After the battering ‘Roonaldo’ has received from the Press to the supporters who decided it was appropriate to boo last Saturday. I felt the need to put pen to paper on some thoughts I have on the man.
Since Southgate’s entry into the cauldron which is International football, one of the first questions Gareth received during his press conference as Interim Manager; ‘Are you strong enough to drop Rooney?’
Have we all gone mad?
The past two weeks have turned into a witch hunt against our most capped outfield player and record goal scorer. As a nation, we seem so quick to write off players who have represented our country for so many years and make them scapegoats.
Yes, Wayne had a poor game against Iceland during the Euro’s, (probably one of his worst in an England shirt in fact) but is that any reason to hammer him at Wembley against Malta? It wasn’t like Gary Cahill or Joe Hart did any better this summer.
We’ve all had those days where nothing will click or work out, footballers aren’t any different. Money doesn’t come into for me either, we are all prone to ‘poor days at the office’.
A single player can’t win you an international tournament on their own. Fact.
You might suggest that Ronaldo did it this summer with Portugal. But I would argue that certainly wasn’t a one-man team with the re-emergence of Nani and Quaresma.
Perhaps this is what England fans were expecting when ‘Wazza’ showcased his excellent raw ability during Euro 2004.
For someone who has always made himself available for his Country and never shirked a task or challenge since his debut in 2003. England’s talisman for so many years deserves better.
Could you imagine Rooney acting like Messi did earlier this year, when he threw his toys out of his pram and retired from international football after Argentina were defeated in the Copa América final?
Wayne would have been slaughtered in the press, if he had taken the same approach after the Iceland defeat. But he didn’t, he apologised for the performance and vowed to carry on playing.
It is no secret that Wayne is nearing the end of his illustrious career which has certainly had more highs than lows, such as being voted England’s player of the year FOUR times in his 13 years so far with the national side.
But I won’t deny there have been lows too.
I won’t lie. As a 14-year-old watching England go out on penalties to Portugal during the 2006 World Cup, I was furious when Rooney got himself sent off. So was Sven Goran – Eriksson who last year declared that England could have gone on to win that World Cup in Germany if it wasn’t for the sending off.
He may not be the energetic fearless player who once elegantly picked the ball out from the sky before curling it past David Seaman to announce himself on the world stage. Or the player who made scoring a hat-trick look easy on his Champions League debut. But he is still a player England and the Premier League needs.
With so much media attention surrounding not only Rooney but also the captaincy, it has become a far bigger issue than it needed to be. Gareth showed last night against Slovenia that Wayne is more than capable of coming off the bench when needed. By all accounts Rooney has never been a nuisance for any of his previous managers. I’m sure he will get his head down now to try and regain his starting position with not only England but also Manchester United.
Time to put some of Rooney’s statistics into perspective;
People suggest that Daniel Sturridge is our best striker for England, and to a certain extend I tend to agree.
Rooney will be turning 31 in October and has already amassed over 300 goals for club and country in all competitions.
In a time, where the game has moved on a vast amount from when Rooney made his Everton debut back in 2002. It leads me to think that we won’t see a player with Rooney’s qualities for a long time to come.
Within today’s modern game, where genuine pace and acceleration
are main factors which managers look for. This can sometimes open the door for players to suffer from a lack of physicality or technical skill.
But Wayne in his youth was different, he had it all. Before injuries contributed to his decline of express speed.
The consistent comparisons with Messi and Ronaldo. Why do we feel the need to compare?
2011/12 season Rooney has a superb season scoring 34 goals in all comps. But because Ronaldo scored 60 in all competitions for Real Madrid and Messi 70 goals in all games, Rooney was deemed to have only an average season compared to Messi and Ronaldo.
Messi & Ronaldo are two players that are arguably the best players we will ever see in the game. We shouldn’t be comparing them with other footballers. They should be seen as an anomaly in world football. Let’s just enjoy their undeniable talents while they are still playing.
He has won everything there is to win domestically. (5x Premier Leagues, 1x FA Cup, 4x Community Shields, 2x League Cups & 1x Champions League) His career achievements will go down in history and he deserves his day in the sun.
A selection of quotes about Rooney from greats who know the game;
‘One of English football’s true greats’ ‘Outstanding talent and absolute magic to watch’ Sir Bobby Charlton
‘Wayne Rooney could have excelled in any era’ Sir Alex Ferguson
‘His achievements are simply incredible’ José Mourinho
‘I would have loved to have Rooney in my team’ Pelé
I hope when he reaches and surpasses Peter Shilton’s record of 125 International appearances, he is widely acknowledged and praised for his all efforts and service he has given to his nation for so many years.
I would suggest that Wayne Rooney is one of the most complete footballers we have ever produced as a nation, let’s appreciate him while we still can.
Ta for reading folks.