Manchester United announced they’d come to an agreement on a 5 year contract extension with the previously disgruntled Wayne Rooney, said edit coming just days after the striker / serial-philanderer had reportedly expressed a desire to leave. After most rational persons concluded it was very hard to imagine young Wayne flourishing in Spain, Italy or London — mostly for non-football reasons —- that left the possibility of a crosstown move, and one the Guardian’s Barney Ronay helpfully explains was never likely to happen.
Wayne Rooney decided he didn’t like Manchester United any more. Wayne Rooney then decided he did still like Manchester United. Manchester City briefly liked Wayne Rooney, apparently enough to offer “£70m plus Shay Given”. In which context the words “plus Shay Given” seem a little demeaning and unnecessary, reducing Shay Given to the status of a small packet of seeds given away on the front cover of a glossy quarterly gardening magazine.
Manchester United fans now like Wayne Rooney again. Some had started to say they never liked him in the first place. This may present some difficulties. Some fans became so upset they put on masks and staged an angry protest. This is, it turns out, a surprisingly effective way of getting things done. In action films masked men are usually either hired ninja kidnappers or exotic women with a secret who will collapse into your arms shortly after you karate chop them in the windpipe. This is probably not the case here.
We know now that JosÃ© Mourinho likes Wayne Rooney. ArsÃ¨ne Wenger also likes Wayne Rooney, but not in that way. John Terry thinks Wayne Rooney is the best player in the world. But, then, John Terry probably also thinks the French make good rap music, that supermarket own-brand Frosties are a convincing breakfast alternative and that going to a boutique hotel with some people you went to university with but never really see any more is a good substitute for an old-fashioned sullen family Christmas spent taking freezing walks past the shuttered corner shop, gulping mouthfuls of ginger wine behind the kitchen door and, as darkness falls and the opening credits for Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit begin to roll, feeling a sense of absolute mortal stasis.