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Wayne Rooney to Leave Manchester United (20th October, 2010)


 

England soccer star Wayne Rooney has shocked his club Manchester United by telling them he wants to leave. There has been a lot of speculation in the press recently about Rooney’s poor form on the pitch and his relationship with the club. The usually red-hot striker has only scored once in five games this season. His manager Sir Alex Ferguson has used him as a substitute instead of putting him in the starting eleven. Ferguson told reporters it was because Rooney had an ankle injury, but the player says he is fully fit. Signs of trouble started in September when news came out that Rooney had cheated on his wife by visiting two prostitutes. Coach Ferguson did not play him in the game following this saying he wanted to protect his player from taunts and abuse from rival fans.

Worse news might still come for Manchester United fans, who until now had adored Rooney. There are many reports in the English newspapers that bitter cross-town rivals Manchester City will bid for Rooney’s talents. That would be extremely hard to swallow for many United fans. City is the richest club in the world, being backed by Abu Dhabi sheikh Mansour al Nahyan, and is one of the few in world football who could afford Rooney’s wages. Sir Alex is shocked at Rooney’s request and cannot understand why the player feels the way he does. He would like his best player to stay at the club, telling reporters: "I feel that we still have to keep the door open for him… We're as bemused as anyone can be and can't understand why he would want to leave."


WARM-UPS

1. FOOTBALL: Walk around the class and talk to other students about football (soccer). Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

soccer star / shocked / poor form / relationship / substitute / fully fit / cheated / rival / worse news / fans / talents / afford / hard to swallow / wages / being bemused

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. RIVALS: Who are yours? Complete this table and show it to your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

My rival in…

How big a rival?

Why?

English

 

 

love

 

 

family

 

 

sports

 

 

games

 

 

life

 

 

4. FOOTBALL / SOCCER: Students A strongly believe “football” is the best word for the game; Students B strongly believe “soccer” is the best word for the game.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. SPORTS STARS: Which of these words describe sports stars best? Rank them and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • humble
  • role model
  • overpaid
  • inspiring
  • awesome
  • intelligent
  • loyal
  • gifted

6. RELATIONSHIP: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘relationship’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

Wayne Rooney will leave Manchester United at the end of the month.

T / F

b.

Rooney hasn’t been playing too well for his club recently.

T / F

c.

Rooney has been on the pitch for the start of every game this season.

T / F

d.

Ferguson wanted to protect Rooney from his team’s fans’ abuse.

T / F

e.

Rooney has always had a love-hate relationship with his club’s fans.

T / F

f.

It would be a terrible thing for United fans if Rooney went to City.

T / F

g.

There aren’t so many football clubs willing to pay Rooney’s wages.

T / F

h.

Sir Alex is prepared to accept a change of heart from Wayne Rooney.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

shocked

a.

exciting

2

speculation

b.

difficult to accept

3.

red-hot

c.

loved

4.

substitute

d.

stunned

5.

rival

e.

very

6.

adored

f.

rumour

7.

extremely

g.

puzzled

8.

hard to swallow

h.

reserve

9.

afford

i.

opponent

10.

bemused

j.

pay for

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

telling them he wants

a.

a substitute

2

Rooney’s poor form

b.

the door open

3.

used him as

c.

to leave

4.

Rooney had cheated

d.

still come

5.

taunts and abuse

e.

swallow

6.

Worse news might

f.

from rival fans

7.

bitter cross-

g.

as anyone

8.

extremely hard to

h.

on the pitch

9.

we still have to keep

i.

on his wife

10.

We're as bemused

j.

town rivals

 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

England soccer star Wayne Rooney has ____________ his club Manchester United by telling them he wants to leave. There has been a lot of ____________ in the press recently about Rooney’s poor form on the ____________ and his relationship with the club. The usually red-hot striker has only ____________ once in five games this season. His manager Sir Alex Ferguson has used him as a substitute ____________ of putting him in the starting eleven. Ferguson told reporters it was because Rooney had an ankle injury, but the player says he is ____________ fit. Signs of trouble started in September when news came out that Rooney had ____________ on his wife by visiting two prostitutes. Coach Ferguson did not play him in the game following this saying he wanted to protect his player from taunts and ____________ from rival fans.

