Why Fergie's fear factor has been wrecked by Rooney walkout by Robbie Savage
Why Fergie's fear factor has been wrecked by Rooney walkout
By Robbie Savage
Sir Alex Ferguson's aura of fear and respect has taken a huge knock with Wayne Rooney's decision to quit Manchester United.
It used to be "my way or the highway" at Old Trafford as David Beckham, Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Jaap Stam were all kicked out when Fergie thought they were getting too big for their boots. But Cristiano Ronaldo broke the mould when he defied Sir Alex and left.
Now you have to ask why United's two best players no longer want to play for the most famous club in the world.
We won't know the full story until Rooney speaks, but I believe that, rightly or wrongly, he simply doesn't want to play for Manchester United any more.
I don't think that greed is a factor. Wayne already has more money than he knows what to do with and has been offered a huge deal to stay at United. Taking it would be the easy option.
And if he was truly greedy, wouldn't he just let his contract run down - or pay it up himself, as he is allowed to under new Fifa rules - and keep the massive transfer fee?
No, I don't think it's greed. Which points back to his relationship with his gaffer and also his general state of mind.
We all know there are things in his personal life which are making him unhappy. And no matter what you do for a living - a plumber, a carpenter, a striker for Manchester United - if you're unhappy at work you look for a fresh start.
Make no mistake, this is a massive blow for United.
Form is temporary but class is permanent and whichever colour shirt Rooney is wearing in January, he will soon be back to his devastating best. United fans might not think so at the moment, but he will be impossible to replace.
And, of course, Manchester City and Chelsea fans must be laughing their heads off. Not just at United's plight but because I think he will end up at one of those two clubs.
At the moment, they have the ambition on and off the field which United seem to lack.
And I think Rooney will look at his own game, realise that his aggression will only bring on bookings and frustration in Spain or Italy, and sign for one of Fergie's biggest rivals.
Manchester United, a magnificent institution, will of course go on. No one player is bigger that that club.
And no one manager, with the exception for me of Brian Clough, is greater than Sir Alex.
But after yesterday's amazing press conference, both could never be the same again.