The FA’s decision not to charge Manchester United star Wayne Rooney for his elbow on James McCarthy has been slammed by former Liverpool star John Aldridge.
Rooney elbowed the Wigan Athletic midfielder in Saturday’s 4-0 win – with referee Mark Clattenburg awarding a free kick but not booking or sending off the United star.
Despite widespread condemnation of Rooney, the FA decided Clattenburg had dealt with the situation and felt there was not need to discipline him – with Rooney missing out on a potential four-match ban.
Had Rooney been banned he would have faced the prospect of missing tonight’s match against Chelsea and the weekend clash against Liverpool – and potentially an FA Cup tie against Arsenal.
Rooney could now line up against fellow under-fire England star Ashley Cole later tonight. Chelsea defender Cole has been in the news this week after it emerged he’d accidentally shot a work experience student at the club’s Cobham training ground.
Ian Holloway and Robbie Savage have both taken to Twitter to voice their concern at the FA’s decision while Rooney’s teammate Rio Ferdinand – who was subject to retrospective action last season – called for fans to draw a line under the issue.
Outspoken former Liverpool striker John Aldridge criticised both Rooney and his manager Sir Alex Ferguson who defended his star man.
He told the Liverpool Echo: “The decision not to ban Wayne Rooney for his elbow on Wigan’s James McCarthy is an absolute joke.
“It was blatant and the striker should be serving a three-match suspension.
“Alex Ferguson predictably tried to defend the indefensible after the game and put the FA under pressure and it certainly seems to have done the trick.
“There is no way referee Mark Clattenburg saw that incident clearly otherwise he would have sent Rooney off.
“There is no excuse for what the striker did.
“I thought with all the cameras now the days of getting away with things like that had gone but somehow he’s managed to escape unpunished.”