Sir Alex has explained why Wayne Rooney did not play for Fulham.
Last season, Wayne Rooney had scored most of the goals for Manchester United. However against Fulham, he came over the bench just for a few minutes which had led to the creation of rumours that Rooney might be leaving United. However, he had suffered a bad gash on his thigh and has now been sidelined for four months.
Rooney had thrashed such rumours himself on his Twitter feed. David Gill, United’s chief executive, also said that such rumours were false and Rooney was on the bench only because he was not fit.
“Rooney wasn’t as fit [as the other players],” Sir Alex said. ”Wayne’s said that himself. He needs a few games.
“I wanted to play Robin van Persie at Old Trafford; although I knew he wasn’t 100 per cent fit either. It was only because we lost the second goal that I was forced to leave Robin on. I’d have rather taken him off with 20 minutes to go.
“I couldn’t have started both of them and I wanted to start van Persie for his first game at Old Trafford. Wayne’s a bit behind the other players in terms of fitness. He’s not as advanced as Shinji Kagawa or the other midfield players, for example.
“It wasn’t an easy choice because I had to leave out a very good player and a player who can score you goals. His goal scoring is getting better all the time. So that’s not an easy decision, but it was done.”
Gill was asked about this in Monaco while he was there for the Champions League draw.
“He’s definitely not for sale,” Gill responded. “He didn’t start in one game on Saturday for various reasons. Sir Alex picks the team and that’s it. Whenever he’s not played, people try to drum up stories.
“I can categorically say there has been no discussion whatsoever. He’s on a long-term contract with us. He’s very integral to our team going forward. He’s a great player, got a bad injury but will come back without a shadow of a doubt. He was angry about the story, quite rightly.”
By Rida Mehtab