It’s hard to be sure where Wayne Rooney is going to be this time next week. If United stand by the public stubborn stance regarding his future, he’ll still be at Old Trafford. There are strong rumour’s that both Rooney and United want a parting of the ways, the sticking point is as to where Rooney could end up. Wherever Rooney is going to be, one thing is certain, tonight he was outstanding against a club who have spent all summer trying to unsettle him with a discretion, subtlety and class which they are in their own league for. Tonight was a frustrating game, United whilst not rampant, should have beaten an efficient but painfully dull side. This summer, there has been an awful lot of hype over the return of the United spurned Jose Mourinho. The deposed champions side that he left by ‘mutual consent’ in 2007 had an aura about them. Sure they weren’t invincible but they were a team which put me in mind of Bob Paisley’s Liverpool sides, such was their machine like efficiency. Tonight, Chelsea didn’t have that aura. They were lucky and all good sides have their fair share of luck. Maybe they’ll build on the luck to create a solidity that they had a few years ago but I doubt it. Unlike the 2004/2006 era, this Chelsea side look to me like they’re going to drop some daft points. The bookies have United as third favourites behind City and Chelsea but from what I’ve seen this weekend, they must be basing their logic on the hype surrounding Mourinho’s return and on City employing a manager who has won as many honour’s in his European career as David Moyes. I’ve seen nothing from either City or Chelsea that should keep David Moyes awake at night.
Earlier in the pre-season, United had bid £12,000,000 for Leighton Baines and £16,000,000 for Marouane Fellaini. These bids were, according to the media consensus, ‘angrily’ refused by Everton. United have recently come back with a cunning plan, offer a combined £28,000,000 for the pair, surely Everton would fall for that. Despite what some of my fellow reds may think, most scousers are not thick and even if so, not even the thickest scouser would have fallen for that ruse. There is now speculation that United’s next move for Baines and Fellaini is to offer four payments of £7,000,000 staggered over five years. There’s clearly some real guile controlling the transfer budget at Old Trafford.
Marouane Fellani scoring the winner for Everton against United in August 2012