By Chris Wright
Straight off the bat, I’d like ten points for squeezing the word ‘kerfuffle’ into a headline.
Secondly, Wayne Rooney has admitted that he has tried to spend the season ‘proving himself again’ to the Manchester United fans after flirting dangerously close to the exit door at Old Trafford back in October when his rumbling contract negotiations looked to be going south.
Rooney handed in a transfer request at one point after claiming that the club had failed to give him assurances that they were willing and able to match his ambitions, but withdrew it within days and capped a frenzied fortnight by duly signing a colossal new double-your-wages deal with United.
Speaking to the Guardian, Rooney said:
“I made a mistake. You know, when I look back at it now, I’ll say it again, how wrong was I? I’m willing to admit that.
“I’ve apologised and ever since then I have wanted to try to prove myself again to the fans. I feel I am doing that now.
“I’m delighted with my form at the minute and I’m grateful to the fans for supporting me through (the whole shebang).”
Rooney has begun to discover his form after a fallow end to 2010, scoring 12 times in 21 games since the turn of the year, a fact that he hopes has helped to rebuild the fractured relationship between himself and the United support:
“I hope I’ve repaid the fans now. I certainly feel vindicated (for deciding to stay). It’s going to be a great end to the season if we can get to Wembley and win a Champions League final as well as the league.”
“I am a lot happier in my life, a lot happier with the way I’m playing. It’s almost been like having to settle down again and I’ve done that now.”
Funny how a few goals and a couple of decent shifts can almost entirely paper over an incident that had the footballing sphere up in arms and the nation’s press howling from the rafters for weeks on end.
Tomorrow’s fish and chip paper and all that…