Ahh the football international. A time where the worlds greats can showcase their talent by proudly representing their countries and putting their bitter club feuds aside as they line up alongside their rivals. Poetic, aint it?
Me personally, I see the international break as a nuisance. An opportunity for the country to get carried away with unjustified levels of hysteria (with the tabloid press, as always, leading the way) only for England to play their continually flaccid brand of football against whatever random European team they have been drawn against this time. Add to that my obsession with United, I also find it increasingly acting as an inevitable opportunity for our star player to get themselves injured and miss a hefty slot of the season; either that or they have such a shitter that the poor display and subsequent pathetically over-hyped national response ignites their sudden and timely loss of form. Therefore, it’s fair to say I’m not a fan.
But yesterdays Euro 2012 Qualifiers seemed different. The unlucky outcome of injury on international duty has been avoided by United and instead (this time) been reserved for our rivals – with Arsenal’s Walcott and Spurs’ Dawson coming out of the Internationals far less healthier than they were going into them.
Interestingly enough, the early internationals could have instead had the opposite impact on a couple of our lot.
Rooney, lets face it, has had a shit time of late. Starting with the injury away to Munich way back in March, where he recovered but failed to regain his awesome form prior to that night. An awful World Cup followed but, more importantly for United, until the penalty against West Ham a couple of weeks ago, that game in the Champions League was the last time he scored for us.
But his goalscoring form at the tale-end of last season is probably the least of his worries now, as adding to his problems on the pitch, came his reformed love of call-girls. Silly, silly boy.
I’m not going to sit hear and analyse it all – because you obviously can’t find any positives at all in a story about someone cheating on his pregnant wife – but I also don’t want to judge the man. He’s a Man United player and until he runs out for a different team, I will always love and support him; especially taking into account how important a player like Wazza is to our side. Stupid and reckless? Yes. But worthy of losing faith in him and claiming, as some have, that Fergie should now try and offload him? Never.
So on to his first game since the news broke out on Sunday (news that perhaps its worth remembering, was revealed in the classiest of tabloids – the News of the World and the Sunday Mirror – of a money hungry prozzie claiming to have slept with a footballer? Never heard that one before…but whether the claims are true or not is another story all together). And after only 10 minutes against Switzerland for England, inevitably, he scores.
As much as people hate him right now, and I have no doubt a lot of people rightly do (remember how every non Chelsea fan felt towards Terry last season?), he responded perfectly and professionally after Fabio rightly started him. And so in what must go down as the lowest point in the shittiest six months of Wayne’s life, let’s hope he has the bottle to turn it all around – in a footballing and husband/father sense – as we pray for normality, resolution and indeed truth bring an end this saga.
But it wasn’t only Rooney who felt a sense of entitlement and was offered the false right of placing a finger over his lips and telling one or two boo boys out there to hush; as another one of our under-fire players emerged triumphant yesterday.
United’s other player who has been dealt his fair share of bullshit from haters and critics alike recently – although more so for his handling and emergence in our side rather than his extra-curricular activities – is Bebe.
We all know the magical story. Perhaps footballs most clichéd rags-to-riches tale ever: homeless orphan from Portugal, on the streets a year ago and still only playing for a team in the third tier last month, gets snapped up by one of the giants of World Football where he now has the chance to challenge for the greatest club prize of all: the European Cup.
Regardless of the fact that Fergie signed this completely unknown for £7.4million (apparently about £7.3million more than he was originally worth) because Queiroz told him to, he was swiftly picked to represent his country’s under-21 team. And fair play to the boy, he dealt with the harsh levels of pressure now placed on him by delivering in only his second under-21 game.
Where as Rooney is now no doubt going to be pre-occupied with clearing his name off the pitch, Bebe in contrast has kept his head down and, while utterly shocked at his rapid rise up the ranks (trust me son, we all are), he is making some really positive noises; ignoring the negativity surrounding his ability and instead working his enthusiastic little arse off.
So whether it’s because of some naughtiness off the field, or general bemusement at their presence on it, one thing is for certain…both Rooney and Bebe are young, ignorant and have a hell of a lot to prove to a hell of a lot of people. Least of all the fans who are expecting great things and are paying to see them perform competently for their team. Actually, that one only really applies to Bebe…I reckon Wayne’s got some making up to do to a certain lady (and baby boy) in his life before he starts thinking about the fans!