Manchester United are in state of denial over Wayne Rooney’s attack on James McCarthy in Saturdays Premier League game.
It’s been called an altercation, but altercation is maybe be too kind a word to describe the incident as both players were no where near the ball as Rooney ran past McCarthy and landed his elbow on the back of McCarthy head.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson was as oblivious as ever to the incident and border lined on the ridiculous in his post match comments regarding the incident.
“There is nothing in it. You have asked the question because it is Wayne Rooney. The press will raise a campaign to get him hung by Tuesday or electrocuted or something like that. It is unbelievable. Watch the press. It will be interesting to see it.”
Meanwhile Wigan manager had a rather more realistic view on the incident.
“If my player had done that, he would have been very, very lucky to stay on the pitch. It’s clearly a red card, Rooney was very fortunate. If you see it on the television, it is clear. It is an off-the-ball incident and the elbow catches McCarthy in his face. I saw the referee at half-time and he said he felt it wasn’t a red card; that he clipped him”.
Amazingly, Clattenburg spotted the clash at first instance but refused to brandish even a yellow card to the United number ten. Perhaps the reaction of James McCarthy not to rant and rave about his knock helped allow the ref to go extra easy on Rooney, but onlookers were left dumbfounded as Clattenburg blew his whistle, only to allow Rooney to walk away scott-free after a two-second verbal warning.
Hopefully video evidence will provide proof to the spineless FA and they will proceed with the appropriate reaction of a three game ban. How it can be viewed as anything other than violent misconduct only Ferguson knows. Perhaps they practise it in training and it is seen as the norm. Rooney could and should miss the next three games for United.
Trips to Chelsea and Liverpool, and a possible FA cup tie with Arsenal could define United’s season as they seek another treble. No doubt Ferguson will be livid with Rooney behind closed doors with crucial matches coming up. Although not as livid as Arsenal should Rooney get away without a match ban.
Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, Tottenham’s Tom Huddlestone are another two players who walked away from ‘altercations’ that were straight reds. What will it take to change the way decisions are made?
Watch the attack here:
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