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Rooney too much hassle

THE full enormity of Alex Ferguson's decision to quit is only now beginning to dawn on Manchester United fans. I bet the Everton faithful have started to understand what this all means for them too.

But the man who is feeling the pain more than anyone else is Wayne Rooney, who dug a very big hole for himself and is now in so deep he has no way out.

It is beginning to look like David Moyes has no future plans for Rooney.

Never mind all the platitudes and talk of summit meetings to sort out a way forward, Ferguson has handed him a position where he can take or leave a player with plenty of baggage and not much to offer on the pitch for the last few seasons.

I wonder did Moyes and Ferguson have more than a few little chats in the last few months and whether Rooney's name cropped up.

If the answer is 'yes' to both questions, then it would not surprise me if they both came to the conclusion that Manchester United would be better off without him.

Let's face it, he hasn't done very much to earn his very big salary in the last few years and whether Ferguson chose to fillet him on the way out the door or not, the bottom line for Moyes is whether he will do a job for him.



The Wayne Rooney we all couldn't get enough of three years ago is gone and why would Moyes waste much sleep over him? It's not like he doesn't have the resources at hand to buy a better player for the club.

This is just one of a number of big, big decisions which Moyes must get his head around straight away and I don't envy him the job.

He has a five-year contract, but nobody will be patient at Old Trafford in the way Moyes is accustomed to and when they say that he will be given time to develop a new team, I don't believe that for a second.

Moyes has inherited a young, vibrant squad, but in my eyes, it's still the worst at Old Trafford for a number of years.

People have very short memories. The season ended yesterday officially, but it was more than two months ago and Ferguson won his 20th title with hardly a murmur from his main rivals.

I don't think anyone can argue that Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City improved this season and I think most would say they all went in the other direction.

But Jose Mourinho is on the way back, Wenger has a war chest which he looks like spending and the new man at the Etihad will also be in the market.

Ferguson got by with average midfielders when Paul Scholes impact began to wane, but Moyes will have different ideas about the that area of the pitch and may decide he needs more quality there.

Up front, he has no real problems, as indicated by yesterday's goal-fest at The Hawthorns, but Moyes will look hard at his defence and may feel that Ferguson's willingness to chop and change at the back is not a strategy he wants to subscribe to.

All these details and many, many more will occupy Moyes' mind over the summer and the months of June and July will be the only time he gets to himself to work out his plan.

Once the season starts in August, he will learn the true meaning of pressure and know that however bad it got at Everton, he has another 10 levels of anxiety above that which he has yet to experience.