Money buys much, but it doesn’t give you sense

2010-10-27 00:00

THAT was a bit of a rough week for City fans, hey?

First, they thought they had pinched the ‘prize asset’ from across the road, only for Wayne Rooney to sign a fat new deal for the next five years.

There were even fans who jumped the gun and bought Rooney replica shirts.

One idiot even posed for pictures with the British paparazzi, complete with his “Rooney 10” shirt outside the City of Manchester Stadium.

Ah well, he can keep that in the attic next to that “Kaka 8” from last year.

On the field, the Blues were humbled — at home — by Arsenal. Yes, they lost a player to a red card before barely a ball had been kicked.

And yes, Roberto Mancini had employed a curious back four to start with.

But Sunday’s spanking at the hands of the little Gunners re-emphasises the point that City are a collection of highly-paid professionals.

Team, they are not.

Whether Rooney was smart enough — debatable, yes — to realise that he would be selling his soul if he moved across town, we will never know.

But any player who goes to City is there for the cheque, and everything else is a bonus.

Seriously, if you look through that starting line-up, almost all those City players left clubs on the up, in order to join the gravy-train in Manchester.

If they were gullible enough to believe that they will win leagues, they will start doubting those theories come Christmas.

Emmanuel Adebayor scored a hat-trick in midweek, but only played 10 minutes against his former team.

How long before the lanky one decides he is tired of keeping the bench warm?

City is a bomb waiting to explode, and any player with a little bit of sense would do better to stay well away.

Remember, Kaka was offered half a million pounds a week by City. Or so the story goes.

That is not even silly money. It’s like the owners are playing Monopoly, and using the world’s best names as the pawns.

Although that would be chess … ah well, you get my point.

Rooney’s remarkable u-turn also emphasised just how money can start affecting players’ thinking.

Ten years ago, do you think a David Beckham or a Roy Keane would have dared to question United’s ambition?

Really?

If Sir Alex Ferguson hadn’t ripped their head off, the Stretford End would have probably booed them into oblivion.

But the power has shifted, and decisively so.

Talented but classless individuals like Master Rooney have been told that the world revolves around them, and they believe their own hype.

The nominees for the Ballon D’Or were released yesterday.

Spaniards and Argentinians dominated it, obviously, but there was not one Englishman.

Remember their dismal performance in the World Cup?

British players, such as Rooney and the likes of John Terry, have been told repeatedly by their press that they are, to borrow a phrase, the dog’s bollocks.

Well, bollocks to that theory.

Their bank balances may be bulging, but their credibility on the field is sinking. Fast.

City is the epitome of the modern club, full of players more concerned about their credit rating than their credibility.

You can buy them by the dozen, but you cannot buy a club and its ethos overnight.

Arsenal passed that lesson on to City on Sunday.

And how.

United will always be a threat for the title because of one simple reason.

They may have deep pockets, but at the core of their success is a strong understanding of what it actually means to play for that particular club.

Maybe, just maybe, Rooney was reminded of that before he switched allegiance.

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