Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Alan Green: Fergie defence of Rooney is out of order

Sir Alex Ferguson is simply wrong and I don’t believe that he doesn’t know it. It wasn’t “nothing” and there is no “campaign to get him hung (by Tuesday) or electrocuted or something like that.”

The identity of the player is wholly irrelevant though you could easily argue the fact he is one of England’s foremost made it essential that appropriate action was taken.

Wayne Rooney actually ‘looked’ at James McCarthy before thrusting an arm into his face. It was an appalling assault and inexcusable particularly, as Roberto Martinez implied afterwards, it was an attempt to target a key Wigan player for rough treatment.

Rooney cites “self defence.” Yes, that was another laughable quote from the Manchester United camp in the aftermath.

But what about the role of Mark Clattenburg? You could see in real time and it was emphasised in the numerous television replays that followed that the referee hadn’t even seen what happened.

So, was he reacting to the noise of the crowd? Did another official tell him something in his ear-piece? Why did he award a free kick? Clattenburg was poor: again.

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