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'This is the end for Rooney' - Manchester United fans discuss England striker's future, Moyes & more

'This is the end for Rooney' - Manchester United fans discuss England striker's future, Moyes & more

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The former Everton star could be on his way out of Old Trafford and Goal quizzes supporters on the 27-year-old's future, as well as getting their views on the new manager


Is it time for Manchester United & Wayne Rooney to go their separate ways?

Well, would you believe, that since October 2010 I had yet to forgive Rooney's treacherous behaviour. Never have I seen Ferguson looking so overwhelmingly upset and disheartened with football and life in general than at that stage of his career. Many people forgave Wayne for his actions but I couldn't, regardless of his efforts that helped bring success United's way. You don't treat Manchester United like that, end of story.


To recommit the same offence three years later tells its own story about the boy himself. Ferguson was left with no choice but to pander to Wayne in 2010. Ever since then he's been looking for revenge. The purchase of Van Persie put Ferguson back in the boxseat and how ironic Rooney wanted to leave because we lacked ambition yet now wants to leave because the ambition we showed makes him irrelevant due to his own footballing weaknesses. Rooney isn't the greatest player he thinks he is. He isn't Paul Scholes, he isn't David Beckham, Denis Law, Bobby Charlton or George Best and he certainly isn't fit to have a statue erected outside Old Trafford which is why I'm ecstatic he's leaving before his goalscoring record reaches a point where talk of it could become warranted.

This is the start of a new era, a fresh chapter in United's illustrious history. Thankfully Ferguson is just donning his slippers to move upstairs for a while and graciously, almost royally, continue serving the club. But for Wayne Rooney it's curtains and a quiet, unceremonious exit via the backdoor. It just goes to show you - you get what you deserve at Manchester United.

What was your reaction to the Sir Alex retirement news?

Funnily enough, after the game on Sunday, I tweeted that I was ready for a change and told how, after 26 years of watching the same man's football, I wanted the future to start sooner rather than later. I was summarily rounded up and ridiculed for being anti-Fergie, how dare I suggest 'Fergie Out'. I was a moron, a cretin and far worse than you can print here. Ironic, then, that two days later the great man would announce his departure. I questioned whether the same Reds who were ignoring the fact that one day Ferguson would retire were ready for the future, the reaction to his decision suggests they're not. My own reaction was one of excitement. The future will be fascinating and it starts now.

Do you believe it's the right time for him to go?

Yes. Twenty-six years at one club is as unusual as his success is remarkable. I doubt any manager in the future will achieve such a feat or oversee 38 trophies with one club, or even a series of clubs. There's nothing left for him to prove, he's won everything and more. His own self-proclaimed target was simple; overtake Liverpool. He's done that, he's created an unbelievable legacy. Carrington is a wonderful state-of-the-art training facility with plans in place to improve yet further.

The staff he leaves behind are accustomed to their jobs and this should make the transition from life 'under' Fergie to life 'after' Fergie far easier. The club itself really is run with a sense of family about it, you detect that atmosphere whenever you visit Carrington, everyone's important; from visitor and tea lady to player and director. Ferguson has done his bit; it's time to see what the next man can achieve.

Is David Moyes the right man to replace him?

The usual cliche is inevitable; only time will tell. However, I personally think it's the wrong question to ask. I think the question is, can/will the current players and staff do all they can to ensure Moyes has the best chance possible to succeed? It's down to those experienced Manchester United faces to welcome him, appreciate the task he faces and do all they can to take some of the immense pressure he faces off his shoulders. Take it on their own shoulders in much the same way Ferguson has for many of them over the last 26 years. If they can do that and continue where they left off this season they will make Moyes' learning curve a far more comfortable one and he can gradually ease his way into the future.

From the fans perspective a positive start will settle any nerves but it's key to recognise this is about long-term success and everyone connected with the club has a responsibility to assist the transition simply by 'not becoming Chelsea fans'. Booing Moyes or cheering Ferguson's name at every negative opportunity is seriously counter-productive. Despite not winning a trophy during his managerial career, Moyes fits in brilliantly with the club's selection criteria; loyal, competitive, media-savvy, promotes youth and has respect within the game. The quicker he's competing for honours the better his stewardship will turn out to be.

