Wayne Rooney – a face that has adorned a thousand bottles of soft drinks and games of FIFA since his senior debut in 2002. Many see him as a rough street footballer turned into a star striker, powerful and uncompromising. Not to me though. I have never truly liked Wayne Rooney. Something about him rubs me up the wrong way both in his personality and footballing ability.
I honestly think he’s a lazy, stroppy man-child who really only turns up every six or seven games. Sure, he has scored a few ‘thunderbastards’ in his time but other than that I can’t think of a time where he had an outstanding game. Most of all, this is apparent when he plays for England. I’ve never seen a player who is so highly regarded not turn up for so many international main events. He’ll smash seven bells out of an Andorra or a San Marino (it’s pretty much the reason he’s the fourth all-time goalscorer), but put him up against Germany or Argentina and he fades into the background or gets himself sent off.
Another problem old Wazza has is that he is more known for losing his temper playing for England. He’s been sent off twice for the Three Lions, most famously for leaving his stud imprint on Ricardo Carvalho’s knacker. This man is now captain – a man that I remember at one point was subbed off at half time in a game because he got himself too worked up and was stomping around the ground like a petulant child. Not to mention him smacking a corner flag after getting annoyed his team, Manchester United, was losing to my team, Fulham. He’s calmed down a bit since them but I give him ten games as captain before he’s sent off for England again. That’s not a history maker, that’s a liability.
Also, the man is not loyal to anyone he plays for. The move from Everton to Manchester United was understandable; you would not turn them down (at the time), but since that move he’s asked for a transfer away TWICE (one to Manchester City and one to Chelsea) before changing his mind when he was given a massive new contract. Such an upstanding bloke to have lead our country’s national team, don’t you think? Let’s also not forget his charming response to England fans booing a half-arsed performance against minnows Algeria in the World Cup.
Another damning reason for why he just doesn’t matter in internationals is that his time now has been and gone. He had so many tournaments from 2004 onwards to set the world on fire in those final flings of the ‘Golden Generation’. Under Roy Hodgson however, he is a square peg in a round hole. With the dynamism of Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling or Danny Welbeck, Rooney almost seems an anachronism. After all, a power and speed player in a team that has enough speed and power isn’t that important anymore. I’d dare to say that his time with England has been and gone – and at what time has he set the world on fire? None at all.
Michael Owen, Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker – a few of the modern greats of English football. Wayne Rooney is not one of them. He will inevitable climb up that all-time England goalscoring chart – but with what to show for it? A brace against Slovenia? Getting sent off in the World Cup? Awesome. He has no outstanding English football moments and the time has gone where it can happen. He is not world-class, and I’d even argue that he’s not in the upper echelon of European strikers – Rooney is a forward that England overhyped because they were in desperate need of a marquee attacker and bestowed him this honour because of his sparkling early career form and he’s ‘gritty’. So when those history books are written I expect to see chapters on Hurst, Greaves, Lineker and Owen – but Wayne Rooney’s contribution will be a small paragraph next to Peter Beardsley.