We asked a Manchester United fan if Wayne Rooney was really world class. He spat out his tea and recovered sufficiently to tell us exactly why he is...
I started writing this before Christmas when Wayne Rooney was seemingly setting-off on one of his goal gluts following double strikes against Wolves and Fulham. I didn’t write much as I was busy over Christmas and it seems so was Wayne. ‘Going-out-for-a-meal-gate’ as no-one but me is calling it has seen Wayne dropped from the squad and fined, leading to a ‘rift’ (c. The Media) between him and Ferguson. Modern football and it’s media being what it is, this ‘news’ will be forgotten or Wazza will have slapped in a transfer request and be dreaming of oil-fields by the time you read this but it was Rooney the player I was writing about anyway.
“Is Wayne Rooney world class?” The associate editor of Sabotage Times asked me. “Yes he is”, I replied . It’s an obvious answer to a no-brainer of a question isn’t it? Is there a better English player than Rooney right now? Of course not. There’s not even a candidate. Granted his Englishness is no barometer of class given the Three Lions dismal record of dismal dismalness, but it’s a measure of just how far ahead of his national contemporaries he is.
He’s the only English player who would get a game for the current world champions Spain or European champions Barcelona, jointly recognised as true barometers of world class and who everyone has decided are the bestest ever teams ever in the history of the game ever (To be fair Ashley Cole would probably get in their teams as well but it’s against the rules to say anything positive about Ashley Cole). He’s also, horribly, probably one of only two United players who would walk into Man City’s team these days (Vidic being the other). Terrifying.
What’s the other competition? Gascoigne, Platt, Shearer, Ferdinand, Owen, Beckham, Gerrard? No competition. Rooney’s clearly better than all of them
So what makes Rooney world class? Everything. He’s a footballer, not just a football player and England produces far too many football players. He combines his own natural ability with a work-rate not always seen in a player of such natural gifts. In a nation that celebrates John Terry but failed to see the beauty of Juan Sebastian Veron because he ‘wouldn’t put his foot in’, Rooney is a shining beacon of hope for what English footballers can and could be. He might look like he should be burnin-an-lootin in Croxteth but he plays like he’s on the Copacabana (Although he’s not averse to ‘putting his foot in’ either to be fair).
His movement and positioning are perfect. When he drops deep, he manoeuvres the entire opposition defence without them even being aware of it and he creates and works space like an architect, his futile, yet beautiful goal against Barcelona last May giving a perfect example. His body-shape and technique are always spot-on, a sign of a true natural. He is always positioned perfectly to receive a ball, already opening-up to make the pass or run before he’s even received it. His shooting ability is unquestionable, ditto his heading and whilst he’s no speed-merchant, he’s never been let-down by a lack of pace.
He can often be an over-aggressive, short-tempered, bad-taste bellend at times but then what does anyone expect? He’s a not-very-bright Scouse lad who’s been earning fortunes and having everyone tell him he’s the bees-knee’s since he was 16 years old. Anyone believing he could be any different probably believes Joey Barton writes his own tweets.
He’s got a face like a clenched –fist. A wasp-chewing bulldog would be offended by any comparison to Wayne’s kite but true beauty lies within him. He’s got it all. He’s like a combination of Glenn (one ‘n’s’ not good enough) Hoddle, Bryan Robson and Ronaldo (the proper/fat one). He lacks Ronaldo’s searing pace but so do most and as he’s a fat lad from Liverpool that’s always asking too much (The fact that he’ll clearly be 18 stone within a year of retirement only emphasises the work he puts into the pace he shows now).
His goal in the Manchester derby last season is what he and indeed football are all about. Drama, Technique, beauty and ultimately, glory. Nobody who loves football could fail to be thrilled by that goal. You’ve seen it, there’s nothing not to admire. A lot of what we love about football was in that goal and Wayne Rooney scored it. Others could have, but they didn’t. Anyone could paint like Jackson Pollock but they didn’t.
With the exception of Paul Scholes, Rooney’s clearly the best English player of at least the past 20 years. What’s the other competition? Gascoigne, Platt, Shearer, Ferdinand, Owen, Beckham, Gerrard? No competition. Rooney’s clearly better than all of them, has achieved at least as much and he’s only halfway through his career.
Messi and Ronaldo are ahead of everybody else in terms of the world’s best, with the Argentine Peter Beardsley some way ahead of the Portuguese prima-donna. Xavi and Iniesta are great players but I want goals, fantasy and genius from the best footballers, not efficient ball-retention and Wayne Rooney provides just that (As long as he keeps his cock in his trousers except when Colleens-a-calling and does exactly what Sir Alex says, because he dosn’t half play rubbish when he’s in a bad mood).
Follow Michael on Twitter here @realsuedeshoes
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