Nobody should want to be inside the mind of a footballer, you hear me?. In all likelihood, most players’ minds are sick, dark and twisted places. Or maybe you would: who knows what type of freak you are.
I’d imagine stepping inside Ashley Cole’s mind would be equivalent to stepping into the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Nevada. It would be full to the brim with skanks and whores who would just love to receive sexted pictures of your junk, and your wife would never ever find out about it (or perhaps would even be accepting?). Nicklas Bendtner’s mind, meanwhile, would be full of golden statues… of himself. Didier Drogba’s would be a full out debate between a serial killer and Napoleon. American Tim Howard’s mind is probably full of swear words all trying to squeeze their way out of his mouth at random intervals. And once inside the mind of Maradona, you could expect to find one of two things: either absolutely nothing, or a giant ball of yarn being played with by a kitten. To quote Rick James, “Cocaine’s a hell of a drug.”
But if we were to peer inside the mind of Wayne Rooney right now, I’m not sure what we would find.
The last five months have been tough on the former Toffee. He’s gone from being one of the most in-form, feared strikers on the planet, to an unused substitute full of discontent. Basically, he’s become a rich man’s version of Bébé — at the start of the season I never would have thought I would make that comparison. But that’s most likely because I didn’t even know who Bébé was, but I digress…
At first we thought he had just happened upon a poor vein in form at the World Cup. Then we thought his poor form was the result of feeling the mounting pressure concerning his soon to be revealed personal life. Then Sir Alex convinced us he was injured, a move that was quickly — and stupidly — rejected by the Roo himself.
Then rooney gave us several more reasons: he wasn’t happy with the initial contract offers from the club, he wasn’t happy with Old Red Nose, and he wasn’t happy at Manchester United. Of course all of that was quickly (and surprisingly) put to bed when Wayne signed a new five year deal with the club he had just spent a week saying didn’t match his ambition. Which of those reasons was the most true, if any, we’ll likely never know.
Regardless of the real issue, many will label him as being a selfish, confused little boy. And they might be true.
But it also might not.
Putting aside his current bad form, Rooney is still one of the few truly world class strikers on the planet. Everyone has a dip from time to time, and his is even more understandable considering the shit storm that is his life at the moment. He’ll rediscover it before long.
And as one of a select few of elite players in the world, it would be more than fair for Wayne to assume he should be paid like one. It has to be hard to see a great player like Yaya Toure getting over £200k a week at Citeh, yet United wouldn’t dare break their wage structure for their lone talisman.
You also have to wonder whether or not the club can actually meet his ambition any longer due to the crippling debt the Glazers have placed on it. In the past, the best players in the world wouldn’t have batted an eye at an offer from United, mostly because they paid better than everyone else. But with many now considering optoins like Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester City instead of United, you would have to imagine the Red Devils have lost a little of their buying power. Ronaldo left. They wouldn’t pony up to hang on to Tévez. All worrying signs, to me at least.