Monday, 4 April 2011

Disgraceful Rooney Deserves Heavy Punishment

It was another weekend of twists and turns for the PRemier League title that no-one seems to want to win.

Arsenal and Chelsea dropped two points apiece - at home to Blackburn and away to Stoke respectively. But the biggest shock of the weekend looked to be on the cards at Upton Park. With West Ham leading Manchester United 2-0 at the break and with Nemanja Vidic fortunate to be amongst the action, the visitors had a cliched mountain to climb. But climb it they did - with whacking great ice-picks! Oh, and a Wayne Rooney hat-trick.

But unfortunately it wasn't the strikers devastating 14 minute goal rush or the fourth from Hernandez (I refuse to call him 'Chicarito' - it's not your bloody name!)to seal the come-back which Match of the Day pundits or the Sunday rags were talking about, as Rooney once again hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Scoring his third goal of the game from the penalty spot (and it was a somewhat dubious penalty anyway), Rooney celebrated by running towards the television cameras and shouting obscentities. Big man.

It's bad enough that he did it at all, but for a live lunch-time kick-off with millions tuning in, including a large number of youngsters, Rooney surely has to be heavily reprimanded. But then this is the FA we're dealing with...

In 2009, following Chelsea's dramatic Champions League semi-final exit at the hands of Barcelona, Didier Drogba launched a tirade of abuse towards the controversial officials. It was an inexcusable act, although understandable in the heated circumstances, and the Chelsea man was hit hard by UEFA, who banned the Ivorian for four matches.

The incident this weekend is surely no different, if anything it's worse. Drogba had the camera shoved in his face when feelings were already running high. On Saturday, Rooney approached the camera after scoring a goal to give his side the lead. He made a conscious decision to carry out his act.

Listening to Radio 5 Live since the incident, presenters and callers alike have repeated the fact that Rooney's had a 'tough year'. What part of his year has been tough enough to warrant such a toughtless and careless display is questionable. Earning £100,000+ a week must be really hard for him and playing for one of the best teams in Europe, as well as representing his country, must just push him over the edge!

Whatever excuses Rooney-sympathisers come out with and whether or not the Manchester United front-man apologised afterwards (ignoring the fact that he was almost certainly advised to), the fact remains that it was a disgraceful act, once again undermining his role-model status.

The FA and Premier League, not to mention Sir Alex Ferguson and his club, have a duty to the sport to come down heavily on Rooney. A fine and slapped wrist just won't cut it. If Drogba was banned for four matches, Rooney needs at least the same treatment.

Players like Rooney cannot keep damaging the reputation of the sport, their clubs and their fellow professionals. The game has given them a hell of a lot in life, it's time they started giving something back...and it's not abuse.