In an extract from his new book My Decade in the Premier League, Wayne Rooney has revealed the despair he felt when news filtered through at the Stadium of Light that City had scored two late goals to secure the Premier League title.
On the evidence of the extract in The Mirror, whoever wrote the book with Rooney needs a career change, but here are some of the best bits from concerning City’s league triumph.
Our fans are losing it, the players can sense the league is coming back to Old Trafford. I can’t make out what’s going on, nobody can. Is it over? Have City blown it?
When the final whistle goes there’s complete confusion. I’m looking to the bench, trying to work out whether we’re champions. Everyone’s staring at one another, shrugging their shoulders.
Then the Sunderland fans start cheering. They’re turning their backs to the ground and bouncing up and down. That’s ‘The Poznan’ – the celebration that City do whenever they score.
Oh God, City are champions. The manager is walking towards us. He’s telling us to thank the fans. My heart sinks. I can see it’s done, finished.
Someone shouts, ‘City scored two in injury time’ and I feel sick. Our fans look heartbroken. Then I look towards the Sunderland supporters and they’re made up, laughing.
What, because we’ve lost out on the title at the last minute? Why are they so bothered about us?
I think about playing Sunderland next season, beating them, because focusing on anything other than City, however small, goes some way to making me feel better. That night, I live through the pain again – Match of the Day on the telly.
City get their title. I turn the TV off. Silence. Gary Neville was right. There’s nothing worse than having the same points as the champions, but being second best.
The shape Rooney has come back in after the summer break suggests he’s not used the pain he describes as motivation to do better this time.