Wayne Rooney has spoken publicly for the first time about his reasons for wanting to leave Manchester United and blamed his disillusionment on Sir Alex Ferguson playing him out of position after the signing of Robin van Persie. Rooney described himself as "happy" and "settled" at Old Trafford now David Moyes is in charge but the England striker notably stopped short when asked to clarify whether that meant he wanted to stay in Manchester or if he would renew his attempts to leave next summer. Choosing his words carefully all Rooney would say on the subject was there would be more discussions behind the scenes. The England striker preparing for the World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland went on to offer his backing to Roy Hodgson in the wake of Harry Redknapp's comments that he would not trust the "clueless" Football Association "to show him a good manager if their lives depended on it". Despite admitting he initially wanted Redknapp to get the job Rooney says Hodgson has turned out to be the England manager he has enjoyed playing for the most and that the FA made "the right decision" choosing him ahead of Redknapp. However it is his relationship with Ferguson that provides the backdrop to Rooney's explanation about the chain of events that led to him trying to engineer a move to Chelsea in the summer. He does not mention the former United manager once by name. Yet in another sense Ferguson is implicated in everything as the picture emerges of a player who had started to feel undervalued and mistreated after Van Persie's arrival from Arsenal. Asked whether he had raised his concerns with the relevant people at Old Trafford Rooney opened his arms to show his exasperation and smiled knowingly. "Yeah and …" That was the meeting at which he apparently told Ferguson he might leave and an already strained relationship was fractured. Ferguson dropped Rooney from his team and to the player's dismay publicised what had been said during a live television interview describing it as a verbal transfer request. Rooney's account is that after nearly a decade at the club he felt he had done enough to warrant a place in "my position" namely as centre-forward and was fed up of being told to help out in midfield. "Everyone at the club knew where I wanted to play and I think that's why I was disappointed. I got told to play in midfield and I didn't want to. I just think there had to come a point when for my own career I had to be a bit selfish really." This goes back to last spring not long after he had been left out of United's starting XI to face Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final. "I actually felt when I played in midfield I did OK but I didn't want to play there. I've had no problem in the past playing out of position. But I felt I deserved the right to play in my position and that wasn't happening. "I think naturally I was a bit disappointed and maybe that affected some of the games I played. I know myself that last year wasn't my best season but there were times when I was playing in different positions. I didn't feel I got a consistent run of games up front. Sometimes when you're not playing in one position all the time it's difficult to adapt."
Rooney: midfield role made player want to leave Manchester Utd
The Guardian | Oct 10