With Juan Mata’s arrival imminent, Jon Wilmore speculates on Wayne Rooney’s future at Old Trafford…
It’s happening – it’s actually happening. But when the initial ecstasy over Juan Mata’s arrival at Manchester United dies down, Moyes and the boys are going to face another question entirely – where on earth do they actually play him?
The question has been raised throughout the media, with nobody quite certain enough to reach a general consensus. United have recent experience of purchasing a star player from a rival whose position was ostensibly not their weakest – a purchase that basically won them the league.
After reluctantly relinquishing the role of star centre forward to Robin van Persie last year, Wayne Rooney has seemed a man renewed in the Dutchman’s absence, thriving up top and again as a number 10 in behind Danny Welbeck. But now, it must happen again. Continue reading
Following another drawn-out saga, Jon Wilmore comments on the Wayne Rooney situation…
If he’s happy, he’s got a funny way of showing it. But for Wayne Rooney, happiness does not appear to be an essential quality. Its absence from his working life has done nothing to neuter his rampant return to form. It’s a curious contradiction for a man so heralded as the archetypal lover-of-the-game, but perhaps that’s just it – so great is his love for football that he is utterly ambivalent as to where he’s playing it. Continue reading
Liverpool Echo: “LFC’s Pepe Reina tweets removal van picture as he packs up to go to Napoli.”
With the usual fire, brimstone and vitriol whirling around Luis Suarez’s future, Jon Wilmore considers whether Liverpool have a leg to stand on after ditching Pepe Reina…
Liverpool are outraged. Their fans are outraged, their manager is outraged, their club mascot, presumably, is outraged. How dare Luis Suarez make clear his intention to play football in another kit. It’s disrespectful, is what it is: disrespectful for a player to ask to leave and classless for another football club, namely Arsenal, to do their best to make that wish come true.
Elsewhere on Merseyside, Jose Manuel Reina is in the process of packing up the last eight years of his life and all his worldly possessions from his Liverpool home. He’s recently informed his wife and newborn child that they’ll be moving to Italy this summer, for how long, well, we don’t really know. In less than 12 months, Daddy might be looking for work somewhere else.
With claims that his abilities had begun to deteriorate over the past two seasons, for some neutral observers it seemed that time could well be called on the once impregnable Spaniard’s reign in goal sooner rather than later. Yet, as Reina and his young family wave goodbye to their adopted city, did Liverpool show – in line with the expectations and feelings of their fans – the class and gratitude to at least bid their loyal servant a fond farewell? No, that’s right. They loaned him out, quietly through the back door, without telling him first. Continue reading
Jon Wilmore of The Intangiballs argues that Harry Redknapp is looking to be pushed before he has to jump…
For a man who so vehemently declares he is neither a wheeler nor dealer, Harry Redknapp certainly seems keen on doing a lot of both in his alleged mission to get QPR back to the Premier League. His message is clear: let me buy who I want or hire someone else.
I’ve written before about how Harry’s disastrous Rangers reign has been given the sort of free ride the press would only grant their favourite son, so it is hardly surprising to see his latest declaration be treated as an act of defiance – a ‘clear message‘ to those damn tinkering owners just to leave him alone.
I’m not seeking to defend Tony Fernandes. He is, by all accounts, a bit of a clown. But his already numerous failings as the London club’s chairman would be dwarfed by the mistake that letting Harry off the leash in the transfer market would be. As a ‘football person,’ he claims, he and his fellow ‘football people’ should be allowed to pull the purse strings – the same kind of people having already played a part in Portsmouth’s financial nose dive not long ago. Continue reading
In the wake of Arsene Wenger admitting his interest in Wayne Rooney, The False Nine debutant Jon Wilmore believes Arsenal should do all they can to sign the self-styled ‘last of the street footballers’…
Transitional period. It’s a phrase thrown around a lot in football and for Arsenal would aptly describe nearly a decade of league disappointments. But for themselves as well as their rivals, next season is a unique proposition. It is a transitional period for the entire Premier League.
With Sir Alex Ferguson gone, Manchester United face a challenge without any modern precedent in sustaining the momentum he did his best to leave them with. Their City rivals enter yet another managerial era with their new boss facing an immediate challenge in winning over the fans so faithful to his predecessor. Chelsea welcome Jose Mourinho back with open arms, a reunion which could yet go sour as they remember all the reasons for their uneasy severance last time around. Pipped to the fourth place post at the death yet again, Spurs brace themselves for an onslaught of interest in Gareth Bale and the question of what on earth they’d do without him.
Arsenal enter the summer window in a position unique amongst their fellow elite. They are in a phase of relative stability. Continue reading