Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has admitted that his is his worst season ever.
Rooney was lucky to stay on the pitch yesterday as he scored as his team beat Wigan 4-0, but his tap in for only his seventh goal of the season will be overshadowed by an unsavoury off the ball incident.
Rooney appeared to throw his elbow at Wigan midfielder, James McCarthy off the ball, and got lucky as the referee, who appeared to see the incident, chose not to take any action against Rooney.
Rooney’s season has been marred by controversy, as revelations about his private life emerged at the beginning of the season, and in October the player handed in a transfer request, only to withdraw the request after receiving a massive new contract.
Speaking to the News of the World, Rooney admitted that he’d never had such a tough season.
“I have to say it’s been a difficult season for me – probably the worst I’ve ever had,” he said.
“That week when I asked for a transfer was something I wouldn’t want to go through ever again, but I feel I made the right decision to stay because this club is always going to be challenging for trophies.
“I picked up a few niggles as well and missed a few games, so I didn’t really feel like I was playing a part.
“The good thing is that I feel fresh at a time when most players are picking up injuries or feeling jaded.
“I really want to kick on from here and have a big impact on the most important matches of the season.”
Rooney has mixed abject performances with the odd moment of genius, including his bicycle kick against rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford.
“The goal against City gave me a big lift because it was in such an important game. I’ve seen it again quite a few times and I’ll never get sick of it,” he added.
“We’re happy with the position we have put ourselves in – and we know it could have been even better
“This is usually the time of year when we really go for it. We want the title back. It was hard losing it to Chelsea as we did.”
Rooney and his United team mate’s travel to Chelsea on Tuesday night, and Rooney admitted his record there isn’t the best.
“We’ve got a really terrible record at Stamford Bridge – in fact, I don’t think I have ever won there in my entire career,” he said.
“I’ve got some pretty bad memories about the place, like the time when I fell down and broke my metatarsal just before the 2006 World Cup.
“But you get these things in football and there’s no way to explain them.
“It won’t play on our minds. If anything, it will make us even more determined to go there and win.
“It’s a really massive game and Chelsea need to win it more than we do. Hopefully the pressure will tell on them.
“I am a bit surprised to see them so far behind us in the league but I would never write them off completely.
“They have shown down the years they are a team capable of going on a long run of winning games.
“We can make it really hard for them by beating them but they will be thinking the same thing about us because it will have a big say on where the title goes.”
Talking about United position after their win against Wigan, Rooney added, “It has been a season where we have had to stick together as a team and grind out results, even when we haven’t been playing well.
“To be honest, sometimes you get just as much satisfaction winning that way as you do when you play entertaining football.
“I think it shows how strong we are as a team. It all stems from the manager but the pressure is always there to win trophies.
“We don’t care how we do it as long as it’s us lifting them at the end of the season.”