Will the fans be patient even if results go against him early on?

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The real fans will be but the continued support from the 'Twitter Brigade' who are delighted to attach the MUFC badge to their name/life will be tested over time and be dependant on success. It's not exclusively Twitter, either. There are certainly many season ticket holders and day-trippers sat inside Old Trafford who without question are there for the status and may not be there if United suffer a dip in fashion and fortunes. Booing your own team is unacceptable, except in extraordinary circumstances, and it will be a sad day when Old Trafford boos its team at half-time merely because they're losing 1-0.

Personally I'll allow him as long as the club allow him - if that means a period of no success, so be it, but I'm old enough to recognise that football has changed and United will be in serious trouble if they do not sustain some level of success and therefore I want them to be successful. However, my support of the club is in no way connected to its success. Manchester United means everything to me; always has, always will. My biggest hope is it navigates modern times without getting into any difficulty a la Leeds United and it's there for me and future generations to enjoy and admire. I've been fortunate enough to have seen more success than I ever imagined possible when growing up in the Eighties. Craving more or castigating failure would be little more than greed.

Do you think Sir Alex staying on as a director/ambassador will cause any issues with Moyes?

It shouldn't but it could, of course. I believe the idea is to spend two to three years grooming Moyes, like an apprenticeship if you like. Moyes will be given the authority to play his own style of football as long as it's attacking while he's gradually shown the ropes behind the scenes and encouraged to continue current practice rather than trying to implement his own ways or fixing what isn't broke.

When the time is right, Ferguson and the club will gently ease off the reigns and allow Moyes to go his own way, safe in the knowledge he's been successfully manufactured into a clone of Ferguson himself, or at least I believe that's the plan anyway! This apprenticeship will depend on results, though. I pray he gets them because the alternative is chopping and changing managers; if that scenario came to fruition it could literally prove calamitous for the brand, sorry, the football club. The club needs to hold its nerve when the going gets tough.


Is it time for Manchester United & Wayne Rooney to go their separate ways?

I've wanted Wayne to be the player he should have been so badly and I keep trying to find excuses for him but I think this is the end. You can ask to leave once and call it a mistake but twice is irreparable damage. He clearly needs a new challenge and a bigger pay-cheque and maybe we should move on too.

He's still contributed positively in terms of goals and assists this season but his performances have been awful - unquestionably his worst season at the club. That said, he had almost no pre-season and has been so stop-start due to injuries, rarely had any kind of rhythm. His problems now are of his own doing though and I do think it's time to say thanks and let him go.

What was your reaction to the Ferguson retirement news?

A personal tribute to the retiring legend from's Jonathan Birchall
It was such an odd day. I'd been privy to some murmurings that it was coming but even so it was such numbing and choking news. I couldn't move from the TV for hours, watching person after person praise him, I craved the comfort that he's held in such high esteem by so many. I guess there was some relief after a while and ultimately intrigue and excitement as to what the future holds. For the first time in my life, there will be a different man at the helm of the club I love.

Do you believe it's the right time for him to go?

Who's to say? Is there ever a right time for the greatest manager ever to go? For him, it was the right time and who am I to argue against that. What I would say is that there were a few hints this season that he was considering it so maybe it was possible to have predicted it.

Is David Moyes the right man to replace him?

Unquestionably so. He's British, fiery and has a proven track record of building, rebuilding and planning ahead. I think it's a victory for tradition in the game and I'm pleased the club have found someone who shares the same values as it. I've attempted to explain why I'm so pleased on the blog.

Will the fans be patient even if results go against him early on?

We have to be. This is new territory for us and our fanbase has grown enormously - many 'modern fans' aren't happy after one defeat let alone one trophyless season. He's signed a six-year deal so I suspect he'll be given plenty of time to prove his doubters wrong. He has my full support anyway!

Do you think Ferguson staying on as a director/ambassador will cause any issues with Moyes?

