alex expressed all his disappointment for the ref’s performance on Tuesday night: “On the issue of the referee, quite simply it’s hard to keep your faith in a game when you see what’s happened in the last few years.
“That’s the third time we’ve been knocked out by a referee’s decision.
“It’s not easy to take, but when you analyse it the cold light of day, you then realise, that for Manchester United, we just have to get on with it
“Nothing can be done about it now. It was just another day in the history of our club. Not a good day, but another day.
“My job now is to galvanise the troops, who were fantastic on Tuesday, and we owe the fans a really good performance on Sunday.
“So that’s those issues out of the road.
“We will get back up off our backsides and make sure we are ready for Sunday.
“It’s a quarter-final tie, at home, and I always say that if you get that then you’re happy. Hopefully we can navigate it, get to the semi-final and give ourselves a chance of winning the FA Cup.”
Obviously it would be too cynical to think that the media were simply trying to unsettle the club at such an important stage of the season, wouldn’t it?