In case you were worried, Wayne Rooney is in fantastic shape.
David Moyes made a point of mentioning this after the Red Devils arrived in Bangkok on Thursday morning to begin their pre-season summer tour.
“The team here are telling me it is the best shape they have seen [Rooney] in for five years,” said Moyes. “And I am taking that as a positive.”
Of course it’s a positive, David.
How else would one take it? As a negative?
That would be an interesting soundbite. Can’t you just hear Moyes saying –
‘Yeah well, Wayne has come in fit as a fiddle and its got us all quite worried. His stamina seems to have no limit and he’s moving so fast on the pitch that no one can catch him. The biggest worry is that he’ll dominate the upcoming season and possibly upstage golden boy Robin van Perise. Fortunately, we’re working with the team dietitians on the matter and believe we’ve come up with the right concoction of burgers, fries, beer and cigarrettes that should slow him down to a more manageable pace.’
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to beat up Moyes. Love that man.
But even the biggest Manchester United supporter in the world should not be concerned about Rooney’s fitness. The striker could literally come into camp 20 pounds overweight and would still spend the better part of 90 minutes busting a gut between his own penalty box and his opponent’s 6 yard box.
Is he chubby by nature? A bit.
But as Rooney is consistently among the top of the league in distance covered under the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index (the 259.99 miles he ran in 2011-12 was the greatest distance covered by a United player), worrying about his fitness is tantamount to stressing about his hair replacement surgery.
The fact is United’s players and manager need to put the kibosh on issuing random comments on Rooney that impliedly address the 800 pound elephant in the room – whether or not he wants to stay at Old Trafford.
It’s been more than three months since Rooney reportedly asked for a transfer out of the club. It’s high time someone at United kicked the 27 year old in his pale behind and told him to make his voice heard.