It was the soap opera of the summer, the saga that divided United fans like few others had done in the past. After Sir Alex Ferguson suggested Wayne Rooney had handed in a transfer request, many fans decided they had had enough of the 27-year-old and wanted him out of the club, before quickly backtracking as Rooney decided to remain at Old Trafford.
The United striker, who was dropped for United’s return leg clash against Real Madrid last February, endured a rather poor season by his standards throughout the last campaign, but was adamant he had never, at any point, asked the club to leave and that he felt “angry” and “confused” by the way United had handled his case.
With Sir Alex gone, David Moyes refused to sell Rooney, rebuffing two offers from Chelsea, and the United number 10 has since worked really hard and has so far been United’s player of the season, while the fans are singing his name louder more than ever before.
Rooney, however, has lift the lid over what really happened last season, explaining that he was disappointed at playing out of position and that he might, at one stage, considered the opportunity of leaving the club.
“Everyone at the club knew where I wanted to play and I think that’s why I was disappointed,” said the United striker. “I got told to play in midfield and I didn’t want to. I just think there had to come a point when, for my own career, I had to be a bit selfish really.
“I actually felt when I played in midfield I did okay, but I didn’t want to play there. I’ve had no problem in the past playing out of position. But I felt I deserved the right to play in my position and that wasn’t happening.
“I think, naturally, I was a bit disappointed and maybe that affected some of the games I played. I know myself that last year wasn’t my best season but there were times when I was playing in different positions.
“I didn’t feel I got a consistent run of games up front. Sometimes when you’re not playing in one position all the time it’s difficult to adapt.”
Even though he didn’t mention him, Rooney fired a rather direct attack on Sir Alex Ferguson, the man the striker maintains was to blame for the sour turn taken by their relationship.
“Obviously there’s been a lot of stuff happening and people waiting for me to say whatever but I’ve spoken to the people who matter at the club and we’ve known ourselves what we’re doing,” Rooney said.
“I’m not going to go around saying: ‘I wanted to stay or I wanted to leave.’ I’ve just got my head down and worked hard. I’ve been focused and been wanting to prove to people that I’m a top player. I wanted to prove it to myself really rather than anyone else.
“You can see I’m playing and I’m happy in my football,” continued Rooney. “I’ll have more discussions with the club and we’ll see what happens from there.
“David Moyes has come in, he’s playing me up front and I’m enjoying it. I’m not saying I wouldn’t [go into midfield] for instance if it was the last 10 to 15 minutes of a game, if we were holding on a bit and I got asked to drop to the left, or drop back, to help see out the game.
“I’d always go in and try to help the team. I’m not saying I’d throw my arms up and not do it. I can play in midfield. Maybe when I’m a bit older, losing my legs a bit, I can go back there.”
Rooney has credited David Moyes’ new training regime for getting him back into shape over the summer.
“Honestly the training has been so hard,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of different types of training – a lot more longer running, quicker running, sharper running. That’s really benefited me. I feel as fit as I ever have done.”
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Tags: Manchester United News