Rooney Praises Valencia Return But Will He Be Around Next Year To Benefit?
Manchester United missed Antonio Valencia. They missed his pace, his skill, his clever shimmies around defenders, his sumptuous crosses into dangerous areas and his priceless assists. Wayne Rooney more than most missed the Ecuadorians individual qualities and has had possibly the worst season of his career in the winger’s absence.
So Valencia’s return to first team action against Arsenal on Saturday was a rare plus point in Rooney’s season. His first start since that horrible broken ankle against Rangers in the Champions League last September was welcomed with a rousing ovation at Old Trafford, highlighting his importance to the team and the clubs success. Rooney was delighted:
“I can’t tell you how good it is to see him back out there. It was Antonio’s first game back after six months out and he looked like he’d never been away.
It’s fantastic for him and fantastic for us to have him back and playing the way he did.”
Valencia’s return to action is even more convenient when you consider Nani’s absence after the Jamie Carragher horror tackle which ripped open his shin. Valencia will now make his return to Champions League football at Old Trafford against Marseille on Tuesday as United hope to progress further in the competition at the stage which Arsenal recently slipped up at to Barcelona.
Rooney praised Edwin van der sar’s superb contribution to the FA Cup tie against Arsenal on Saturday as well, claiming that him and the rest of the team have been attempting to persuade the Dutchman out of his decision to retire:
“The players are trying to persuade Edwin to stay on too. I was speaking to him in the shower afterwards but it is his decision and we have to respect it.”
“He is such a great goalkeeper. Despite his age he is still the best keeper in the world.”
This is a sentiment shared by so many United fans who remember the huge difficulty in replacing their last consistently brilliant goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel. It will cost a large fee to replace van der sar now, especially considering the current transfer market climate – it is however, something that United will have to get used to; not seeing the great Dutchman guard the goal anymore.
Rooney’s comments come after the News of The World claimed that Sir Alex Ferguson is preparing to sell Rooney in the summer transfer window. The paper’s source claims that, “relations between Rooney and Ferguson are so strained that it is affecting other players,” adding that, “Sir Alex is not pleased with the way Rooney has been playing… Rooney has been moaning about the squad again but Sir Alex has told him he should look at himself before criticising others.”
I really can’t see this being the case. Despite a bad season in front of goal, United do still look a better team when Rooney is on the team sheet. Sir Alex Ferguson knows it; Rooney’s goals last season emphasise his importance to the team, and there is no way Ferguson would jump to the conclusion that Rooney isn’t good enough for this United side anymore. His passion and desire was on show for all to see at Old Trafford against Arsenal, summed up in the crunching but fair challenge on Bacary Sagna, met with massive cheers from the United fans, impressed by Rooney’s impressive show of commitment to the cause.
Tell me what you think!
Submitted by DBSFootball
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