Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, has conceded his star striker is struggling. He did not specifically mention his form on the field, rather the Scotsman mentioned the emotional strain the young English forward, Wayne Rooney, is having to endure. Wayne Rooney has scored only one goal for his club Manchester United this season, having played five matches. He has also managed to score one international goal. His international goal was an easy tap in from a couple of feet away from the goal line. His solitary goal for Manchester United, thus far, was a penalty. It is clear the player is struggling on the green grass of the football field. Sir Alex Ferguson, however, chose to focus on the man’s, as opposed to the player’s, struggles.
The Manchester United manager obviously believes that if Wayne Rooney is settled and comfortable off the pitch than he will perform better on it, to the benefit of the club. Knowing that the player is struggling with personal problems off the field, for the time being, it is not a surprise his form on the pitch is hardly worth mentioning. Wayne Rooney has for a handful of weeks now been in the media spotlight more than at any point in his career. Everyday Wayne Rooney is filling copy, either directly or indirectly, with stories associated to his alleged infidelities. Coleen Rooney, Wayne’s wife, is portrayed as the victim, perhaps rightly so (although nobody knows all the details), and Wayne is characterised as the guilty one, again, perhaps correctly so. This is not a platform for a discussion about the ethics involved in a relationship so we will avoid judgement and just wish the best for the Rooney household. Sir Alex Ferguson is obviously treading a very similar line, at least in public. He has not admonished his player, not publicly anyhow, and is in fact standing by him. He is trying to remove some of the pressure on the young man’s shoulders by suggesting that the media are being unhelpful and overly intrusive, thus affecting his personal and professional life.
Sir Alex Ferguson said he does not believe Wayne Rooney has a confidence problem but that he thinks ‘the boy cannot turn without a camera on him. For a young person that is not what you want. You want to play and enjoy your football without that attention on you. With that it can be quite exhausting.’