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Wayne Rooney continues to make himself a problem at Manchester United

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Wayne Rooney's recent hypocritical revisionism over his role at Manchester United appears to be opening up an old wound, much to the detriment of the club.

Michael Steele

At least we now know that the rumours over a feud between Wayne Rooney and Sir Alex Ferguson have some truth to them. Manchester United's number 10 has now come out with a rather ham-fisted stab at his former manager to open up an old wound, claiming that he had been played in midfield too much by David Moyes' predecessor, and things were now much smoother under the new man.

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This is probably the last thing David Moyes needs. Not only does it pit him directly versus Ferguson, but it opens up an old wound in the club, with Ferguson continuing to be involved in a significant role at Old Trafford. The idea of Rooney as The Answer To Manchester United's Midfield Problems was always a deeply silly one for a player whose weaknesses are his consistency of touch, fitness, and passing, but now Rooney has decided it was never for him, problems arise.

Apart from anything else, Rooney's comments are blatant opportunism. He had previously spoken that he was enjoying his new midfield role at United, although to hear him speak one would think he'd been asked to shield the back four. Rooney typically played on the left before the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, before he was moved into a number 9 role afterwards. Far from being moved into the centre of the pitch after that, he was almost always called upon to play behind the striker - the exact role that he has played for Moyes this season.

It's difficult to see what's to be gained by Rooney from resuming hostilities, as well as his claim that he was settled when there appeared to be so much agitprop flying from his camp during the transfer window. Among the absurd claims that Moyes had done well to keep him, several important points were forgotten: his form had not improved, he continued to be unreliable with fitness, and he still hadn't signed a new contract.

The whole reason there was such a scuffle in the summer over his future is that he was at the fabled two-year mark of his current contract, after which his value would drop dramatically. If United are now forced to sell him, they will get significantly less for him - factoring in his enormous wages, they would free up plenty of space on the wage bill for new players, but they won't gain enough in transfer fees to replace him with a top-class player as they might have done this window.

Above all, Rooney has displayed that he is only out for himself. That's normal, and no sane United supporter or any other commentator would have expected otherwise, but it lays the paths for the future down in stark terms: United will almost certainly have to match or increase his current pay-packet in order to keep him. If anyone else is interested in doing so, then he'll be off. And given his performances since 2010, the rumoured £250,000 a week is far from being value for money.

Fitness has so far kept us from seeing the spectacle of Moyes leaving out a fit Rooney from his best starting eleven. Under Ferguson, this always meant tantrums and sulking, and Moyes has a lot less experience and history to back up such a decision. Unless Rooney really has turned over a new leaf, as seems doubtful, then another fallout cannot be far away - and there will be little time on this occasion to make up again.

Far from merely being content with having the control over his present and future at Manchester United, Rooney now seems intent on rewriting the past, too. Once upon a time, this would have been worth the bother. Now, it almost certainly isn't.