Everyone seems to have an opinion on Wayne Rooney’s condition, the latest being Dutch legend Marco van Basten who says he can’t believe Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson gambled with Wayne Rooney’s career last week.
Rooney had declared himself fit for the Bayern Munich game – despite suffering an ankle injury in the first leg that Ferguson felt would sideline him for two to three weeks – and now faces more time on the sidelines after aggravating the problem.
For Van Basten – winner of six titles, two European Cups and the UEFA Cup, as well as the 1988 European Championship with Holland – it was a sickening case of déja vu.
He told the Sunday Mirror: “When I saw Rooney limping against Bayern in the first few minutes I was begging for him to be substituted.
“I still cannot believe why Alex Ferguson, who I rate highly as a manager, did not take him off. I’ve been where Rooney was. I know what it is like. If your ankle is damaged and you get another heavy tackle on it the pain is always with you.
“It can do more damage, and a great striker needs to feel free of pain, if you want him to perform.
“I was watching every step Rooney took on the pitch.
“After hurting his ankle so badly again in the early minutes, I could see quite clearly that he spent the rest of his time walking on his heels. That means pain.
“A top-class striker normally plays up on his toes, so he can sprint or go for every ball that falls in his direction.”