Barcelona star Leo Messi says England fans should be proud of Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney. Messi says: “There has always been a great deal of respect between myself and Wayne Rooney.“ For me he is the great English player of the generation. What he is capable of doing on the field is very special. He is one of the few players that would improve any squad in Europe.”
There has been much debate as to where Rooney should be played in recent years. I can’t make up my mind myself to be honest. Instead I believe him to be good enough to play pretty much anywhere that constitutes an attacking position. As a No.10 his skills translate into a player who possesses all the technical skill but ultimately lacks the required patience to simply wait for the ball to come to him and then drift into the spaces between midfield and attack, as someone such as my childhood footballing idol Baggio would do. Neither is Rooney a natural fit as a No.9.
When deployed in this position he is forced to curb his creative instincts. He is no selfish taker of chances a la Van Nistelrooy or Inzaghi. He has learned to be selfish, rather than having a natural predisposition towards it. Zlatan Ibrahimovic wrote in his autobiography, which I am currently reading, that when he feels he is playing badly he simply tries less hard – reasoning he plays better when he’s relaxed. Rooney’s contrary desire to be in the heart of the action leads to him being drawn towards the ball rather than being in the right place to receive it and hurt the opposition.
Wayne Rooney condemned his treatment regarding the publication of photographs showing him holding a beer at a wedding several months ago as “disgraceful”, and I would have to agree. Why the media feel the need to bother bringing the Manchester United and England Captain down on every occasion possible I’ll never know.
The 31-year-old later offered an unconditional apology for the “inappropriate” images but he had been the subject of widespread criticism both on social media and in print, and was not shy to express how he really felt “I’m proud to play for my country and I’m proud of my achievements. It’s not finished yet. I think what’s been going on is disgraceful. It shows a lack of respect and I think enough is enough. It feels as if the media are trying to write my obituary and I won’t let that happen, as I have not finished yet.”
Rooney’s footballing qualities have always been his vision, his technical ability and his work rate. But like many great English players before him (Hoddle a prime example), people seem to focus on his work rate rather than his vision or supreme technical ability. Instead of building the team round him you decided to make him captain 5 years too late and criticize his every move. Well done.
Although not surprising for a football nation that put Scholes on the left wing and failed to recognise the true talent of Robbie Fowler.
Personally, I’ve always had him in that “C” class, behind the “A” class of the golden two, and the “B” class of your Suarez, Modric and Iniesta. There’s not too many Englishman in that “C” class, and when they are, they tend to be appreciated on foreign soils more than here. Wayne Rooney is the best English talent since Paul Gascoigne, and if Gazza was placed in the top 3 at one point, would Rooney not be worth a place in the top 20 players in the world over the last decade?
It’s important to take stock of what he brings to the table, which is probably more than what he gets credit for. His consistency is remarkable for one of the world’s great clubs. We’ve gotten to the point where your performance at the club level – in your domestic league and Champions League – should be more important in judging a player’s career than how you play for your national team.
There’s a bigger sample size, and the quality of play is higher at club level. Good players have their moments over one to three years. But to continue for well over 10 years the way Wayne Rooney has done is not easy.
When he played with Cristiano Ronaldo, I felt that Rooney was largely overshadowed and didn’t get the praise he deserved because Ronaldo was scoring all of the goals. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never seen a season performance like Ronaldo displayed in that infamous season of 42 goals, but Rooney was more than just a bit part player. Maybe only in time, after his retirement, people will fully ascertain the class I’m referring to.
Wayne Rooney recently drew level with Sir Bobby Charlton top the all-time Manchester United goal-scoring charts after netting his 249th for the club. Bar an absolute miracle he will go on to be the sole owner of that accolade. Add to that : England’s highest ever scorer, Manchester United captain, England captain, 5 premier league titles, an FA-cup, League cup, a Champions league and a FIFA club world cup.
Of course, if that’s not enough for the ones who like to slag him off. Just remember….Lionel Messi thinks he’s alright.