New entry to the Dictionary of sporting idioms: Doing a Rooney

Doing a Rooney (idiom): The act of very publicly voicing one’s opinion against something, and then acting to the contrary to your statement within days.


The curse of Manchester United’s Fergie looked like it was going to smite Wayne Rooney as it had myriad players before – players like Jaap Stam, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, and David Beckham were all golden children who moved from hero to an integer followed by seven or eight zeroes in a matter of weeks. Fergie has no real qualms about selling anybody who thinks they are bigger than the club. And it looked like Rooney was on his way out of the Old Trafford revolving door this week when it was revealed that he, and the manager, disagreed on his level of fitness (Fergie said Rooney was injured, Rooney said he wasn’t), this followed a pretty public revelation of some pretty extreme sexual misconduct on Rooney’s behalf, which was sure to put Fergie’s nerves on edge. He’s spoken pretty publicly about players with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. Then it turned out that Rooney wanted out, and had ceased negotiations on a new contract weeks ago. Then Fergie said he could go. And everybody thought he was gone, many suggesting he had played his last game in a Man Utd shirt.

Until, in a pretty massive backflip, Rooney committed himself to the club for a further five years. Signing a new contract today. Bizarre.

My inner conspiracy theorist thinks they may have signed him to such a long term deal so that they can extract a greater transfer fee now that the sharks are circling.