Early Doors

Rooney story getting out of hand

Early Doors

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In case you missed it, there was actually some football played last night.

Manchester City showed just how much they need a new striker when one of their £25 million reserves scored a hat-trick against Lech Poznan.

While Roy Hodgson once again proved he is the master of taking a bunch of average players away from home in Europe and getting a decent a result.

In fact, such was Liverpool's performance in Napoli, you half-expected the fans to start singing 'It's just like watching Fulham' - but let's not get ahead of ourselves, they are not quite at that level just yet.

ED would not blame you if you missed all last night's action because Wayne Rooney remains the only show in town. From the water coolers to the pubs, and probably even on the streets of Pyongyang, Rooney is the only name on anyone's lips.

Such is the magnitude of the story that Thursday the 21st of October 2010 will forever be remembered as the day that Wayne Rooney... when Wayne Rooney was... er... what, exactly?

The remarkable thing about the latest twist in this already tiresome tale was that the news that there was in fact *no news* about Rooney became the big story of the day. Manchester United even released a statement to announce the fact that they had nothing to say.

Such is the level of Rooney-mania in the country right now that if he told the media he was popping to the shop to buy a packet of Monster Munch, a nationwide debate would immediately spring up as to whether he was more likely to go for Pickled Onion or Roast Beef.

ED is being somewhat hypocritical in bemoaning the absurdity the Rooney saga has reached, bashing out as it is a fourth successive offering regarding the country's new obsession, but there is a stench in the air which suggests things are starting to get ugly. Or, if you've ever seen Rooney, uglier.

The Sun's front page story today is a prime example. In case you haven't seen it, some chav-looking scallies decided to act the big men last night and hung around Rooney's - no doubt heavily-secured - house to 'protest' against his desire to leave United.

One fan is even said to have had a banner which read "Sign for City and you're dead" - although ED would love to see him say that to Rooney's face, or alternatively wave it behind Nick Robinson the next time the BBC man is delivering a report.

The police were called, and the crowd quickly dispersed, but that was a trivial sub-plot for The Sun, who spun this childish scene into a front-page banner screaming "Mob Storms Roo Home" - giving a bunch of idiots with nothing better to do on a Thursday night a level of legitimacy they could scarcely have dreamt of.

Also, and forgive ED for sounding a little cynical here, but does anyone else not find it a little strange that The Sun managed to get a photographer on the scene before the police even arrived?

There is another hardly believable story in the Daily Mail where they "understand" that Rooney's mother-in-law is calling the shots in the transfer saga. Things are all getting a little too out of hand for ED's liking.

You would swear that Rooney was Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot and Chris Moyles all rolled into one given the coverage and the vitriol spat his way from all directions.

Undoubtedly the media takes a huge chunk of the blame for this, but the only reason they spew out this stuff is because they know the public will lap it up.

"I felt that by killing John Lennon I would become somebody," said Mark Chapman at his recent unsuccessful parole meeting.

People are becoming far too excitable about this story and should remember that Rooney is just a footballer, and not even that good of a one on recent form.

- - -

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I've got big problems with the people running football. They are so wrong it's frightening. I think the game is in trouble and you cannot have the Bosman ruling they've got at the moment." Blackpool manager Ian Holloway weighs in on the Rooney saga with completely ignorance of the Bosman ruling which the 'people running football' DID fight hard to stop but which has its genesis in EU law.

FOREIGN VIEW: Trust those banterous Aussies to get in on the Rooney act. Australian team Perth Glory squeezed more mirth out of a joke Wayne Rooney would join the A-League side from Manchester United when a defender appeared at the club's news conference on Friday wearing a Rooney mask. "I just want to announce our new signing here. We just got him for 45 trillion," Perth coach Ian Ferguson joked as several Glory players chimed in with chants of "Rooney, Rooney", Australian news agency AAP reported.

COMING UP: Don't worry - we will keep you up-to-date on any Rooney developments while the Fantasist will be along at 15:00 for his weekly Fantasy Football chat. This evening we will have live text commentary from Ashton Gate where Bristol City take on QPR in the Championship.

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