Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney is one of team's best players and they'll miss him if he goes. Andrew Yates / AFP
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney is one of team's best players and they'll miss him if he goes. Andrew Yates / AFP

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and Liverpool's Luis Suarez should stay

Footballers all over the world dream of playing up front for Manchester United or Liverpool, except, it seems, the two who actually play up front for them.

Manchester United players were celebrating the 20th league title and I was encouraged to go to the Old Trafford dressing room. Given his problems with Sir Alex Ferguson, Wayne Rooney could have been forgiven for cutting the celebrations short, making his excuses and going home. My old manager had told television that Wayne asked for a transfer which Wayne disputed an announcement which didn't go down well with fans.

The pair didn't see eye to eye and didn't agree. On exactly what I don't know, but there are two sides to every story. All I know is that Wayne wasn't happy at the end of last season.

It was the calm at the eye of the storm, Wayne was sitting in the dressing room and we talked. He told me that he would have loved to have played with me. It a bit of flattery but I would have loved to have played with him. We would have done a bit of damage to defenders, though (Dwight) Yorke might have got a bit jealous. Few sportsmen look back, but it was good to do it then.

I like Wayne and get on with him. He's a great player and a decent lad, with a sharp Scouse wit similar to Robbie Fowler's.

Wayne is not happy and has let it be known or, rather, his people have that he wants to leave. I'm not convinced it's a good idea to leave United at such a young age and it's nothing to do with him being close to Sir Bobby Charlton's club scoring record.

Players, from my experience, don't think about records. It seems to me that he's fallen out of love with United after nearly a decade there, a decade when he's been largely idolised by fans.

That happens in life, in relationships at work or with other people. Sometimes people want a change, they say 'enough's enough' and nothing will change their mind. They fancy a fresh challenge.

I did. Like him, I was a striker at United. I got to the stage where I wanted to leave because I wanted to play more minutes. Ruud van Nistelrooy had joined and he was considered the main striker in a new formation. I was prepared to knuckle down, but I wasn't happy with my limited number of games. I told Sir Alex Ferguson that I wanted to leave. He told me that he wanted me to stay, but respected my decision to go. I left for Blackburn and later regretted it.

I hope Rooney doesn't leave and United are adamant that he won't, but, if he does, I hope that he doesn't regret it, as I did. And I can't fully understand why he wants to leave. If he's fallen out with Ferguson, why is that an issue now he's left? Or is it his relationship with David Moyes the new boss who impressed me hugely on the pre-season when I spoke to him?

Rooney is one of United's best players and they'll miss him if he goes. He didn't have his best season in 2012/13, but allow him one less-than-spectacular season in nine. And allow him to make a decision himself, as he has done in the past. He might be advised by my former agent, Paul Stretford, but Wayne has made big decisions, he's not stupid and he knows what he wants.

Luis Suarez has a different problem, but it's also puzzling and, like United, Liverpool are unwilling to sell their striker. If he really wanted to leave Liverpool, why did he sign a new long-term contract a year ago?

I can understand why Suarez is having second thoughts. Top players want to play in the Champions League, it's that simple. But why sign? Liverpool are not even in the Europa League this season.

He's now being asked to apologise. And if he doesn't, which I don't expect him to, are Liverpool not going to pick him and deprive their side of their main source of goals once the final six games of his ban have finished?

Suarez has been accused of not being loyal, but is anyone loyal in football? Do clubs stay loyal to players who are not playing well or do they try and get rid of them?

So we have a situation going into the new season where England's biggest two clubs have forwards who both want to leave, but whose clubs are refusing to sell. Footballers all over the world dream of playing up front for Manchester United or Liverpool, except, it seems, two who actually play up front for them. But, neither United nor Liverpool want to watch their game-changers knocking goals in for their major domestic rivals as Arsenal did with Robin Van Persie all last season.

Andrew Cole's column is written with the assistance of European football correspondent Andy Mitten

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

On our sixth birthday, today’s news told visually

Today in print, we are doing something different: we use only photos, graphics, illustrations and headlines to capture the news in a one-off collector’s edition.

 Rolling out the structure for the set. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Star Wars: Episode VII evidence in Abu Dhabi desert

After more than a week of speculation, The National has what are believed to be the first photos of a Star Wars shoot in the Abu Dhabi desert.

 INVERNESS, SCOTLAND - APRIL 16:  A general view of Urquhart Castle, Drumnadrochit on April 16, 2014 in Scotland. A referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country will take place on September 18, 2014.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Map of seperatist movements around the world

The conflict in Ukraine is a classic example of competing aspirations and identities – here’s a look at seperatist movements around the world.

 Hassan Abdullah, who goes by the name Abu Mahmoud, an Emirati fisherman, poses for a portrait at the Al Rughayalat Port. Abu Mahmoud was born and raised in Fujairah city and has been working as a fisherman since 1968. “I’m a shark man”, he says, “I was born in the sea.” Silvia Razgova / The National

In pictures: Fishing communities in the Northern Emirates

Fishermen in Fujairah and Umm Al Qaiwain worry that new regulations to protect fish stocks are harming their trade. We look at both communities through the lens of our photographers.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.

 Omar Al Miskini was honoured as Outstanding Male Driver with Special Needs at last month’s Gulf Traffic Week.

In pictures: Special needs driver an exemplary example in the UAE

Photos of Omar Al Miskini, 40, who was named exemplary male driver with special needs by Abu Dhabi Police during the Gulf Traffic Week

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National