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Drop Wayne Rooney, Now There’s A Good Idea

Manchester United lost five games last season. Wayne Rooney was absent for four of them. In the fifth, he scored the equalising goal, making it 1-1, before he was subbed off through injury, after which United conceded and lost.

Is this a man you’d want to leave out of your side? If you’re an England fan, apparently the answer is yes!

I happened to come across this article from The Mirror, where the answers to all England’s problems are revealed. The fact that every player wearing an England shirt looks like the shadow of the player representing their club in the Premiership is forgotten. It’s not all their fault, it’s Wayne Rooney’s! Of course.

Wayne Rooney is arguably England’s greatest asset, but I believe Fabio Capello must drop the Manchester United striker if we are to reach the 2010 World Cup. Rooney, 22, hasn’t scored for England for almost a year.

Rooney’s last goal for England was October 2007, the blinding shot in England’s 2-1 defeat to Russia, and had scored for his country just 4 days prior to that game too. He has since played in 5 matches for England. Friendlies against Switzerland, France, USA and Czech Republic in which he never played 90 minutes, as well as the weekend’s victory over Andorra. To say he hasn’t scored in almost a year puts a cruel slant on his recent efforts.

In 07/08, Michael Owen was the only player to score more goals for England than Rooney, scoring once against Israel and twice against Russia. Shaun Wright-Phillips, Peter Crouch and Frank Lampard (penalty) were all the 2nd highest scorers, alongside Wayne, with two goals. The fact that only one player scored more than Rooney last year for England suggests that maybe their problems aren’t down to him. Whilst playing nowhere near as well for England as he does for United, it is hard to ignore that his country plays nowhere near as well as his club either.

Cole’s impact coming off the bench against Andorra has taken his goal tally for England into double figures. But Rooney is suffering from a lack of confidence in front of goal and needs to decide whether he wants to play as an out and out striker or as a withdrawn No.10.

It would have been one goal for Cole if not for Rooney’s marvellous vision, which saw him play through a beautiful ball, nutmegging the defender, and leaving Cole with the simplest of toe pokes.

I imagine Capello doesn’t think Rooney ‘needs to decide’ anything, as where Rooney plays is down to the manager.

I think Collymore is trying to get his point across. “His last goal for England was in Russia 11 months ago,” he repeats. How does he end the article? “Rooney hasn’t scored for England for almost a year and I’d play Heskey up front on Wednesday.”

I know it’s only Stan Collymore, so why do I give a fuck what that wife-beater thinks? I’m just fed up with England’s problems always ending up on our players’ doorsteps.

Rooney can accept that he needs to do better for England, but which of those players doesn’t? Rooney would be my first pick of any team and England would be mugs to drop him. Whilst Collymore asks for Capello to be brave, what he really is looking for is the manager to be stupid, because you really would have to be to consider leaving Rooney out.

However, if him and Rio get to rest up this week in preparation of the dipper game, I’ll hardly be complaining!

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Mic says:

    So, some dipper thinks Rooney should be dropped? NEVER! The media love to see the mighty fall and well, Rooney is the best player England have IMO and that’s why he’ll get all the stick.

  2. Tom F says:

    Yes, it’s all Wazza’s fault!

    It’s all his fault that a team like Andorra can put up a stern test for the England national team. It’s Roo’s fault that there is no continuity in the upper ranks and also he should be blamed for the uninspired, robot like performances England have churned out for years. There is never anything refreshing happening in the England side and there always has to be a scapegoat. I say leave Rooney out and see the team play just as badly, as well as the luxury of our hero not being injured while playing for a country which doesn’t appreciate him. Frank Lampard and Gerrard never get any stick. When some players play badly, it’s the managers fault. When Rooney doesn’t score, it’s Wayne Rooney’s fault!

    When was the last time England were any good?

  3. yip says:

    extreme foolish and extreme ridiculous article ever seen in my 36years ,i think that foolish guy who wrote this fxxking comment must been punish not to watch and talk about football for whole life and force lock in a mental hospital for whole life, rooney must the 1st pick in england team even he hasnt score goal .everyone know even you are not manu fans.

  4. A MAN UNITED FAN says:

    drop him

    dont ever pick him again

    he should just quit the english team like scholes did


  5. denton davey says:

    What did Roy Keane say about Paul Scholes’ “failure” with Ingerland : “at UTD he is surrounded by better players.” Point taken.

  6. denton davey says:

    Also, at UTD Rooney is guided by a better manager.

    Capello has seemed pretty clueless in his attempts to find the right balance – and this is a manager who is considered the equal of SAF ? Bollocks !

  7. Primachenko says:

    rooney boy. do the only sensible thing – give a giant middle finger to the english national team and the media, pull a scholesy, and come home to the team that appreciates you.

  8. wiuru says:

    Let them drop him , there loss our gain . Give SAF something to smile about .

