Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand: Hypocrisy and Immaturity?

Jamie WardSenior Analyst IOctober 27, 2008

United Fall Further Behind

With Liverpool and Chelsea occupying first and second place respectively in the Premier League, the pressure is on for Manchester United as they fell to eight points from top spot with a game in hand.

Everton's poor form this season has seen them slip towards the relegation zone as well as holding the leagues worst defensive record; A game against the reigning champions was the last thing they needed and many predicted a riot from Manchester United's attacking talent in a game that, on paper, looked over before it had started. 

After a first half of complete dominance from Ferguson's team, it looked like Everton's goals conceded tally was going to increase considerably before the game had finished. However, Everton scored early on in the second half and United just couldn't seem to get their act together, as they struggled to score again resulting in a disappointing draw.

Wayne Rooney

One of the main talking points about the game was not United dropping another two points in the race for the Premier League title, but perhaps the behaviour of Liverpool born Wayne Rooney and his actions towards Everton; a team that gave him his opportunity and spotlight in the football world.

Despite it being four years since Rooney had left Everton for Manchester United, it was too be expected that the Everton supporters would be on Wayne's back in an attempt to unsettle the player, especially after his taunting of the crowd at Goodison Park in a previous season.

At the age of 23, many believed Rooney had grown up a little from his headstrong days as a teenager; however his actions on Saturday has shown it is still possible to rile the England player.

After he picked up a yellow card for a challenge that did not seem worthy of a booking, Everton supporters made their opinions even louder with comments towards Rooney that made him grab the badge on his Manchester United shirt and kiss it, before raising a finger that signified his current team as number one.

Passion, Disrespect, or Immaturity?

There are United supporters who have backed Rooney for his actions and claim it shows passion for their team.

What many seem to have forgotten is that two minutes later he was substituted; that left United with 20 minutes in a game they needed to win and without their in-form striker on the pitch to contribute.

The United manager stated that he could see the Everton supporters where getting to Rooney, combined with Ferguson's claim the referee was giving his players no protection-he felt Rooney needed to be taken off before he was sent off.

Some could argue that if Wayne was passionate about playing for Manchester United then surely his mind should have been on getting the three points his team needed and not on goading the opposition supporters who had idolised him.

The player who once claimed to be ''once a blue, always a blue'' appeared to humiliate his boyhood team with taunting that was filled with nothing but disrespect.

Rio Ferdinand

After Phil Neville's tackle on Ronaldo—who made sure everyone knew that there was some contact during the challenge—Rio ferdinand raced 40 yards across the pitch to get right in to Neville's face and scream obscenities at the player.

This was followed up by the United captain, Ryan Giggs, who had a few choice words of his own to say to his former teammate.

However, as the Premier League enter's the first season of the respect campaign, the referee felt that the United players did not need to be booked for their behaviour.

Both teams saw three yellow cards over the course of the game.