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Experts react to Rooney's decision to stay

Last Updated: 29/10/10 3:37pm

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After a week of speculation over his future, Wayne Rooney looks set to stay at Manchester United.

The England striker has agreed a new five-year deal at Old Trafford only days after releasing a statement confirming his desire to leave.

The statement questioned United's ambition and suggested Rooney wanted to go elsewhere to increase his chances of winning trophies, but in a dramatic u-turn he agreed a new contract on Friday.

So what next for Rooney? Should he be criticised for his actions in the last week? Will his manager and his team-mates welcome him back into the dressing room? How will the supporters respond to him?

Sky Sports News HD has been at the forefront of the story all week - and canvassed the opinion of several experts when Friday's news broke...

Lou Macari (Manchester United, 1973-1984)

Nothing has shocked me more in football ever than this week. I thought the week leading up to today was enough, but I couldn't believe what had happened when I got the news today. You can only take the view that the manager's taken it on board that his advisors advised him badly and that Wayne had a mistake. It's got to be as simple as that.

I did say during the week that he was making a big mistake to even consider leaving. I don't believe for one minute that Wayne Rooney ever stood in front of the manager of Manchester United or David Gill and said 'let me know what your plans are for the future'. I think the biggest thing in all this has been his advisors; bad advisors.

There's a bit of rebuilding to be done and that's going to be interesting. I can't tell you how different people are going to react; the manager, the players or the supporters, who are the most important people in this whole thing. The supporters hold the key to how well Wayne does in the future. If they forgive him and accept him back we might get the Wayne Rooney back that played last season. We're going to have to wait and see.

Clayton Blackmore (Manchester United, 1982-1994)

It's great news - I couldn't believe it to be honest! Most agents are always trying to whip things up to get more money for the players and finally for themselves. I think the papers help a lot, they are always stirring things up but the good thing is that we've come out with the right result.

The way that things were coming out in the papers from Wayne and his people, you just couldn't see him signing for United. I thought it was a done deal wherever he was going to go, wherever it was Real Madrid or Man City. It sounded like it was done so I think it just shows how strong and powerful the manager is.

He came out with a few things, saying the squad wasn't good enough and the ambition wasn't there, but the ambition is always there. I think he knew that he had to apologise and everything will be swept under the carpet now and we will carry on where we left off a month ago before it all started. Wayne could end up being an even better player - you just don't know.

Mickey Thomas (Manchester United, 1978-1981)

I'm shocked. It's incredible - what an amazing 48 hours! It's great news if you're a Manchester United fan. I think he can build them (bridges) pretty quickly, there's no question about that. I think the majority of fans I have spoken to wanted him out, but I think they will realise it's not Wayne Rooney, but the people who are controlling him who have done this.

I think the fans are going to be absolutely delighted. Of course they were angry at him and frustrated and you can understand the reasons why, but once he's back on that football pitch scoring goals for Manchester United, all will be forgotten.

Andy Gray (Sky Sports expert)

I'm surprised it's happened so quickly, but not that surprised Wayne has decided to stay. Where can you go? There are few clubs you can go to that are better than Manchester United, if any. In the cold light of day, as Sir Alex said in his statement, Wayne Rooney has suddenly realised what a big club he is playing for. Maybe the grass wasn't going to be greener on the other side.

I can't believe Wayne has alienated the whole squad of players. All the players that think the world of Wayne will still think the world of Wayne. These things do happen and very quickly the other players will realise that if they want to win more medals they need a fit, in-form Wayne Rooney playing for them.

The fans might be different. I'm sure there are one or two fans who Wayne has upset, we saw that with the sad scenes outside his home. But I'm sure the ones who have been criticising Wayne over the last few days will very quickly fall back into line and continue to love him for the way they have for the last five or six years.

Phil Thompson (Sky Sports expert)

We always say in football that nothing normally surprises you but, my goodness, this has. My big worry in all of this is the advisors. Has Wayne really been saying this was a footballing decision because you can't play for a better manager than Sir Alex Ferguson? Rooney is still only 24 years of age and Manchester United are a big football club. What better way to continue your progress?

The statements that have come out have absolutely astounded me. I've more or less been saying he's been guided by his agents. What we've all got to worry about is that if Wayne Rooney can have his head turned without looking at it logically you have to have a look at the roles of agents in all these deals, particularly with our top players.

Charlie Nicholas (Sky Sports expert)

I sat there looking at it in midweek and when you make such a mess of your intentions and it comes across in the way Wayne's did - he was declaring the current team is not good enough and the manager's choice of players is not good enough - then you have to question it.

Maybe sanity has prevailed? Wayne's had a chat with his advisors and said 'what's going on? Why are we knocking back the offer they are giving me?' - to make him the top earner at Manchester United. I don't think his timing is particularly good, I don't think his advisors were showing Manchester United any respect, but this brings a little bit of sanity back to football. If he has apologised to the players and manager for embarrassing the club, then that's fine.

Fortunately we've got to a situation where everything has settled down nice and quick and we can move back to football and hopefully Wayne Rooney can find his form again. If you're big enough of a player to come out and apologise and concede you were wrong in this - which is not easy by the way - then fair play to Rooney. The fact that he has turned round and accepted a new deal does make sense.

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