Rooney Can't Let Dive Controversy Distract Him

  • Posted on: 19 February 2015

Manchester United may have endured a scare against Preston North End on Monday night but they eventually came through the FA Cup fifth round tie in comfortable fashion.

Having fallen behind to a Scott Laird goal early in the second half, Louis van Gaal's men eventually came back to record a 3-1 victory. The win was capped with a penalty which was won and converted by Wayne Rooney.

Change of Focus
But instead of the focus being on the mouth-watering quarter-final now in prospect between United and holders Arsenal, the spotlight has remained on the controversial nature of the Rooney penalty award.

With all of the column inches given over to whether or not the captain took a dive, it is easy to see the 29-year-old becoming distracted by the furore. It is possible that it could have an impact on his performance in United’s vital Premier League game at Swansea City on Saturday.

Cold Reception
Rooney is bound to receive an even colder reception than usual at the Liberty Stadium at the weekend. As the England captain, he would never expect to be welcomed into the hearts of the South Wales faithful. But after knocking North End out of the cup, he will be less popular than ever. Rooney has coped with adversity before and has revelled in being public enemy number one.

So, it would come as little surprise to those who might be backing him as first goalscorer or in other markets with betfair’s sports betting app to see him prove profitable. But he will need all of his grit and determination to remain at the top of his game.

Key Role
If Rooney can put the penalty controversy behind him and ensure that he is not distracted by the publicity, then he will play a key role for United and they will expect to come away from Swansea with a win. If, however, Rooney is off-colour and the United attack shows the same lack of creativity that they did in the first half against Preston, then it could be a tough afternoon for Van Gaal and his team.