Arsenal legend: 'I am not going to sit in judgment on Rooney’s personal life'
THE Wayne Rooney story has dominated the front and back pages this week, and it s another regrettable episode for another one of England s biggest names. Of course it has nothing to do with the actual game of football, but we have to accept these days tha
THE Wayne Rooney story has dominated the front and back pages this week, and it's another regrettable episode for another one of England's biggest names.
Of course it has nothing to do with the actual game of football, but we have to accept these days that players as famous as movie stars, if not more so, and have to expect the same level of media scrutiny.
I am not going to sit in judgment on Rooney's personal life, but of course there is a moment when it starts to affect your football, and when you are paid massive amounts to perform for club and country, the fans have every right to feel disappointed.
Some players react in different ways, there were those in my playing days who could forget it all when they were on the pitch and play some of their best football, while others saw their game suffer more.
Rooney looked like he was dealing with it ok on Tuesday and scored a welcome goal, but I imagine he might want to take a pair of earmuffs up to Goodison Park on Saturday when he faces his old club Everton.
Arsenal players have thankfully not been in the spotlight quite as much this week, although Cesc Fabregas has come out and said what we all knew, that he wanted to go to Barcelona and Arsenal didn't let him.
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That's not a problem for me - we have seen enough from Cesc in the last few years to know that he does not let anything affect his game. He is very professional and his focus will be back on doing well for Arsenal this season, I am sure of that.
Some fans may see it a different way of course, but his performances will determine how their attitudes change. If his form starts to drop, people will say he doesn't care, while if he plays well, it will all be forgotten. I have a feeling it will be the latter.
Arsene Wenger has been asking for the international break to be altered for years and he finally got his way this week when the games were switched to Friday and Tuesday.
It makes a lot of sense to me, and now the players will be back in training today and can have a proper preparation for the return to action on Saturday.
Bolton have started the season well and will be no pushover, Owen Coyle has got them playing a bit more football and has made some interesting signings.
But you can't help but feel the fixture list has been kind to Arsenal after the international week, and they are also at home in the Champions League next week.
It all depends on how the players react to being back, but I fully expect Arsenal to win well on Saturday and get off to a good start in Europe against Braga on Wednesday.