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Time To Demand Wayne Rooney Finally Delivers At An International Tournament?
Footytubeblog (Blog) 2 years ago
It’s a difficult task trying to negotiate Wayne Rooney’s name into a conversation about football’s modern greats.
Importance and greatness can differ significantly. How many seasons has Rooney been the go-to player for Manchester United, their undisputed top dog? If memory serves, just two, just the two seasons in which he’s been the best player at the club and the easily-identifiable number one star.

For much of Rooney’s time at Old Trafford there have been others: Robin van Persie recently; United won the title in 2011 largely due to Dimitar Berbatov’s goals; Cristiano Ronaldo for all of the period leading up to his sale to Real Madrid in 2009; Ruud van Nistelrooy in the early days.

The England national team has been a different story. The lack of obvious quality available to England coaches since Rooney’s arrival onto the international scene at Euro 2004 has made him the natural leader, the figure required to inspire others and deliver on so much promise shown early on.

Rooney has his accolades for United, but for England there are none. Rooney will take part in his third World Cup this summer at the age of 28, and yet under the supposed leadership of the forward, England have been nowhere near to delivering when it mattered.

Euro 2004 was an exhibition for Rooney, his performances visceral, a tamed wildness of youth which were hugely encouraging for the future. But this is a player whose career has been complicated by various factors. Injury, fitness issues, inconsistency. His hunger to play can’t be questioned. But is this a player in total control?

It’s telling of Rooney’s status outside of England that he’s generally absent from the discussion of tournament top scorers. Rooney had a good season under David Moyes at United, far better than anyone would have expected. But we’re not really thinking about him going into this World Cup in the same way that we’re thinking of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, and the various other top forwards set to be part of the showcase.

Instead, we’re wondering if it’ll be more of the same from the United forward. To date, it’s zero goals from two World Cup finals. It’s hard to identify which is more worrying: the lack of goals or the overall poor performances, even against teams who, on paper, are well below England’s standards.

Lionel Messi may never be the greatest player ever to play the game until he wins the World Cup with Argentina – an idea I don’t subscribe to. The Barcelona forward went into the tournament in South Africa as a Spanish champion and World Player of the Year, but he was well short of lighting up that particular finals, something which spoke more of Argentina’s problems on the whole than Messi’s.

But he doesn’t need to win it. His accomplishments at club level have been colossal. He had a poor season by his standards this past year. He scored 41 goals in all competitions. Imagine the reaction if Rooney hit those numbers in a good season.

We’re still waiting on something that big from the England international. For much of his time at United, he’s had a couple of world-class players around him; the team were led to title success by a small band featuring Rooney. England haven’t had that luxury, Roy Hodgson doesn’t have those options this summer.

Daniel Sturridge’s goals over the past season placed him as the highest scoring Englishman in the Premier League, yet the doubts, even on the eve of the tournament, remain. We don’t know if he’ll permanently displace Rooney as the first-choice centre-forward, or even if Rooney will be dropped from the team altogether. It’s something that speaks of Rooney’s continued reputation in the England camp. For all the form others are bringing with them – the newcomers from Liverpool and Southampton in particular – Rooney is still seen as the top dog.
It shouldn’t be too much to ask that he finally delivers. Speaking to Daniel Taylor of the Guardian, Rooney isn’t oblivious to his struggles on the international stage. Rooney has a level of responsibility he has to accept, not reluctantly but with open arms. There is a lot of sense in Paul Scholes’ thinking that Rooney has already peaked and may have to retire in his early thirties, so this would be his last chance to have a big say on football’s biggest stage.

The expectation, even if it has quietened this time around, is still there because the talent remains. It’s finally time Rooney delivers on the promise of Euro 2004 and offers up performances of greatness. He needs them if he’s ever to confidently cross the boundary separating the good – albeit very good – with the great.

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Chongbenglim (Manchester United) 2 years ago
10 reasons why England can't win the World Cup!Link:

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