There is a thin dividing line between success and failure in football, everyone know that. But on Saturday lunch time this was shown once again in the turbulent life of Wayne Rooney.
Within the first minute of Manchester United’s win at West Brom Wayne Rooney went up for a header with Paul Scharner and clearly elbowed the Baggies centre half.
Referee Chris Foy made no move to even book Rooney and the incident passed off without the Sky Sports commentators mentioning the incident but the similarity with previous sendings off is pretty startling.
Using just two examples from 2010, Patrick Vieira saw red for elbowing Marco Materazzi in a friendly in July and just last week Jermain Defoe was sent off at Aston Villa in remarkably similar incidents.
In truth, both above examples were deemed harsh but the flying elbow when players jump for a header seems easy for referees to ignore or remove players from the field. And Rooney was not even spoken to by the referee.
Make your own mind up with the footage below.
Much has been made of Gary Neville’s clear penalty awarding decision for a foul on Graeme Dorrans and things could have been so different for United and Rooney had he been sent off after a minute before scoring his first goal from open play since March.