Thanks, Wayne Rooney, for scoring a brilliant hat-trick to salvage three lost points for us at West Ham. Considering how crap he’s been for most of this season, and the first 60 minutes of the game on Saturday, this performance helps to mend yet more of the damage that he did when he held us to ransom.
Not all of it, but more of it.
His reaction to his third goal exemplified exactly why I struggle to feel the same I used to about Wayne Rooney. Two moments of brilliance and a clinically taken penalty to turn a game we had done our best to lose completely on its head were immediately overshadowed by a juvenile, hostile and downright offensive outburst.
It’s not the swearing that I have a problem with. I don’t give a fuck what he says, although I appreciate that parents of young children may feel differently. I swear like a trooper on the football pitch myself. It’s the hate that fills Wayne, the hostility which he seems to reserve for absolutely everyone who isn’t Wayne Rooney, including his own supporters. He’s just such a hard man to love.
There is passion, and then there is aggression. Wayne’s celebration was so far over the line of aggression as to be almost untrue. Gone is the enthusiastic young goal machine from Liverpool who said he loved the club and did everything in his power to prove that to the fans. Instead, we have a self-interested, self-important snarling nutcase, rich beyond his wildest dreams and completely out of touch with the fans. He’s had a bad season both personally and professionally, but he’s started banging in goals again.
This is what makes the case of Wayne Rooney so difficult for me to get my head around. I want to love him again. I really, really do, especially after he single-handedly won us a game that we had no right to. I just can’t. I don’t feel like I have anything in common with him. Not even the love for Manchester United that we all take for granted.
The comparison between the classy, cultured and understated Dimitar Berbatov is staggering. Although Wayne snatched the headlines, both good and bad, the man that turned the game was Berba. I have never in my life seen a player so composed on the ball, so aware of his team-mates and so easy on the eye. Some of the things Berba does make me laugh out loud at the screen. As others have pointed out, there is absolutely no coincidence in that fact that all of our goals came with him on the pitch.
If the rumours doing the rounds today, that Berba will be allowed to leave for any offer over £20m, are true then I will break down and cry. I will literally fall to pieces where I am sitting.
Ryan Giggs was so good at left-back that, having missed the first minute of the second half when I flicked over to check the cricket score, I didn’t at first realise that Evra had gone off and Giggs had filled in. He was up and down the flank, an attacking outlet and defensively solid. Yet another top class performance from a player that I am going to miss so, so much when he is gone.
Arsenal are bottlers, pure and simple. Chelsea have now dropped one point too many and nobody else is even in the hunt. It’s a little premature to claim 19, because it could still all go horribly wrong, but this weekend’s results could barely have gone any better for us.
Bring on Chelsea. Surely it’s time to beat them again?