Charlton: No way Wayne will go
Andrea Stramaccioni accepts Inter Milan president Massimo
Moratti’s frustration with recent results.
But the under-pressure coach believes the return of some of his
first-choice players can help bring back the team’s swagger.
Inter have slipped to sixth place in Serie A, four points behind
third-placed rivals AC Milan, after winning just one of their last
They also face near-inevitable elimination from the Europa
League after a 3-0 first-leg defeat to Tottenham in the last
Moratti said yesterday that Stramaccioni will only remain in his
post if results improve.
And the coach told inter.it: “It is normal and proper at this
time that Moratti is not satisfied with the results of the
“The objective for the next 10 games is to restore confidence
and a swagger to Inter on the pitch.”
That one recent victory saw Inter come from 2-0 down at
half-time to beat Catania 3-2, while they also recovered from a
half-time deficit to draw with Milan.
And Stramaccioni said: “We are focusing on analysing the second
half of recent matches, when the team have shown more fight and
“We are only four points behind third place and getting the
injured players back will help us to get there.”
Dejan Stankovic and Ezequiel Schelotto returned from injury
against Bologna last time out, with the fit-again Zdravko
Kuzmanovic and Tommaso Rocchi among the substitutes.
Walter Samuel and Fredy Guarin are also on the road to recovery
but striker Diego Milito will miss the rest of the season and
defender Yuto Nagatomo is another long-term casualty.
The forward was left out of the starting line-up for United’s
Champions League defeat to Real Madrid last week, triggering
intense speculation about his status at the club.
Although manager Sir Alex Ferguson rejected talk that he was
willing to let Rooney leave United this summer, and subsequently
selected the 27-year-old for Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Chelsea,
rumours are bound to continue for some time.
Yet Charlton, whose records as top scorer for both United and
England are under threat from the former Everton man, is not
concerned Rooney might be heading for the exit.
“I don’t worry about Wayne Rooney,” Charlton said. “There is no
way he will ever be allowed to move on, because that is not the way
Sir Alex Ferguson works.
“Wayne has been our regular goalscorer – and he scores fantastic
“If he scores a great goal, he’ll think ‘right, I’ll get another
“Not only that, he has an influence on the rest of the team.
“Just because he has some competition, I don’t think that is a
Nevertheless, there are enough examples of Ferguson ditching
extremely high-profile players not to take the status quo as being
certain to be preserved.
And even though the wounds are still raw, it would seem the
events of last week are likely to fuel the Scot’s desire to have
another tilt at the Champions League rather than meekly step aside,
as some have suggested could happen.
“I think Sir Alex will be there for the rest of time,” Charlton
said. “He is such an enthusiast for the game.
“He is a marvellous manager and, whatever happens, he will get
the best out of his team.
“What happened against Real will have hurt him a lot but I don’t
see why we can’t win the Champions League again under him, even if
it is much more difficult because the opposition is so much
As ever with United, though, talk of transfers out is
accompanied by the potential for a big-name buy arriving.
Gareth Bale has been mentioned, along with Robert
However, both of those would be eclipsed if Cristiano Ronaldo
made a shock return to the club he left for a world record
?80million in 2009.
Charlton is loath to heighten expectations at a return for the
28-year-old, who received such a warm reception last week even
though his goals turned the tie Real’s way.
But he has no doubt the Portugal superstar left a legacy from
his time with the Red Devils that will never be erased.
“Signing Ronaldo has never even been mentioned in any of our
board meetings,” Charlton said.
“But he did go beyond being just a great player for us.
“He was just the right sort of person Manchester United had been
“But I once saw Real Madrid trying to get a player from another
club, and I didn’t think very highly of it.
“I didn’t think it was right then and I still don’t now.
“Cristiano is a great player, who scores phenomenal goals and he
loves the club – but he is not our player.”