Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes says Wayne Rooney was wrong and disrespectful to publicly question the Red Devils' ambition last season.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side had made a stuttering start to the 2010/11 campaign, drawing with Fulham, Everton, Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion to leave them five points adrift of early Premier League leaders Chelsea after the opening eight games of the season.
And the 26-year-old England international was to soon send shockwaves through the football world, releasing a statement that highlighted his discontent with the club's plans regarding player recruitment and intention not to sign a new contract with the club.
The former Everton starlet had also called his manager's authority into question, after contradicting Ferguson's claims that he was suffering with an ankle injury.
Speculation was rife that Rooney would be joining - or had already agreed to join - either Real Madrid or newly-rich city rivals Manchester City in the January transfer window.
However, within days the striker performed an extraordinary U-turn by signing a new five-year deal with the Red Devils, seeing his basic salary rise from £90,000 per week to around £150,000, making him the highest paid player at Old Trafford.
Fans and pundits alike slammed both Rooney and his agent, dismissing the 'threat' to leave as a tool to manufacture an improved financial deal, while the striker himself insisted that Ferguson had convinced him to stay.
Scholes, who made 677 first team appearances for the club from 1993-2011, picking up 24 winners' medals, believes Rooney should have discussed his grievances with Ferguson in private rather than airing them in public.
Speaking exclusively in the December 2011 issue of FourFourTwo, out now, he said: "I think he learned his lesson very quickly after that.
"He knew what he did was wrong; that no player at Man United should ever publicly question the manager; that if they have a problem they should see the manager about it.
"It wasn't a nice time and Wayne might have been confused. We weren't playing as well as he would've liked, but that happens sometimes. You just have to trust your team-mates.
"He apologised, the matter was done and dusted, and we ended up winning the league. I never spoke to him about it, but I was surprised. It isn't something you expect to happen at Manchester United, so it was disappointing. It was a bit disrespectful to the club."
Read the full in-depth interview with Paul Scholes in the December 2011 issue of FourFourTwo – out now. It features exclusive interviews with Aaron Ramsey, Juan Mata and David Silva, looks at football clubs' unlikeliest owners and maddest protests and recalls the history of Team GB at past Olympic Games. Subscribe now!comments