Today’s post is going to be about quite possibly the biggest decision Jose Mourinho has ever had to make in his managerial career...dropping Wayne Rooney. This decision has not been taken lightly by the Portuguese manager but seems to have already proven worthwhile after The Red Devils absolutely trounced Leicester last Saturday.
Dropping the United captain against The Foxes saw an amazing performance (as much as I don’t want to admit it) from Paul Pogba, the £89 million man that arrived from Juventus with a lot of expectation in the Summer. Not only him but seemingly the entire team looked like world beaters, bringing some similarities to the days of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Now some of you may be wondering what’s so important about dropping Wayne Rooney? Well for me, this means the turning of the tide. This means that suddenly he is nothing special. Before he was untouchable, he could do no wrong in the eyes of football commentators, pundits and managers, whilst us fans were left bemused by how he is still getting into the starting eleven of one of the best clubs in the world…
Some people may be wondering why I even care, they might say “it’s Manchester United, why do you want them to win?”. Well in response to that I have to say I don’t, I don’t give a flying fuck if Manchester United are collared for match fixing, are docked points for breaking FIFA transfer regulations, fined billions, go into administration and end up being liquidated only to start again in the conference North as ‘Manchester Devils’…
...But what I do want is Sam Allardyce...or should I say Gareth Southgate/Steve Bruce/Alan Pardew/Mike Bassett...to realise that we no longer have to accommodate this average player into a young side seemingly hungry to prove their worth on a national scale. It baffles me that we accommodate him anyway, his best position is up front so if we have 2 or 3 strikers better than him then why should he play...
~ But then again what do I know, I’m not a manager. Then again I did get York City from the Conference to the npower Championship in 6 seasons on Football Manager 2012...I’m probably within a shout for the England job with that record ~
It aggravates me that Wayne Rooney is only 9 appearances away from breaking Peter Shilton’s record for most England appearances. Not that Rooney will be England’s most capped player, but that there is no question as to whether or not he will break the record. He could shit out a poo on The Queen’s favourite Corgi before turning around and giving her a Nazi salute and still find himself in the starting lineup in any England game.
I mean this isn’t the first time that Wazza has managed to get away with things that would ruin other footballers careers. Shagging pensioners, criticizing England supports when they booed the players, he even missed out on death threats after attempting to recreate David Beckham’s red card at the 2006 World Cup.
David Beckham got sent off against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup after flicking a leg at Diego Simeone. He then received death threats and had effigies of himself hung from every lamppost in England.
Wayne Rooney on the other hand got sent off against Portugal in the 2006 World Cup for stomping on Ricardo Carvalho. All the blame was pushed onto Cristiano Ronaldo for a little wink to the camera’s. I bet old Becks wishes Simeone gave a little wink to the camera’s, then he’d have gotten away with it too.
Don’t get me wrong though, back when Wayne Rooney was first bursting onto the scenes he was one of the best young talents out there. He had a deadly combination of pace, strength, power and a receding hairline, along with world class technical ability and a direct attacking style that would catch even the most experienced of defenders off guard (that same direct play that Manchester United and England fans love about Marcus Rashford).
But those days are long gone now, with his style being less like Marcus Rashford and more like Marcus Bent. For me Rooney just looks so slow in attack, holding the ball too long, not looking to pull the trigger when he’s in a good position, being reserved and playing it back where in previous years he’d have at least attempted to skin the defender. Just literally taking no risks what so ever…
There’s times I think that the reason he plays like this is because he had the directness knocked out of him by Fergie. I feel it was couched out of him because Sir Alex Ferguson wanted Rooney to be more a complete player, not needing to rely on his pace all the time to bag goals. Sadly though it’s seen the united captain decline into more a midfield role as he now seems to lack that killer instinct that strikers need to be top goalscorers.
I can remember when United brought in Van Persie to make up for the lack of goals the side were scoring, essentially taking Rooney’s crown away from him. Did the Scouse striker buckle down and work hard and try and show his worth? No he handed in a transfer request and didn’t want to be considered for selection…
This was a weird moment in the career of Sir Alex Ferguson in my opinion. If any other player started making demands like that, whether it be Roy Keane, David Beckham, Jaap Stam or even Cristiano Ronaldo, Fergie would’ve let them go. But in this instance the Glazer’s went over the manager’s head and accepted Rooney’s ridiculous demands, offering him £250,000 a week, captaincy and a say in all transfers…
Fergie always had a strong policy that nobody was bigger than Manchester United. Not the players, not the owners, not even Ferguson himself...so how come Rooney gets to demand a contract that in certain situations will put his decision above the one of the manager? It breaks the hierarchical structure and makes me think that Rooney could’ve gone further and demanded a stand named after him or maybe even a statue erected where the United Trinity is.
Now some of you may have noticed I’m talking about Manchester United again after saying earlier that I “don’t care about them”. Let me rectify that by moving swiftly back to his national team. Wayne Rooney will more that likely go down as England’s greatest ever player.
Now some of you might be thinking “ that’s ridiculous, he’s nowhere near as good as Shearer, Lineker, Gazza, etc.” But let's look at the facts: He’s gonna be England’s most capped player and is the leading goalscorer...at the end of the day he will always be remembered for statistics not performances.
I find it really sad that he’ll go down as the greatest for scoring (so far) 53 England goals, of which only 5 came in actual tournaments. Geoff Hurst managed to score three goals in a World Cup final against a truly world class Germany side...whereas Rooney can’t even score one past a bang average Algeria side.
I could rant and rave about Rooney for hours so I’ll stop here before I start slagging off his looks. Honestly if I don’t stop now I’ll just keep going ogre and ogre and ogre the same topics...that was a low blow.
I will leave you with this question for now though (feel free to comment your answers below) if you had to pick your ideal England legends team, who would you pick and would it contain Wayne Rooney?
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Cheers for reading.