Wayne Rooney has made a good choice to join Derby but has not treated DC United fairly

Wayne Rooney has always said that he wanted to start coaching once his career was coming to an end and the latest news is that he will become a player/coach for Derby County in England’s Championship.

But how does that leave DC United, Rooney’s current team in the MLS?

The choice that Rooney has made is good for him and in some ways understandable but at the same time it does leave a question of loyalty to his American club. Rooney has made a fantastic impact in the MLS, Where DC United have gone from being near the bottom of their conference to mixing with the top teams, they will make the final play-offs this season as they also try and win their conference. On top of that Rooney has been amazing on and off the field. Scoring brilliant goals, linking up well with the team, being influential in the dressing room and the fans have absolutely loved him. Had he stayed it could be argued that he would have made a much bigger impact on American soccer than even David Beckham.

Rooney had signed a 3 year contract with DC United and that is set to be terminated after 18 months. Just half his time, and yes there is a question of what do contracts actually mean?

Of course there are two sides to Rooney’s switch. The first is that the move should be good for him. He obviously wants to coach and that is going to start in his home country England. Derby has been a good starting point, after all it worked for Frank Lampard who stayed just a season before getting the high profile job at Chelsea. Rooney will learn from current manager Phillip Cocu and will also play for the club possibly for six months, maybe a season and a half.

Still with Rooney’s career and time on his side from a coaching perspective ahead, DC United have the right to feel aggrieved about his decision. They haven’t said anything at this point, but he was so popular with the club and fans, that they thought he would be around until at least the summer of 2021. Instead Rooney will leave at the end of the year. That is something because at least he will be playing for them when the crucial play-offs come up. Had he left now, it would have been very wrong.

Rooney has made a good choice, but his swift decision is still evidence that footballers seemingly live on a very different planet to the rest of us, where sadly some of the loyalty and passion and a further bridging gap between fans and players has developed.

Appointing Frank Lampard would be a risk for Chelsea despite his legendary status

In the end, the decision was taken out of Chelsea’s hands. Maurizio Sarri’s future looked uncertain throughout the second half of last season, but a third-place finish in the Premier League and a Europa League triumph made it difficult for the club’s hierarchy to fire the Italian – even if they were still unsure whether he was the right man to lead them into the 2019/20 campaign.

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AC Milan lacked composure in mediocre derby performance

The long-awaited derby ended in misery for AC Milan, with Icardi once again scoring a late winner to stun the Rossoneri fans. However, despite all the things that went wrong, the team has received far more criticism than what can be considered justified, and here’s why. 

Beforehand, it was expected that Inter would take control of the game, and so they did. Milan seemingly found themselves in their normal defensive formation, with both Suso and Calhanoglu helping out a lot, as Kessie and Bonaventura took charge of the pressing along with Higuain. Even though Gattuso’s men didn’t create much in the first half, they did well to limit Inter’s possibilities, with the home side finding little scoring opportunities. Continue reading

Mourinho is right; Pogba isn’t captain material

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The circus definitely arrived in Manchester this week.

If losing to Derby in the Carabao Cup wasn’t embarrassing enough for the United hierarchy, the video footage at training of Jose Mourinho clashing with Paul Pogba took things to an entirely new level.

Training ground tête-à-téte’s are nothing new of course, only this time the cameras were watching and tensions that had been rumoured before – but not confirmed – were laid bare. Continue reading

Why Utd can beat rivals City in battle of Manchester

The first Manchester derby of the season will be on Sunday afternoon, and it features Manchester City in fragile form compared to the resurgent Manchester United under Louis Van Gaal.

The Red Devils are coming off the back of a deserved draw against Premier League leaders Chelsea, which saw them stretch their unbeaten run to four games, while their “noisy neighbours” suffered a 2-0 home defeat to an under-strength Newcastle in the Capital One Cup, a 2-2 draw to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, and a 2-1 defeat to West Ham United in the Premier League.

Due to home advantage, Manchester City are the bookies favourite, but Manuel Pellegrini’s side have only picked up three wins from seven games played at the Etihad this season, keeping just one clean sheet – against Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup third round.

They don’t boast the best home record to United in the league either,  losing five time and drawing once in their past 10 meetings on home soil. Louis Van Gaal’s side also have impetus at the moment. They are becoming harder to beat – losing only in their last eight league games – and are popping up with important late goals, something synonymous under the successful reign of former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

There’s also a real belief they can finally put pressure on the elite sides this season, something they didn’t have under predecessor David Moyes. Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini admitted he and his side were “worried” with their recent form ahead of the Manchester derby on Sunday, and he has injuries in key areas to worry about too.

Yaya Toure and playmaker David Silva are both doubtful for the weekend, which means City could be forced into naming somewhat of a makeshift midfield. Considering the domineering form of Marouane Fellaini for United, coupled with Angel Di Maria’s pace, industry and creativity, City’s midfield could well find themselves out-muscled and out-beaten. Van Gaal packs the central areas with bodies in an attempt to control possession, and given City have found themselves outnumbers in the middle of the park in their two defeats to Newcastle and West Ham, Manchester United could really cause them problems.

United will also be welcoming back captain Wayne Rooney, who never fails to contribute in a Manchester derby, holding the United record for most goals (11). His influence will be telling against a City side down on their luck and confidence. It’s worth noting that the Sky Blues have conceded two goals in each of their last three games in all competitions.

The Sky Blues have no doubt been the better of the two sides in the last 18 months, but is the tide swinging towards United ahead of their Manchester derby on Sunday?