Monday, January 2, 2012

No man bigger than the club at Manchester United

No one man is bigger than the club.

That old adage clearly applies at Manchester United, as Sir Alex Ferguson is renown for never compromising his ideals for the good of the team. That was on display and magnified this week when it was made public that the reason Wayne Rooney was not involved in United's team this past weekend due to disciplinary action as a violation of team rules.

Rooney has been fined a week's wages by the Premier League club for a night out over the Christmas weekend, according to press reports on Monday.

Rooney was dropped by United ahead of their shock 3-2 home loss to Blackburn last Saturday, officially because of fitness concerns.

But several British newspapers reported that the star was punished for a below par training session on December 27 after a Boxing Day evening out with wife Coleen and team-mates Jonny Evans and Darron Gibson against team orders.

Rooney was fined approximately £200,000 ($310,000) with defender Evans and midfielder Gibson also fined, the reports said.

The trio were then ordered by manager Sir Alex Ferguson to come in on Wednesday -- a day off -- and train on their own as well as report for training on the morning of the Blackburn defeat.

Ferguson's punishment of Rooney is clearly focused on doing what's right for both the player and the club, and where it might be deemed as having short-term implications (United lost to Blackburn, 3-2, over the weekend), but the long-term benefits of this kind of discipline keeps everyone's belief in the sum being greater of the parts.

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