I’m an honest player, says Rooney
Rooney is moving to distance himself from claims that he is a diver
Wayne Rooney says he is an “honest player” despite analysis of the crucial penalty he won against Arsenal last weekend revealing he may have dived.
The north Londoners were denied a penalty of their own, and were leading 1-0 when Rooney converted his spot-kick, and the hosts went on to win 2-1.
Rooney said: “Everyone who watches me play knows I am an honest player.
“I play the game as honestly as I can. If the referee gives a penalty there is nothing you can do.”
Amid the furore that accompanied the two-match ban Eduardo has received for “deceiving the referee” during Arsenal’s victory over Celtic, Rooney’s conduct at Old Trafford was questioned at the weekend.
On initial inspection, it seemed clear Manuel Almunia had put his arms in front of the Manchester United striker before he went tumbling inside the area.
However, TV replays from a certain angle showed Rooney appeared to be heading for the turf before the Arsenal keeper made contact and that the spot-kick perhaps should not have been given.
Arsenal intend to appeal against Eduardo’s punishment, with Arsene Wenger particularly aggrieved because he believes the Croatian was touched by Celtic’s Artur Boruc.
Rooney, 23, said it was up to the authorities to take further action if they felt it was necessary.
“If they want to take punishment further it is down to UEFA and the people who run the game. As players you just want to play.”
And the England star says diving, technically described as “simulation”, is not a rising trend.
“Diving has been in the game for years. Probably the coverage the game gets now, with all the cameras around, it gets highlighted a bit more. But it hasn’t got any worse.”
He feels the referee is the best person to deal with such issues, even if there are instances when he might get it wrong.