Wayne Rooney: The Only Player Whose Petulance, Aggression Show "Passion"

Miles KentCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2009

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - SEPTEMBER 15:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United is substituted during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Besiktas and Manchester United at the Inonu Stadium on September 15, 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Ironically, the advertising banner pasted on the away bench last night in Istanbul read "Respect" as can be seen in the picture above.

Yet every fundamental of the word was abandoned yet again by a furious Wayne Rooney as he launched into a rage fueled strop after being substituted in Manchester United's 1-0 win against Besiktas last night.

As Rooney's number came up midway through the second half, he reacted by enthusiastically shaking his head before exchanging some heated words with the boisterous Besiktas fans behind the bench.

Storming to the bench, Rooney then removed his boots slamming them into the ground before slouching into his seat in a display reminiscent of a child like tantrum.

Yet such behavior by him continues to be defended by his fans and his own manager, marketing his temperament as a display of his passion for the game, a fuel that drives his will to win.

And of course, it is the main reason that Manchester United fans and England fans in the broader spectrum love him so much.

It is his aggressive yet productive nature on the field that makes him such a widely respected talent and when that aspect is removed, it is debatable which version of Rooney any manager would prefer in their starting line up.

But this situation was different. Unlike his last moment of aggression against Fulham last season when he threw the ball across the pitch and punched the corner flag after being sent off, this fit of rage was sparked by an event instigated by his own manager.

When that aggressive nature of Wayne Rooney is not channeled into his football and spills over into off field tantrums such as this one, then it is a visibly blatant display of disrespect to the manager, the coaching staff and to the rest of the team. But for one reason or another, this doesn't apply to Wayne Rooney in this situation.

"He's never pleased to come off as he has that kind of energy. He wants to play all the time." the United manager reflected in his post match interview.

Doesn't every player in the 23-man United squad want to play all the time? Of course they do but there is something I haven't quite figured out about Wayne Rooney that can be accepted to such a degree by his playing peers and defended by his manager so frequently.

Had it been Dimtar Berbatov last night, How many United fans would have called for his head?  

What makes this situation so different?

When Cristiano Ronaldo threw his tracksuit to the floor and had a fit of rage of his own after being subbed whilst still playing at Old Trafford, he was on the receiving end of plenty of criticism from footballing pundits and fans.

But once more Wayne Rooney escapes any criticism for one reason or another. But to continually allow him to express his emotions in such an immature manner will only create the illusion that he can get away with showing disrespect to his manager and team mates.

But worst of all, create the illusion that his aggression channel into his football on the pitch is as productive or similar to his aggression off it. 


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