Rooney reacts to Ferguson’s Suicidal-Strategy

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Rooney reacts to Ferguson's Suicidal-Strategy
Rooney reacts to Ferguson's Suicidal-Strategy

Rooney reacts to Ferguson’s Suicidal-Strategy

Wayne Rooney has suggested Alex Ferguson committed tactical suicide during Manchester United’s two Champions League final losses to Barcelona.

Rooney became a European champion under Ferguson when United beat Chelsea on penalties in the 2008 final in Moscow but they fell at the last hurdle in their bid to retain the trophy the following season โ€“ running into Pep Guardiola’s formidable Barca in Rome.

United had the chance to avenge that 2-0 loss in the Italian capital at Wembley in 2011 but, despite Rooney cancelling out Pedro’s first-half opener, superb goals from Lionel Messi and David Villa saw the Blaugrana run out deserved 3-1 winners.

Rooney reacts to Ferguson’s Suicidal-Strategy

Rooney was discussing how best to approach crunch European nights in his Sunday Times column, previewing the forthcoming Champions League last-16 showdown between Manchester City and Real Madrid.

City hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu but Rooney expects the pragmatic approach of three-time winner Zinedine Zidane to pose problems to Guardiola’s current side โ€“ something that did not always come so easily to Ferguson.

“It’s always difficult for a club like Real madrid to come into a game with the notion, ‘We’ll surrender the ball’,” Rooney said

Rooney reacts to Ferguson’s Suicidal-Strategy

“It is the same for United. But we lost two Champions League finals going toe-to-toe with Guardiola’s Barcelona, by trying to press high and obtain round them, which was suicidal.

“I recall Alex Ferguson saying, ‘We’re Man United and we’re getting to fight, it’s within the ethics of this football club’ and feeling,’ ‘I’m not too certain about this’.

“I feel all the players knew, deep down, it had been the wrong move, that we were leaving behind the approach that had brought us to this point from 2008 semi-final โ€” and quite sure both times we lost.

“There is being loyal at the club, on the other hand, there’s sitting back and reflecting afterwards, ‘We lost’.

Rooney reacts to Ferguson’s Suicidal-Strategy

“For me, how you do it in these big Champions League games doesn’t matter, as long as you emerge victorious โ€” take a look at how Liverpool emerged the winner at last season’s final โ€” and I feel Zidane has the same tactics.”

Rooney feels his old cross-city rivals are well placed to claim an elusive first Champions League crown, although doubts linger over a defence that has appeared suspect against elite opponents this season.

City have lost games against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham across all competitions this season.

Rooney reacts to Ferguson’s Suicidal-Strategy

Manchester City may not have been lucky to win the Champions League,” he added. “Liverpool are out. In my opinion, Bayern Munich aren’t quite nearly as good as in previous years, and City are 2-1 up against Real Madrid within the round of 16, going into a second leg at home.

“The Champions League is the competition that Pep Guardiola is eager to win and for City to accept that next step as a club, this is often the trophy they have.

Rooney reacts to Ferguson’s Suicidal-Strategy

“Friday’s second leg at the Etihad is massive. Sergio Ramos is suspended, which may be a huge loss to the important defence, and that i think City will score. Whether they are solid enough at the rear themselves is my only question about Guardiola’s side.”

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