I hate to give Wayne Rooney credit but…
He’s obviously a decent player but I have never liked Wayne Rooney, his crass behaviour both on and off the pitch has frequently let him down.
Plus when we sit down to watch England at each World Cup or European Championships, he clearly doesn’t feel the same way about playing for his country as he does his club.
So when I give Wayne Rooney praise it is through clenched teeth.
On Wednesday night I thought he was excellent, feeding on relative scraps from a ponderous and least attractive Man Utd team we have seen for years, Rooney was alert all game and was the difference between the two teams in the final analysis.
Most attention has of course gone to Papiss Cisse and Jonny Evans for the spitting incident that embarrassed both players and their clubs to a worldwide audience.
Evans and Manchester United of course bringing themselves further embarrassment by denying/lying about what happened, with TV footage leaving any rational person in any doubt as to the guilt of both players. The FA are due to make public their decisions later today.
On the playing side, the two keepers grabbed the headlines for some excellent saves by both.
However, in terms of outfield players I thought it was Wayne Rooney who was top man, amongst a host of poor players on both teams.
As you’ll see from the John Carver quotes below, he puts all the blame on Mehdi Abeid for the goal and nothing in the direction of Tim Krul, though to me the blame should be shared.
However, I do think it has been lost that Wayne Rooney ‘created’ that winning goal at least as much as Newcastle’s players gifted it.
With only a minute left on the clock, the Manchester United striker sprinted to chase the ball down and without that determination and mindset, there would have been no pressure and no goal.
Hopefully all the Newcastle players will take this on board, that is the level of commitment we need from all of our players, every match.
Meanwhile, this is what John Carver had to say when asked about the winning goal and whether Tim Krul has been world class at times this season:
“Absolutely, Tim’s been fantastic and he has been one of our big leaders, one of our characters this season.
“He can’t take any criticism for the goal and it is important your goalkeeper makes the important saves for you.
“Mehdi Abeid should have dealt better with it – Tim couldn’t deal with that, it was a 100 miles per hour backpass.”
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