Guest Post: In Defence of Wayne Rooney

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It’s been there for so long that it’s impossible to remember exactly why I dislike Wayne Rooney. It always just boils down to the unsophisticated & shallow football fan reasoning, whereby his success at a rivals Club makes him fundamentally unlikeable.

But then, over the last few years I’ve detached myself from being that much of a football fan. That type of a football fan too.

There are constantly questions raised about Rooney; whether he’s in a purple patch or he’s stinking the place out, like now.

“He’s not as good as what he should be/could’ve been”. “He’s paid too much money”. “He’s not good enough at International level”.

Every point arguable.

So, let’s look at each one, separately.

Rooney is the same age as me (this has always added to my dislike of him; jealousy) so, when he burst on the scene scoring belters in Youth Cup games and then curling one past David Seaman, he (like me) was 16 years old! SIX. TEEN.

I was still watching WWE at 16!

Touted, within minutes of the final whistle, as the next big thing. “No pressure, kid”.

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Rooney signing for United in 2004

Signed up at 18 by THE big team in England (at the time) a year after United had signed another 18 year old kid from Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo. This too was a year BEFORE Messi had made his Barcelona debut.

Now, Ronaldo & Messi’s rise was/is unprecedented, but is it possible that being away from their homeland and home media they were able to become “as good as the should’ve been”? Surely, Ronaldo & Messi aren’t players that others should be measured against?

Rooney is England’s top scorer in history. He needs to score 11 more United goals (at time of writing) to be the top scorer at England’s most successful Club (domestically); he was won the League 5 times, League Cup twice, European Cup once, World Club Cup once & 3 Charity Shields, plus numerous individual awards.

He’s 30. How f**king good was he meant to be!

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Rooney – Record Breaker for his Country

I’m not keen on berating it, because it’s a consequence of the product & its market, but footballers wages & the money in football is ludicrous.

Wayne reportedly pockets £1m gross per month. Fair play. People make jokes about him being thick, but f**k me, I’d trade my “brains” for £600k per month after tax, and that’s without his sponsorship deals!

Granted, those figures are weird to think about someone earning, but if it was offered to you, you’d take it.

In any case, for what he’s achieved, is the outlay not justified? I mean that in a purely footballing sense. Football isn’t real life, it’s not like Rooney, Ronaldo, Messi or Joey Barton have performed life saving surgery, or rescued people from a burning building for that money, but the salary inflation is a result of the product. A product made so lucrative and profitable by you; the football fan, by the way.

But that’s another debate.

Only in England could Rooney hold the highest scoring record for his country and it be questioned if he’s actually good enough to be worthy of that achievement.

“He’s not done it at a World Cup”. So, f**king what! Neither had Messi or Ronaldo until 2014. Wayne was being managed by f**king Roy Hodgson in 2014!

In my opinion, Wayne Rooney, the footballer, has become exactly what he should’ve been. A highly successful, high profile footballer that’s played 500+ first class, top level games for two of the country’s biggest football Clubs (yes, even Everton).

Jamie Carragher’s point about his fitness age being older than is actual age is the best I’ve heard. He’s played in what football people describe as the fastest paced & physical league in Europe since he was 16. To have done that for so long, how can anyone question is physical and/or mental capacity to do so?

If rumours are true and he does decide to re-sign for Everton to end his career, he’d be an incredible signing for them, even in being a 30+, near retirement player.

Perhaps too, the “step down” is just what he needs to regain some form…

 

By @ueberfussball

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