If Wayne Rooney wonders, whilst sipping pints poolside in Dubai, what it was that caused that a mob to chant death threats outside his house. If he wonders why he's inspired such hatred amongst his once adorers, when all he's done is what they'd do and look after number 1. If he wonders how he could have dealt with the situation better he might want look over the highlights reel of Arsenal vs Shakhtar Donetsk.
After 63 minutes a substitute warmed up on the touchline to warm applause. He stripped down and walked to the technical area to a rousing reception and he entered the field to a standing ovation. That's the kind of reception Rooney used to expect, yet this substitute was from the opposition. An ex Arsenal player that left the club for a better deal for himself. Exactly the same thing Rooney said he wanted.
Yet walk around Manchester and the remnants of hatred still remain. 'Join City and You're Dead' adorns a Nike poster. And he's not even left.
Rooney signing a new five year contract has been met with a muted supporter response, mainly because they realise his love of the club is down to how much they pay him. They weren't ambitious enough? Does another 30K a week sound ambitious? Sign here please.
Yet it's hard to have too much sympathy for United. Fans take great pride in how ruthless Sir Alex is, how if you cross him you're out. Lee Sharpe, Paul Ince, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Jaap Stam were all dropped when their time had come. Treated like commodities.
So is Rooney really so wrong to treat himself like a machine and maximises his value, when the club will do exactly the same when the parts break?
There can be another way, and that was on show as Eduardo scored against Arsenal. He bowed his head in respect and jogged back to the half way line to the sound of 60,000 clapping. Clapping an away goal.
Since leaving the club Eduardo has been nothing but positive about it, and the favour has been returned by Wenger. The same can be said for Henry, Píres, Campbell, Petit, Viera. The list goes on. A long way.
A player leaves Arsenal, whether due to self prompting or from that of the manager on good terms. That's because the club show loyalty and honesty to the player; Eduardo was given time to see if he could recover mentally as well as physically. That in return is displayed by the player; Henry signed a 4 year contract so the club could maximise his value when he left the summer after.
So when United start to boo Rooney at their home games, they'd do well to watch the clip of Eduardo, and remember that respect is a two way process.
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