Despite Wayne Rooney’s best efforts, he couldn’t muster Manchester United to Premier League glory in the 2009/10 season.
It was the Red Devils’ first season without Cristiano Ronaldo, and Rooney stepped up with 26 goals in the league.
He won the PFA Player of the Year award for his outstanding individual season, but United fell one-point behind Chelsea in the title race.
Their triumph in the League Cup wasn’t enough for Rooney and co. to consider the campaign a success. United were embarrassingly beaten by Leeds United in the third round of the FA Cup and lost to Bayern Munich in the quarter-final of the Champions League.
So Rooney expected Sir Alex Ferguson to be ambitious in the summer transfer window in 2010 as United plotted a return to the top.
But the forward was left underwhelmed by a summer that looked very disappointing.
The Red Devils signed five players in 2010: Marnick Vermijl, Chris Smalling, Javier Hernandez, Bebe and Anders Lindegaard.
Perhaps Rooney had a right to be upset.
Only Smalling and Hernandez featured often for the club. Vermijl made just two first-team appearances while Bebe is regarded as one of the worst players to ever put on the famous red shirt.
According to The Athletic, Rooney was so frustrated that he knocked on Ferguson’s door to complain about a lack of ambition.
It was the signing of Smalling for £10 million from Maidstone United that particularly drew Rooney’s ire.
Ironically, the centre-back is the only one of the five to still be a United player, although he was loaned out for the 2019/20 season.
But United responded by winning the league in 2010/11, and also reached the final of the Champions League.
It was a brilliant way for Ferguson to respond to concerns about his ambition.
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