Rooney Was Fantastic But We Can't Forget His Awful Behaviour This Year
Wayne Rooney last night put his turbulent summer behind him with a performance of the highest quality on the world’s biggest stage. His demolition of a Bayer Leverkusen defence was a timely reminder to those who were starting to question his commitment, talent, and fitness.
The Evertonian will have woken up this morning to a sea of newspapers all singing his praises, and rightly so. Rooney scored his two-hundredth goal in a United shirt with a brace against Bayer, elevating him to an elite club of four including club legends such as Dennis Law and Bobby Charlton.
But it was the manner of his performance that will be the most satisfying for United fans reflecting on the game. As is usually the case, the striker never stopped running, but this time it was with more pace, more intent, and mostly in the attacking half. Bar one unfortunate mix up in front of an open goal, Rooney and Robin Van Persie also seem to be crafting a partnership that will no doubt prove to be one of the most intimidating strike-forces in world football.
Rooney’s performance left many a journalist fawning over their beloved English rose, their game changer, their potential world cup winner, (their headline maker). But this onlooker will be keeping his excitement in check for the immediate future.
Yes, Rooney was fantastic last night, almost unplayable, but the problem with football is that the ‘now’ makes you very quickly forget about what has gone before.
It was evident from his post-match interview that he still had no desire to commit himself to the club, insisting that he was just ‘concentrating on playing’ football without managing to muster the words ‘I’m’, ‘happy’, and ‘here’, and while you are working for management you don’t want to work for, can you really give it everything you’ve got?
Last season was an entirely different story to the way this one has started. The man who looked so fit and hungry against Leverkusen last night was overweight, unfit, lazy, and at times disinterested in fighting for the cause.
His somewhat average performances and the questions over his fitness led to him being awarded a place on the bench for United’s crucial Champions League knockout tie against Real Madrid, yet instead of vowing to up his game and not letting it happen again, the striker sulked and demanded to be guided out of the exit door.
Wayne has already proven that he is a shadow of the player he can be when things aren’t quite going the way he wants, and what if the same happens again this season? What is going to happen when David Moyes decides that perhaps Javier Hernandez would do a better job against Chelsea for example? Will he sulk? Walk away from the club?
Despite his attitude Rooney’s class and talent have never come into question, 200 club goals speak for themselves and with perhaps four or five years still to add to that, there’s no reason why he can’t go on and become the most successful player the club has ever seen.
He has either made an assist or scored 43 times in his last 45 games, but at times his consistency over the past few years has been sketchy to say the least. His goals usually come in the form of hot-streaks, where for ten games or so in a row you could put your house on the man to find the net, but more often than not, his form tails off dramatically, becoming a totally different player from game to game.
His attitude when things aren’t going as planned is questionable, and his desire to throw a strop rather than work hard to correct a problem has been painfully obvious in recent seasons.
It’s a problem that can rear its ugly head at any given moment, and it might just be worth waiting a few games to see if the man who stole the show last night is a truly reformed character ready t once again set the world alight.
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