It remains to be seen in that we don't yet know how hands-on Fergie will or won't be. I think Gill suggested that he'll keep away from the pre-season tours (not just because of his hip operation) and he won't be at Carrington much in the early days. Ferguson has always wanted United to be like the other great European clubs - Bayern, Real Madrid, Barcelona - in that former players and staff stay on and become the core representatives at the club and I believe that's the right way to go. He'll join the likes of Law, Charlton, Neville and Robson in that respect - not bad company.


Is it time for Manchester United & Wayne Rooney to go their separate ways?

There's no rumour here - Rooney asked for a transfer and it's about time United found him a new club. One transfer request was barely forgivable, another is not. The irony being that Rooney questioned United's ambition in the transfer market and demanded new signings. What he didn't bargain on is that United would go and sign a better striker than he is in Robin van Persie. Moreover, Rooney's position in the team is questionable - if the Scouser isn't first choice in the No.9 slot any more, and suffered a below-par season in a deeper role, where will Moyes even deploy him? Shinji Kagawa deserves more time in a central role, while Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez won't stay at the club if they remain in perpetual reserve. There's little to be gained by retaining Rooney.

What was your reaction to the Ferguson retirement news?

In a sense there was no surprise. Sure, Ferguson had kept the headlines away this time by insisting to the last that he had no intention of quitting. But under the surface there had been talk for some time, while there was always the feeling that the retirement would always come out of the blue. At the same time there is disappointment that a great man has left the club and a feeling of trepidation of what the future holds.

United could be entering a period of significant change, with Ferguson going, David Gill stepping down as chief executive and Paul Scholes also retiring. With Wayne Rooney seemingly heading out of the door, and Rio Ferdinand yet to sign that new contract, this summer is the biggest upheaval at United for a quarter-century.

Do you believe it's the right time for him to go?

Ferguson has said for the last decade that he would choose the time that was best for him - so this is the right time. Fergie's ability to draw more from this squad over the past seven years than could have been expected from any other manager must have taken its toll. Objectively, there is no right time for Ferguson to leave United - the man has won more and achieved greater things than anybody could have dreamt of. He transformed the club root and branch. There will never be another like him.

Is David Moyes the right man to replace him?

I can't help feeling underwhelmed by David Moyes' appointment. I'm sure that he has many qualities, which have attracted Ferguson's eye. There's every possibility that Moyes will marshal United's considerable resources and continue Ferguson's epoque of success. But objectively Moyes isn't qualified for the job. Moyes' lack of trophies in 11 years at Everton has been well documented. That might say more about the concentrated nature of the English game, although the Toffees' lack of success in the cups will have disappointed Everton fans.

But I'm not convinced that the spin that Moyes has consistently overachieved is even true. Everton's average position in the Premier League over the past decade is eighth. The club's average position in the 'financial table' - based on revenues and wage/turnover ratio is about eighth too. In other words, Moyes' performance is about par for the course.

Will the fans be patient even if results go against him early on?

United's fans are some of the most patient in the country. Ignore the hysteria on social media, or indeed in the newspapers. Moyes will be given plenty of time - that stability is reflected in the six-year contract the new man has been given. But this isn't United in 1986 - Moyes is building from a strong base so he certainly won't be given six years to win his first trophy as United manager. There's also a feeling that commercials will drive the Glazers' decision to stick or twist should things go wrong with Moyes at the helm. If sponsors begin to drift away then the Scot is doomed.

Do you think Ferguson staying on as a director/ambassador will cause any issues with Moyes?

There's an even bigger shadow - it's called the north stand, which now bears the name of Moyes' predecessor in six-foot-high lettering. I'm sure Ferguson is sensible enough to stay out of the dressing room. I doubt that Ferguson will retain an office at Carrington. There shouldn't be any doubt about who is in charge of the team but the pressure is there and Moyes will thrive under it like Ferguson or he'll sink. United's global stature and the media hyperbole that surround the club will be something Moyes has never experienced before. The expectation to not only win every game, but do it with style and that will be on the new man right from the start. I wonder if he is ready for it...


Is it time for Manchester United & Wayne Rooney to go their separate ways?

