Wayne Rooney and Manchester United: Time to move on

Sports Mole explains why it would be better for all concerned if Wayne Rooney and Manchester United went their separate ways.

A lot of people will have had relationships where the spark simply packed its bags and left. Things had run their course and rather than continue to be unhappy, it's better for both to separate.

It happens in football as well - just look at Wayne Rooney and Manchester United. The signs were there back in 2010 when the striker threatened to split from the marital home. The talk in the town was that he had even been flirting with one of the neighbours over the garden fence.

It was nothing that a lorry-load of money and the promise of a couple of expensive gifts couldn't solve though, and on the face of it things were back on track.

However, by the time that the summer of 2012 had come around, it was United that had jumped into bed with someone else. As soon as Robin van Persie, signed from Arsenal for £24m, scored against Fulham, Old Trafford had a new darling. Rooney's request was about to return to bite him on the backside.

Robin van Persie© PA Photos

Rooney was now 'the other man'. So much so that on a glamorous March night in Manchester earlier this year (if there is such a thing) - one that he used to take centre stage on, he was now given a supporting role from the sidelines while Van Persie was allowed to mix with the stars of Real Madrid.

From that moment on, there was only ever going to be one outcome. Even with his retirement on the horizon, Sir Alex Ferguson still found time to claim that Rooney had handed in his second transfer request in three years. The player is believed to deny this, but either way, he was hung out to try by his former gaffer. Fans that once idolised him now wanted him kicked out on the doorstep.

Ferguson's replacement David Moyes initially made all the right noises, insinuating that he was willing to give things another try.

David Moyes passes out instructions to Wayne Rooney.© PA Photos

These comments from the weekend though appear to have been the final nail in the Rooney-United marriage: "Overall my thought on Wayne is, if for any reason we had an injury to Robin van Persie, we'll need him. It's going to be a time to see how I work with Wayne. Maybe in a year's time we might have to look at something else.

"The first year, I have to get a chance to see the players and how best to use them. I've got to ensure it's not just him and we don't concentrate on him. Manchester United isn't about Wayne; Manchester United is about the team, the club."

Those words are said to have left Rooney "angry and confused" - much to the amusement of thousands of people on Twitter yesterday evening. "When isn't he?" most asked.

Wayne Rooney© PA Photos

The fact of the matter is that the situation seems even beyond the likes Jeremy Kyle. Even Ricki Lake would stand little chance of resolving this one. Rooney no longer feels loved, which he needs to produce the goods. If United were brutally honest, they are not sure that he is worth such effort anymore.

It's time to split, there is little point in fighting what is a losing battle. It has been a partnership that has had its ups and downs over the past eight years, but what relationship doesn't? When all is said and done, the two have been good for each other and have the prizes to prove it.

The divorce could be messy and drawn out one, particularly where money is concerned. It does seem though that Rooney already has his eye on someone else - a trendy model down the King's Road in London. No doubt he'll be shacked up with them before long, as soon as United accept that it is over.

Wayne Rooney
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