Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Wayne Rooney will probably be out of action for around 5 weeks as he looks to recover from an ankle injury and regain fitness before being thrown onto the pitch and into the firing line of both United and opposition fans. It is not known how those at Old Trafford will react when Rooney finally pulls on a red shirt again, but it is entirely possible that he will receive a less than welcome reception the next time he walks onto the pitch at Old Trafford, and over the next 5 weeks Rooney should look to prepare himself for a potential backlash.
A good performance and that all important goal would certainly go a long way to getting the supporters back on his side, but judging by the performances Rooney had been putting in before his injury, that could well take a couple of games, by which point the problem in all likelihood will get worse. What I would recommend Rooney does over the course of his time off is practice a technique that is a sure-fire way to get the supporters on his side, just in case that elusive goal fails to materialise. The skill I refer to is of course that of the headed back pass.
For some unknown reason the execution of said move will always result in a ripple of applause emanating from the stands. There seems to be something built into the football supporter’s psyche that means whenever a player nods the ball back into his keeper’s hands, the brain automatically tells the owner to show their appreciation;
“Did you see that? He played in back to the goalie in such a way that allows the keeper to safely pick the ball up. Forget everything that’s gone before, this kid knows how to play!”
If Rooney misses an early one-on-one, or spoons a shot wide from 9 yards, I’d recommend he drops progressively deeper, looking for any opportunity where he can head the ball back to Van der Sar, before turning to the Stretford End and basking in the warm round of applause that he will inevitably receive.
Don’t agree with me? Think it’s a stupid idea?
Well, surely I can’t be giving worse advice than those who have been around him over the course of the past couple of weeks?
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