Is this the end for Rooney at United?

Despite not being Wayne Rooney’s biggest fan I have felt that the some of the abuse directed at the Manchester United frontman has been unjust.

His season has been marred by injuries keeping him out of the starting XI for long periods. He has still managed a productive season and helped United to a large lead at the summit of the Premier League table.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision not to start him on Tuesday night against Real Madrid, easily United’s biggest game of this season, could spell the end of for Rooney and his time at the club.

Why did Ferguson not pick Rooney? Big games need big players and Ferguson omitting Rooney from his starting line up speaks volumes.

There are those that will point out Rooney’s absence was a result Ferguson’s tactics but the job that was assigned to Danny Welbeck could have been done by Rooney, too.

If it wasn’t for Welbeck’s erratic finishing in the first half then United would have been a goal, perhaps two, ahead of Madrid at half time. Rooney is a clinical finisher (look at the stats) and far more accomplished striker than Welbeck so it remains perplexing why Ferguson opted for the latter.

Is this payback for the contract dispute a couple of years ago? Punishment for fraternising with the enemy (that being City)?

Who knows, but come the Summer there could well be some large offers coming in for Rooney and it appears, at this point at least, that he is dispensable to Ferguson and United.