• England striker admits frustration at poor Old Trafford results
• Player pleads for patience from supporters after derby defeat
Wayne Rooney admits opposition teams no longer fear coming to Old Trafford.
David Moyes endured the latest in a long line of disappointing nights at Old Trafford as his Manchester United team lost 3-0 to neighbours City. It was the sixth, and most devastating, home defeat of what has been a long and painful debut season for the United manager.
The last time United lost six league matches at home was in 2002 and that is a statistic Rooney feels is unacceptable. "It's not good enough," Rooney said in a frank interview with MUTV. "We can't lose six homes games in a season and we have to put that right, and make this a place which teams fear again."
Edin Dzeko scored either side of half-time before Yaya Touré added a third in stoppage time to seal a win that will no doubt raise further questions about Moyes's future. The home fans who were left inside Old Trafford at the final whistle did not boo off their team but there was also a noticeable lack of songs in support of the United manager. Other supporters, meanwhile, vented their anger at former manager Sir Alex Ferguson over the appointment of Moyes.
Rooney has pleaded with the United fans for patience, despite what has been a dreadful season. He added: "They were great again tonight. As a team, we need them to be strong and to understand there has been a big change at the club. We have to step up and start giving the fans something to cheer about with some good performances and wins."
United went into the match full of confidence after back-to-back wins against West Ham and Olympiakos but the wounds that were inflicted by Liverpool the previous week have now been reopened. And while City push for the title, United's very slim hopes of a top-four finish appear to have gone. Rooney acknowledged United did not do enough to take anything from the game.
"It's a bad night and we didn't deserve to win," the United striker said. "We weren't clinical enough and we didn't create enough chances. No one likes to lose a derby game – they're big games and they're great to win but when you lose it's not a great feeling.
"It's probably been the story of our season so far, that we've got a couple of good results and then one which sets us back a bit."
United have a home game against Aston Villa on Saturday, which is followed by a daunting double-header against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Rooney wants the team to bounce back quickly to avoid further embarrassments, such as the one they endured on Tuesday night.
"We know we have to respond," the England striker said. "It's a bad night for us all but we have to move on. We've got two big games coming up against Bayern Munich but first we have to focus on the Villa game and try to end the season on a positive note."
Today's gossip is all about the name of the game
You know you're on a downer when even Paul Scholes pipes up to slag you off. The famously publicity shy former Manchester United midfielder made his punditry debut on Sky on Tuesday night, presumably as part of a some subtle Gary Neville-planned campaign to remind David Moyes what a decent central midfielder looks like – and he took time out from discussing the Manchester derby to give a characteristically no-frills assessment of Arsenal's current woes, which, he reckoned, amount to just "a typical week for Arsenal".
Scholes went on to decry, with barely disguised contempt, the "indiscipline" of Arsenal midfielders whose approach to matches appears to consist of going for "a little walk upfield, lose the ball, play a nice little one-two and not even bother sprinting back". Arsenal, droned Scholes, lack urgency, method and leadership. They also lack a midfielder so committed to his profession that in 20 years he never learned to tackle but Scholes forgot to mention that. Still, Scholes's outburst is a sign of the times: only a week after entire forests were felled to publish tributes to Arsène Wenger on his 1,000th match, questions about the manager's current methods are being raised with new alarm. Funnily enough, the very last thing Scholes said in his punditry debut is that he's available for work as a manager if a position should, you know, become available.
But is a position about to become available at the the Emirates? Some organs reckon not and claim Wenger is poised to finally sign a new contract, although the term of that deal has been reduced from two to three years, which still gives the Frenchman ample scope to lure Callum Chambers from Southampton; others insist Wenger will be invited to go spend some quality time with his new little gold cannon and that the new big shot at Arsenal will be one of Roberto Martínez, Brendan Rodgers, Jürgen Klopp or, of course, Steve Bould.
You'll note Big Sam's name does not feature on that list and, obviously, the only possible explanation for that is he's not trendy enough. If his name were Sam Le Grand or Der Gross Sam, clubs would be pleading with him to come shower them with his magic dust. But no.
In fact, word is Allarydce may even be going out of fashion at Upton Park and West Ham fancy a makeover from that dashing foreigner Michael Laudrup.
Barcelona, meanwhile, are a lining up a new deal for Lionel Messi
and are preparing to play the Argentinian a world record £336,000 per week.
Expect to read reports in the next few days of Cristiano Ronaldo being "sad" at Real Madrid and seeking succour in the form of, let's see now, a £337,000-per-week contract.
How much is Fernando Torres worth? That's a matter that Chelsea could be discussing soon with Internazionale. And then they'll go into another room in the San Siro and discuss Demba Ba's worth with AC Milan.
Juventus, meanwhile, want Parma defender Gabriel Paletta.
Finally, with Vahid Halilhodzic set to step down after the World Cup, Algeria have started going through a wish list of potential new managers.
In fact, they must have started going through it a long time ago if they're now reached the name Fabrizio Ravanelli.