The Offside Treble – United back Rooney, Advocaat’s toughest job yet, and Drogba raps with Chelsea kid Zouma

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LVG pulls no punches

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, you’ll know it was a big week for Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United captain betrayed, by proxy, the rules of fight club, after a video of him sparring with former team-mate Phil Bardsley was leaked to The Sun newspaper. The clip shows the pair sparring in Rooney’s kitchen, culminating in the Stoke defender appearing to knock his opponent out.

When questioned about the reports and Rooney’s boxing celebration after his goal against Tottenham, United manager, Louis van Gaal, put the interviewer firmly in his place. He said: “In what a world we live that we are talking about such a thing.” The irony that I agree, despite covering this in this week’s Treble, isn’t lost on me. What Rooney does in his own home is his business; we all know he’s a fan of boxing, after all. The only sensible questions are around his judgement of the people he allows into his home with a smartphone – and why he hit the deck so easily.

Tough times for Advocaat

It’s been a big week for Sunderland, too, who have hired new manager, Dick Advocaat, and lifted their suspension of Adam Johnson. The England winger was arrested at the beginning of the month on suspicion of having had “sexual activity” with a 15-year-old girl. However, with police bail having now been extended, the club have lifted the suspension pending further investigation, which remains “very much live”, according to a Durham Police spokesperson.

Though in line with the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the decision to lift Johnson’s suspension will no doubt make for some lively debate and it’s arguably not ideal conditions under which Advocaat takes the helm at the Stadium of Light. Though with whispers about the management style of ‘the little general’ doing the media rounds (he’s not a bully, according to Dutch journalist Marcel van der Kraan) and only a point between Sunderland and the drop zone, Advocaat looks set for a far from carefree life over the remainder of the season.

Insta success

And finally, it wouldn’t be an Offside Treble without at least one social media-based story spied in the Daily Mail Online. This week providing the ‘bants’, rather than the usual career-limiting faux pas, are Chelsea’s Didier Drogba and Kurt Zouma. On what looks to be some seats (not the back seats which, from memory of the 1996 German exchange I went on, is where the cool kids hang out) on the team coach, the duo embark on some French-language rapping for the Instagram masses under the stage name ‘The DrogFather ft Zoumanaaan’.

Ft? I wouldn’t stand for that, Zoumanaaan, the Drogfather’s well past it, and you’re an artist in your own right. Even if your boss, Jose Mourinho, wants to keep comparing you to other Chelsea greats like Marcel Desailly. Still, having played as the youngster himself admits “about 10 games”, and already seeing some action in the trophy cabinet, it’s not been a bad start to the season.

Read more from Jen Offord here!

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