Sir Bobby Charlton Or Very Plain Wayne Rooney? There Really Is No Contest For Manchester United Or England

Posted: October 6, 2016 in England, European Football, Football, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
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If you were this man,


Would you be happy to see your goalscoring records taken from you by this man?


No? I didn’t think so. There is an injustice about the whole thing which makes it seem so totally surreal.

One of the two is about to celebrate 60 years since making his Manchester United debut, the other one isn’t. One is universally liked and respected, the other one isn’t.

Sir Bobby, of course, was and will be the first to congratulate Rooney both for the England record he has already achieved and the Manchester United one which, if he continues to be as bad as he has been for the last few years, he may not achieve. We live in hope! Privately, I would be very surprised if Charlton is happy with this situation.

To say the achievements are undeserved is probably a little unfair but they could certainly have gone to a more popular player and person than Rooney.

Over the years he has trumpeted on and on about how football is all about the team and how unselfish he is and what a marvellous footballing brain he has and generally telling anybody who will listen just how wonderful he is.

The facts, unfortunately, don’t bear out the majority of what he says. He has proven to be extremely selfish as most fans are aware.

He has threatened to leave Manchester United on two occasions in the fairly recent past. Where United were remiss was in not selling him at the time.

The first opportunity they had was scuppered by the fans who decided, for some reason, that they didn’t want him to go to Manchester City, (he says he would never have gone there anyway!). They amassed outside his house one night and this, apparently, scared him into staying at Old Trafford. So please, United fans, no mass protests outside his house in future!

The second time was when Sir Alex Ferguson decided to tell the world that Rooney had asked for a transfer. This was the more amusing of the two incidents.

Rooney, mindful of the crowd reaction the last time he was rumoured to be leaving, denied ever having said he wanted to go and even begged Fergie to tell the world that he had not asked for a transfer.

There is a possibility that the second time may have been a little bit of mischief on the part of Ferguson who had just announced his retirement at the time and was no longer a big fan of Rooney the person.

Whatever the truth, Rooney was rewarded on both occasions with a massive pay rise and a new contract.

Since then, and to put it bluntly, he has been awful. He was easily the worst player during the short reign of David Moyes and he continued that form into the Louis van Gaal era. Van Gaal, like the club before him, saw fit to reward Rooney, this time by making him captain and giving him special privileges, as though professional footballers are not sufficiently privileged as it is!

Rooney repaid van Gaal’s faith by continuing to be the worst player on the pitch for most of the games in which he played, which was most of the games.

The Dutchman was sacked, Mourinho rode into town and persevered with Rooney as captain. It has not taken him long to see what Ferguson alreday knew three years ago which is that Rooney is a spent force.

José has now dropped him and will be looking for a polite way to offload him, hopefully before he breaks Sir Bobby’s record. He has managed the situation quite cleverly by giving Rooney enough rope with which to hang himself without jeopardising the chances of the team too much.

Wayne Rooney, when he does leave Manchester United, will not be remembered with any particular fondness. A good player who never became the great player he was supposed to become, he will always be a scouser who loves Everton as far as the United fans are concerned.

Sir Bobby Charlton, on the other hand, is probably the most fondly remembered United player ever. Still attending the games, home and away, at the ripe old age of 79 which he reaches on the 11th of October. He loves the club and most things about it and he deserves to be the record goalscorer, so let’s hope he remains in that position for a long time to come or at least until somebody more worthy of his crown comes along.


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