Rooney to play against Bayern? (Part II)

This morning’s UK papers contain more speculation about Wayne Rooney and his chances of playing against Bayern Munich tonight. Is it just me or can anyone else picture Alex Ferguson sitting in his office laughing at the thought of angst ridden England fans biting their nails and desperately hoping he gives Rooney the night off?

Yesterday, a press conference heard Ferguson say the player had “no chance” of taking part in the Champions League quarter final second leg at Old Trafford.

It followed reports of an amazing recovery and suggestions of a surprise recall which had me reaching for the whisky with a shaky hand.

Instead, I breathed a sigh of relief, as I’m sure millions of other England followers did.

Then I read on to find the suggestion that Rooney might talk his way on to the bench.

Eh? An injured player might somehow talk one of the most fearsome characters in world football to give him a place on a bench which could just as easily be filled by a fit player? For a Champions League quarter final second leg? Come on.

Then comes the news that Rooney missed a training session yesterday morning – so he definitely won’t play. Phew.

Of course he took part in an eleven-a-side session yesterday afternoon following the press conference where his manager said Rooney had “no chance” of playing. He’d also been on a bike ride and had a “full scale work out”.

Grrrrrh. Stop messing with my head, you twisted psycho-freaks.

Of course that’s the whole point. These mind games have gone on for years, prompting seasoned Fergusonologists to pore over his every word looking for clues.

They shouldn’t bother. Much as Paul Scholes likes to chop opposing players down to size and merely pretends he can’t tackle, Ferguson gets a thrill out of seeing his latest psychological ploy analysed as he sits back in his comfortable chair and marvels at how easy it is to wind people up.

In summary, Rooney won’t play tonight because his manager is having a joke at our expense. Or he will, because Ferguson is playing a much more elaborate joke than the rest of us can ever imagine. Either way, I’m hiding behind a cushion until the game is over.

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