Monday, November 16, 2009

Same old Rooney?

Wayne Rooney
Picture courtesy of dullhunk.

I read an article in the Times today about Wayne Rooney by their Chief Sports Writer Simon Barnes. He starts by describing how Rooney used to be; "an unstoppable teenager who tore football matches in half just for the hell of it, the player who made the world afraid", but goes onto suggest that Rooney isn't that player anymore. We must be watching a different Rooney.

Rooney has been in superb form these last two seasons and I'm sure his current form especially will strike fear into many defences when the World Cup kicks off next year. Having captained England for the first time on Saturday in the 1-0 friendly loss to Brazil, Barnes suggests "nobody was really sure if he was playing," well I was. Rooney was one of the few players to come out of the match with any credit in my opinion. And before we start to slate the England performance, lets not forget that it was our second string against Brazil's first string. A first string that has the capabilities to lift the trophy in South Africa next year!

He suggests that Rooney has changed over the last five years. Let's have a look at his goalscoring record over the last five years...

2004/05 = 24 (5) Premier League appearances - 11 goals
2005/06 = 34 (2) Premier League appearances - 16 goals
2006/07 = 33 (2) Premier League appearances - 14 goals
2007/08 = 25 (2) Premier League appearances - 12 goals
2008/09 = 25 (5) Premier League appearances - 12 goals
2009/10  = 11 Premier League appearances - 7 goals so far. 
So this season Rooney score the most Premier League goals for Manchester United ever. Seems like if anything he's improved? I got my stats from the Manchester United website.

Then there's his England goal scoring record; 25 goals in 57 appearances, a very impressive record. The same guy who goes "missing" for England was also voted England player of the year by fans for 2008 after scoring 5 goals in his 8 competitive appearances. 

To suggest Rooney is a different player is fine, of course he will have changed from the 16 year old that was thrust into the limelight. He's matured, he's grown, but to suggest that has made him a worse player for England is a joke. Let's wait until the World Cup before we slate the team and one of our best players!

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