James Lawton: Best and worst scenario if Rooney loses plot

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The Independent Football

George Best, dear and dishevelled and endlessly self-deluding George, goes beyond irony - and poignancy - when he says of his former wife, "When Alex has got the devil drink in her she completely loses the plot."

George Best, dear and dishevelled and endlessly self-deluding George, goes beyond irony - and poignancy - when he says of his former wife, "When Alex has got the devil drink in her she completely loses the plot."

Not, however, in the matter of the couple's divorce proceedings. Alex, a former air steward, gets the £750,000 marital home in Surrey, £80,000 maintenance money to keep her going before the publication of a tell-all autobiography, and George's beloved red setters. He gets to keep a Chelsea flat said to be worth £350,000, which might just be big enough to swing a feline replacement for the lost dogs.

The former Mrs Best has talked copiously about Best's drunken rages and erratic lifestyle and he probably would not argue that over the years he has been something of a handful. But why is it so hard to believe that in his accident-strewn life George has ever hurt anybody quite so much as himself?

That he should now accuse someone else of losing the plot would be funny in most circumstances other than those of his own tragic life.

It is one reason why every time you hear of Wayne Rooney in a nightclub there is an old stab of concern. Best lost the plot early and there must be fears that the same might happen to the best player produced in these islands since then.

One fact Rooney might just consider is that Best never lacked help or encouragement on his mission.

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