The winner was the kind of goal everybody who has seen a football dreams about scoring. I remember commentary on an old United game from the sixties after Bobby Charlton had netted one of his belters. The man with the mic said something along the lines of, “That goal was good enough to win the league, the cup, the Open, even the Grand National”. Similarly, Rooney’s goal was worthy of winning any game, any contest in any sport. He’s back baby.
If the winner was good enough to collect the Wimbledon shield, the team that played at Plough Lane in the eighties could well have constructed our opener as well. Van Der Sar to Giggs to Nani sounds all very exotic and 21st Century, but from where I was sitting it looked awfully like Hans Sellers to John Fashanu. No matter of course, at that stage I feared we were headed for another turgid nil-nil on the strength of the formation we lined up with.
Not for the first time this season United treated a match at Old Trafford like an away game against one of the bigger European clubs. Ferguson has been proven right by his players before, but Wayne Rooney has helped him to sidestep an explanation of why we needed to start against City with effectively six midfielders.
Whether Rooney, the sole striker, was under instructions to marauder around the left wing, or did so off his own back, is open to debate. What is not is that we required javelin tactics and football from the Gods to win this fixture. I am destined for an early heart check up if the rest of the season goes this way. Good thing Fergie is managing the team I suppose.
Football fans are often described as contrary and fickle, this very correspondent wrote an acidic letter to Rooney just a couple of months ago. The fact that I now forgive him probably makes me fall into that category of supporter. However, he dedicated the goal to the fans saying “they deserved that from me after the way I’ve played this season” and has quite possibly scored the best goal I’ve ever seen.
Being stubborn is not admirable, if the facts change I reserve the right to change my mind. The facts have changed. Thanks for the overhead kick Wayne, now please score against Chelsea and Liverpool too.
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