Harty on Wayne Rooney and Worthing FC

CLEARLY, Wayne Rooney is no Gascoigne . . . Bamber that is.

Once again, the United striker finds himself in hot water over swearing after scoring his third goal against West Ham on Saturday afternoon.

To defend him carte blanche in this column is impossible but I do feel there are mitigating circumstances.

First and foremost the game itself, West Ham and their long suffering may look back on it as the turning point of the season, 2-0 up, with a chance of climbing to 13th in the Premiership only for Man United to stage a Lazarus-like comeback.

Upton Park has an electric atmosphere in games like that and, although Rooney remains one of this country’s finest current footballers, Jack the Ripper would have got a better welcome down in the East End on Saturday afternoon.

But to my mind, the biggest factor is the Goldfish Bowl effect in football now, there are cameras everywhere. Go back 25 years and the BBC or ITV cameras, had they chosen this as their match that weekend, surely wouldn’t have picked up what Rooney did after scoring.

Part of me does have a degree of sympathy for Rooney. It’s yet another media witch hunt and the good old British tradition of building our stars up only to be able to knock them down further when they foul up.

If only his Mum had put soap in his mouth when he was a boy . . .

Without wishing to take anything for granted, it’s almost a done deal that Gus Poyet will win League One manager of the year.

Meanwhile, locally, while he won’t get it, I think Worthing’s Chris White clearly deserves some sort of recognition.

With a small, predominantly young squad, and no back-up of a reserve team, it was always going to be an uphill task, but the Rebels should up end with a creditable mid-table finish.

All done on a limited budget. It’s very easy for the critics to harp on about how big Worthing should be as a club.

I heard one say it’s the lowest finish since the Football Pyramid started.

I think if they investigated further they would find its the lowest budget since the system came in, and with league crowds recently dipping below 200, youth is the way forward at Woodside Road and with White in charge, with clear policy to bring the youngsters through, the Rebels will survive when others around them may not.

Courtesy of that local footballing managerial legend, Phil Everest, I had my first trip to the Emirates last weekend (thanks, Phil).

An impressive stadium, with a performance on the pitch from the home team that lacked one thing, finishing.

The style of Malcolm Macdonald is probably viewed as something from the Dark Ages by Premiership aficionados, but with the football they play and the chances they create there is a strong case that if they had a Supermac in their ranks today, they’d be top of the league.

The winner of my competition to win a signed Charlie Oatway book is Mark Wheeler. The club will be in touch regarding collection.