Champions of England, Champions of Europe, they may be, but decent role models for the next generation of youngsters? Not on your nelly. On Saturday we had the full repertoire of everything you teach children not to do: Sulk; Cheat; Shout and scream when things don’t go their way; Moan, Whinge; and then hit the nearest available object when you get told off. It was truly pathetic.
Cristiano Ronaldo spent most of the match ranting at anyone in earshot, whether it was referee Phil Dowd, his own players, the opposition; Paul Scholes blatantly cheated and, thankfully, paid the price; Patrice Evra also cheated by pretending to get fouled and, thankfully again, got booked for simulation.
…And then you had good old Wayne Rooney who, it’s worth pointing out, is not a kid any more. He is a married 23-year-old man. His displays of petulance can no longer be dismissed as teenage frustrations. So what did he do? Well, after getting annoyed that the Fulham midfielders were tying him in knots, he hauled Olivier Dacourt to the ground by his shirt and shorts. Yellow card.
Not content with that. He then throws the ball back towards the referee after Ryan Giggs takes a freekick too early. Nothing wrong with that, surely? Not in theory, but it was launched with the venom and velocity of an exocet missile. Yellow card number two and down the tunnel you go.
Only he didn’t. After stopping to hurl abuse he then punched the corner flag. It was absolutely laughable. I was only pleased my sons weren’t there to witness it. Attempts to tell them that they shouldn’t throw strops when things don’t go their way is rather undermined when this is exactly how the best team in the world behaves. Time to grow up, eh?