It says it all when the Fergie announcement eclipsed the talk of Rooney's second transfer request and that that was relegated to an afterthought. If things carry on, though, it could get out of control, so whilst it's not ideal, for Moyes to have such a huge problem straight away might be a good thing as an introduction to Old Trafford life and what the soap-opera existence can be like. It's so strange, he's on the cusp of being our highest ever scorer, he's a great player; but he's not the world-class one (well, consistently anyway) that we all hoped he'd step into and his lack of consistency is still a problem.

Add in the problems, like being dropped for Blackburn at home or rested earlier in the season, and you wonder where it can go wrong as much as it can go right. I hope he stays, but will he be happy with the demotion in status, which Van Persie's signing heralded, the very ambition which he once questioned. United don't like sagas and this appears to be one that never quite goes away.

It may well be his call, with Moyes ready to give it all a chance, but he can't keep crying wolf nor fail to realise that, in terms of taking the world by storm, even at 28, he's running out of time. But this week shouldn't be about all that. It's about the man who changed the lives of every single Manchester United supporter. Sunday will be emotional. This week will be. But United don't stand still and the next phase promises to be exciting - as it always is at United.

What was your reaction to the Ferguson retirement news?

Shock, sadness, completely gutted for 24 hours and then a realisation that there was never going to be the right moment for it to happen, it was just going to happen. So why not now? The gossip columnist in Red News has great sources and had predicted this in the November fanzine - and Moyes to come - but I still didn't want to believe it. When we first heard on Tuesday evening, it was surreal. We've all known this has been coming but, when it does, it's still hard to accept and deal with. It's like he's family, even from a distance you still feel as though he's part of you. Football, eh!

Do you believe it's the right time for him to go?

I didn't on Tuesday evening, but then you piece it together it begins to make sense; the source in November, his reaction to Madrid, the Van Persie 'farewell thanks signing'. He went out on the top, reclaiming the title after a stunning loss of it the year before, and on his own terms. It's as ideal a scenario as you could create. Whilst trying to supress the 'what ifs' - he deserves to now have a long and happy after United period.

Is David Moyes the right man to replace him?

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Yes. Of course the romantic - or should that be the desire for an Eric-like strut and madness - would eye Jose, and he'd have given us the best immediate chance of a Champions League in the next year or two - but he's a short-timed explosive, who doesn't hang around. Would that change for United? Some think he'd been made for this moment but habits are hard to change, so you can see it would have been a gamble not in terms of winning but stability and Moyes pours out stability from every orifice.

The concern is he has to immediately raise his ambition and results - but why shouldn't he be the right man. He might have been born for this moment too. I hope we can keep and hang onto most of the current coaching set up and United fans must give him patience. I just have a feeling that some knocking this will be pleasantly surprised, but we have to give him time to bed in.

Will the fans be patient even if results go against him early on?

How long is a piece of string? Hold that, I've never understood that answer! The great thing about Fergie was also a burden, his demand and expectation transferred to us so we want and expect a trophy every season; how mad a demand is that? It's also great - because it's such a huge challenge. I worry for the younger Reds who have known nothing but success, because they have known nothing but Fergie, yet equally us older Reds who remember darker times don't want to return there.

I don't think this is a Sir Matt Busby retirement scenario; the ages of the squad are right and we've just won the league. Hopefully history will provide us all with the answers; give it time and see where it takes us. Next season see what targets Moyes sets himself and us and the dull ache of the loss will disperse as this next period, though scary, is also quite an exciting concept.

Do you think Ferguson staying on as a director/ambassador will cause any issues with Moyes?

Nope, because I don't think he will let it, plus you are coming from a relationship where Moyes will go to him when he wants to, not the other way around. If you read the history books, the problem post-Matt was that there was an unease right from the off, before the appointment; even over wages and office space - quite petty really. That's not the case here. I'm not saying success is guaranteed, but Moyes shouldn't be worried about this, it's a great template to step into. Winning and hungry players, who will have more respect than many think because he's drenched in that which Fergie loves; loyalty. The players, well most of them, will take a lot from Fergie backing Moyes.