In recent weeks Wayne Rooney has been greatly criticised for his current football form from fans, the media and pundits. I would be the first to say, and I am sure Wayne would agree, that at present he is not ‘firing on all cylinders’ and he has struggled to make an impact on the pitch recently. However, to write him off as a player when he hasn’t even turned thirty-one seems ludicrous. Every player has dips in form and when you study Rooney’s achievements in the game, there is every reason to think he will rise again. Also, when his triumphs are studied, I am sure you would agree that the England and Manchester United captain deserves a little more respect than he is currently receiving…
Some people will argue Rooney lost some of the support from fans when he asked to leave the club in 2010, only to make a U-turn over the decision and sign a new contract. He is not however the first United star to make such a big error of judgement. Eric Cantona was forgiven by the Old Trafford faithful for his famous kung-fu kick in 1995. For that mistake he left the club without their star striker for nine months whilst he served his ban, then he threatened to leave Manchester United only for Sir Alex Ferguson to talk him out of the decision. Despite this, and rightly so, this man is hailed by adoring fans as a club legend and a bad word is rarely said against him. The same can be said for George Best. He frequently absconded from training and matches sending Sir Matt Busby in search of this genius player on many occasions. Both of these illustrious footballers have had their faults, but looking at their records and play, they have more than made up for their mistakes and fittingly deserve their plaudits and legendary status at the club.
So where does this leave Rooney? Surely he deserves the same treatment as he has also more than justified himself as an Old Trafford hero and has made up for any errors with his work rate for the club alone. Watch any United match and you will see Rooney winning the ball back on numerous occasions, he’ll be on the goal line making a last ditch clearance then running the length of the pitch to win a fifty-fifty ball. He never gives up and always gives one hundred percent for club and country. As well as his commitment on the pitch, his records are more than outstanding and merit respect. He is England’s all-time record goal scorer with 53 goals – I am certain in any other country a player with this record to his name would be held in high regard and treated with admiration. Surely not only is this the correct way to treat such a player but also it would give them encouragement and confidence to take forward into future matches and tournaments.
Rooney also holds the record for the most goals scored for one club in the Premier League. Four more goals and he will become Manchester United’s all-time leading goal scorer, taking him past another legend of the game Sir Bobby Charlton who has 249. As well as being named England’s player of the year four times and PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2010, Rooney has assisted countless goals and scored many spectacular strikes himself – who could forget his bicycle kick goal against Man City? That breath-taking goal, the occasion, and the shear audacity to even attempt such a strike, should propel Wayne Rooney into football’s hall of fame alone.
Taking all the records, goals and all round play into consideration, surely this talented and outstanding footballer should be celebrated and not mocked or demeaned for a temporary loss of form. If you have followed and supported Wayne Rooney through his career you would know he will work as hard as anyone to regain his form and he will rise again. After all, great players do not become bad players overnight. Great players like Wayne Rooney should never be written off and he should be given the respect he rightly deserves.