The Wayne Rooney Debate Refuses To Go Away

Posted: January 3, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur, Wayne Rooney
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Having entered into yet another online debate about Wayne Rooney we are forced, yet again, to abandon our retirement of the subject, temporarily at least.

Once more, tunnel-visioned United “fans” who are probably too young to know any better, are busy telling anyone who will listen what a “legend” he was, or what a marvellous player he was.

To back up this argument they cite his achievements in the game while at United because, let’s be fair, he only won anything because he was with a good team. What has he won with England, for example? Exactly!

So let’s put this one to bed so we can move on to more important things.

Ignoring the fact that Rooney twice treacherously held United to ransom when his greed determined that he should be paid more money, and also ignoring that his best years came at a time when there weren’t THAT many good English players around, what has he actually won?

We are talking now about the individual, not the team. Manchester United would have won everything they did whether Rooney was there or not. So here’s his personal achievements over THIRTEEN YEARS at Old Trafford.

1. In 559 games he scored 253 goals, his longevity taking him past Sir Bobby Charlton who, as a midfielder, should have been passed long ago by somebody playing as a striker for many of those years. Rooney averaged less than twenty goals per season and less than one goal every two games!

2. He was only selected as the Manchester United player of the year on TWO occasions, 2005/06 and 2009/10, so he wasn’t THAT consistent and more poignantly, in all the other years there were players who were better than him.

3. He was voted as the Premier League Player of the Month on only FIVE occasions. Thirteen years minus the close seasons is around 130 months, so he was the Premier League’s best player for less than 4% of his time at United. Hardly the stuff of legends!

4. His goal against Manchester City was voted Best Premier League Goal that season but, as every true United fan above a certain age will tell you, Denis Law used to score with at least one overhead kick EVERY season.

5. The United fans only voted him their player of the year TWICE, coincidentally the same two years he was voted as United’s player of the year.

6. He was voted the Football Writers Player of the Year ONCE, in 2009/10 and the Premier League Player of the Year ONCE.

7. He was PFA Player of the Year ONCE, in 2009/10

8. He made it into the PFA Team of the Year on only THREE occasions and the FIFPRO World 11 ONCE, in 2011.

The only conclusion we can reach after processing this information is that Rooney had ONE very good season, during which he scooped most of his personal awards and that was 2009/10.

He had a decent season in 2005/06 but it was no more than should have been expected from a so-called “star player”.

The rest of his time at United was decidedly average and, as many people will agree, after showing some early promise as a teenager at Everton, he massively under-performed.

He never won the European Player of the Year, a feat achieved by all three of Law, Best and Charlton.

He didn’t even win all of the fans over. This was for two reasons. The first was the obvious one which was that he is a scouser, never really welcomed into Manchester, never mind Old Trafford. The second was his mercenary attitude to the club which, in truth, was not entirely his fault.

He was born and bred an Everton fan and went to United for fame and fortune, both of which were handed to him on a plate. So it is wrong to expect him to switch allegiance just because he played for a club other than Everton.

George Best, who transgressed more than Rooney was perpetually forgiven by the United fans for one reason and one reason only, he was a GREAT player and, in his few years at Old Trafford, he deservedly achieved legendary status.

The United supporters of today would do well to remember that it takes more than just being at one club for a few years to be looked upon as a legend. Otherwise there would be many legendary kit-men, tea-ladies and programme-sellers around the clubs! (Come to think of it, there probably are).

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