 

 

 

instead
scored
speculation
abuse
shocked
cheated
fully
pitch

Worse news ____________ still come for Manchester United fans, who until now had adored Rooney. There are many ____________ in the English newspapers that ____________ cross-town rivals Manchester City will bid for Rooney’s talents. That would be extremely hard to ____________ for many United fans. City is the richest club in the world, being ____________ by Abu Dhabi sheikh Mansour al Nahyan, and is one of the few in world football who could afford Rooney’s wages. Sir Alex is shocked at Rooney’s ____________ and cannot understand why the player feels the way he ____________. He would like his best player to stay at the club, telling reporters: "I feel that we still have to keep the ____________ open for him… We're as bemused as anyone can be and can't understand why he would want to leave."

 

 

request
bitter
backed
might
door
does
reports
swallow

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

England soccer star Wayne Rooney ____________________ Manchester United by telling them he wants to leave. There has been a lot of speculation ____________________ about Rooney’s poor form on the pitch and his relationship with the club. The usually red-hot striker ____________________ in five games this season. His manager Sir Alex Ferguson has used him as a ____________________ putting him in the starting eleven. Ferguson told reporters it was because Rooney had an ankle injury, but the player ____________________. Signs of trouble started in September when news came out that Rooney had cheated on his wife by visiting two prostitutes. Coach Ferguson did not play him in the game following this saying he wanted to protect his player ____________________ from rival fans.

Worse ____________________ for Manchester United fans, who until now had adored Rooney. There are many reports in the English newspapers that ____________________ Manchester City will bid for Rooney’s talents. That would be extremely ____________________ for many United fans. City is the richest club in the world, being backed by Abu Dhabi sheikh Mansour al Nahyan, and ____________________ in world football who could afford Rooney’s wages. Sir Alex is shocked at Rooney’s request and cannot understand why the player ____________________. He would like his best player to stay at the club, telling reporters: "I feel that we still have to keep ____________________ him… We're as bemused as anyone can be and can't understand why he would want to leave."


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘soccer’ and ‘star’.

soccer

star

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • telling
  • lot
  • red
  • fully
  • wife
  • rival
  • adored
  • cross
  • hard
  • afford
  • feels
  • door

STUDENT FOOTBALL (SOCCER) SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about football (soccer) in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

FOOTBALL (SOCCER) DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘soccer’?

c)

Why do you think football (soccer) is the world’s most popular sport?

d)

What do you think about Wayne Rooney?

e)

Do you like to read speculation about famous people?

f)

Do sports stars like Rooney have a duty to make sure they lead a scandal-free private life?

g)

Should clubs take actions against players who cheat on their wives, fight in public, etc?

h)

Do you think Sir Alex Ferguson was right not to play Rooney to save him from taunts from rival fans?

i)

Do you think a player like Rooney can be bigger than the club?

j)

Are you disappointed by your favourite sports stars?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you adore any sports stars?

c)

Do you think Rooney should join bitter rivals Manchester City?

d)

What would you think if your fave player joined a team you hated?

e)

What would the game between Manchester United and Manchester City be like if Rooney joined City?

f)

What do you think are the biggest rivalries in football (or sport)?

g)

Are rivalries in football good for the game?

h)

Do you think Rooney should stay with Manchester United?

i)

Would you like to be a famous football player?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Wayne Rooney?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

England soccer star Wayne Rooney has shocked his club Manchester United (1) ____ telling them he wants to leave. There has been a lot of speculation in the press recently about Rooney’s poor (2) ____ on the pitch and his relationship with the club. The usually red-hot striker has only scored once in five games this (3) ____. His manager Sir Alex Ferguson has used him as a substitute instead of putting him in the (4) ____ eleven. Ferguson told reporters it was because Rooney had an ankle injury, but the player says he is fully fit. Signs of trouble started in September when news came out that Rooney had cheated (5) ____ his wife by visiting two prostitutes. Coach Ferguson did not play him in the game following this saying he wanted to protect his player from taunts and abuse from (6) ____ fans.

Worse news might still come for Manchester United fans, who until now had (7) ____ Rooney. There are many reports in the English newspapers that bitter cross-town rivals Manchester City will (8) ____ for Rooney’s talents. That would be extremely hard to (9) ____ for many United fans. City is the richest club in the world, being (10) ____  by Abu Dhabi sheikh Mansour al Nahyan, and is one of the few in world football who could afford Rooney’s wages. Sir Alex is shocked at Rooney’s request and cannot understand why the player feels the way he does. He would like his best player to stay at the club, telling reporters: "I feel that we still have to keep the (11) ____ open for him… We're as (12) ____ as anyone can be and can't understand why he would want to leave."

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

from

(b)

to

(c)

at

(d)

by

2.

(a)

form

(b)

firm

(c)

farm

(d)

firmly

3.

(a)

quarter

(b)

season

(c)

annual

(d)

semester

4.

(a)

startling

(b)

starts

(c)

starting

(d)

starters

5.

(a)

in

(b)

up

(c)

on

(d)

at

6.

(a)

rivalry

(b)

rival

(c)

rivaled

(d)

rivals

7.

(a)

adore

(b)

adores

(c)

adoring

(d)

adored

8.

(a)

bid

(b)

lid

(c)

hid

(d)

kid

9.

(a)

taste

(b)

swallow

(c)

gulp

(d)

drink

10.

(a)

fronted

(b)

headed

(c)

chested

(d)

backed

11.

(a)

chimney

(b)

window

(c)

door

(d)

house

12.

(a)

bemused

(b)

bemuses

(c)

bemusing

(d)

bemuse

WRITING

Write about football (soccer) for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about Wayne Rooney. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. FOOTBALL (SOCCER): Make a poster about football (soccer). Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. ROONEY: Write a magazine article about Wayne Rooney. Include imaginary interviews with Manchester United and rival Manchester City fans.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Wayne Rooney. Ask him three questions about football (soccer). Give him three pieces of advice about his future. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

F

d.

F

e.

F

f.

T

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

shocked

a.

stunned

2

speculation

b.

rumour

3.

red-hot

c.

exciting

4.

substitute

d.

reserve

5.

rival

e.

opponent

6.

adored

f.

loved

7.

extremely

g.

very

8.

hard to swallow

h.

difficult to accept

9.

afford

i.

pay for

10.

bemused

j.

puzzled

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

telling them he wants

a.

to leave

2

Rooney’s poor form

b.

on the pitch

3.

used him as

c.

a substitute

4.

Rooney had cheated

d.

on his wife

5.

taunts and abuse

e.

from rival fans

6.

Worse news might

f.

still come

7.

bitter cross-

g.

town rivals

8.

extremely hard to

h.

swallow

9.

we still have to keep

i.

the door open

10.

We're as bemused

j.

as anyone

GAP FILL:

Wayne Rooney to leave Manchester United

England soccer star Wayne Rooney has shocked his club Manchester United by telling them he wants to leave. There has been a lot of speculation in the press recently about Rooney’s poor form on the pitch and his relationship with the club. The usually red-hot striker has only scored once in five games this season. His manager Sir Alex Ferguson has used him as a substitute instead of putting him in the starting eleven. Ferguson told reporters it was because Rooney had an ankle injury, but the player says he is fully fit. Signs of trouble started in September when news came out that Rooney had cheated on his wife by visiting two prostitutes. Coach Ferguson did not play him in the game following this saying he wanted to protect his player from taunts and abuse from rival fans.

Worse news might still come for Manchester United fans, who until now had adored Rooney. There are many reports in the English newspapers that bitter cross-town rivals Manchester City will bid for Rooney’s talents. That would be extremely hard to swallow for many United fans. City is the richest club in the world, being backed by Abu Dhabi sheikh Mansour al Nahyan, and is one of the few in world football who could afford Rooney’s wages. Sir Alex is shocked at Rooney’s request and cannot understand why the player feels the way he does. He would like his best player to stay at the club, telling reporters: "I feel that we still have to keep the door open for him… We're as bemused as anyone can be and can't understand why he would want to leave."

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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