  9. suhayl says:

    here here primachencko

  10. Gazzaro says:

    For England, with his current form, it may be the right idea to leave Rooney out….

    Rooney is a great fighter. His working rate is high. Of course, his presence will make the other fight more, and chase more for the ball. However, in order to win a game, especially for a crucial game in modern football, the most important thing for any striker to do on the field is to score goal, which Rooney rarely did for England. Therefore, I think it’s may be a good idea, for England, to leave Rooney out.

    Of course, last season we’ve losted many matches when Rooney didn’t play. However, this season, in the European Super Cup, which we’ve losted 1-2 in the Final, did Rooney play??? Actually, Rooney is one of the worst, if not the worst, player in the field for United that night. He has no confidence, has no sharpness, seems doesn’t know how to score goals, and more importantly, he fears to take a shot when he realized that his form has gone.

    In modern football, you may have only one chance in a game, but if you are a top class striker, it’s must be a goal. Rooney for me is very much over-estimated by many English fans. He’s not a world-class striker.

    At 23, Rooney is still young to recover his best form. However, at the moment, it’s may be a good idea to leave him on the bench. For United, it would be better to play Berbatov with Tevez up-front.

  11. Patrik says:

    And who is supposed to replace him? Heskey? Defoe? Crouch? Owen? Croatia must be shaking

  12. Tevratov (get it?) says:

    Whats wife beater ever done? Nout but beat wives. Which fleet street cock decided to let probably the thickest ex-twat to write an ‘insightful’ newspaper article. Fool; the mirror for printing this shit, fool; collymore who wrote it, but more fool me for reading it.

  13. Mr Blackett says:

    Why is it that the failures at management get their opinions listened to? Ian Wright recently had one of his Sun articles torn apart by The Spoiler.

    Collymore is not a manager. Ian Wright is barely good enough to present Gladiators. They’re not managers because, while they may have been good footballers, they’re not smart enough to manage in the game. Who cares what they think about anything? I wouldn’t trust either of them to look after a cactus plant, never mind our national team.

  14. Kings says:

    Collymore is a wife-beating scouse bastard prick. This is why I hate England, cos when all goes tits, it’s always the United players fault. These cunts seem to overlook the fact that Lampard’s a useless fat waste of space, Downing’s toilet, Terry is a mediocre wanker of a player, Crouch is a lanky fucking cunt and Defoe is an overrated little shit – isn’t it also down to him to put the ball in the back of the net – the latter two are supposed to be the deadly duo that will take England to the next level according to Harry ‘where’s my commission?’ Redknapp. I don’t give a fuck if Rooney’s not at his best for England, as long as he delivers for United, and that goes for any player.

  15. Orez says:

    Gazzaro great post. In Englands case is just plain stupid, just becasue they don’t have a better replacement. The alternatives are much worse. Rooney is best Englans striker and with all due respect it doesn’t say much. For Man Utd if there are 2 stikers on the field it should be Tevez and Berba. Even though Tevez hasn’t scored much or not at all either, most of us agree that he was our best player so far this season. I still can’t forget the chnace that he created in Zenit game and Rooney had his leg stuck. WTF? We had one chance and he had his leg stuck in the mud? Why would he try to make crazy passes to Park that are impposible to reach, from positions that he can shoot? As someone already said, in current football, you might get only one chance and you should take it and we don’t need a striker who is afraid to shoot.

  16. FailsworthDevil says:

    Collymore?? What the hell does that muppet know i ask !!

    He has been spending more time round car parks than football grounds the pervy wife beating twat……..i couldnt be arsed reading the article once i got about 3 sentences down… coz he never won fuck all as a footballer…and he cant even keep hold of that slapper Ulrika… so what hope has the knobhead got of writing a decent article…

    Collymore.. “You aint fit to watch Wazza n Colleen shag mate, never mind write an article about him, you lob on !!

  17. Bob Koh says:

    I think sometimes we have to be ruthless to be effective. Putting Rooney on the bench will mean if England loses to Croatia, Capello will face the wrath of the English media alone. But he is the coach and the performance & results of past matches are there for all to see. Leave him out for this one, I say.

  18. Kevin says:

    Gazzaro – I gotta full heartedly disagree with your comment. While I agree Rooney hasn’t been at his best, he did play a sublime ball to Joe Cole for his second goal against Andorra. His confidence has been growing and it showed against Portsmouth and while he may have not played well in the Super Cup the entire team was below par. He doesn’t have to be the finisher at United anymore and can become a more creative player which he seems capable of being. He is one of the most creative English players and taking him out of the starting 11 leaves very little creativity on the field. Rooney is taking some unfair heat but that will go away when he starts playing better, which I have every confidence he will. Don’t forget his past achievements, the quality he has shown over a long period of time, and some of the fantastic goals he has scored. Remember Rooney has quality by the buckets, he just needs to settle in a position and he now has that chance at United.

  19. Drew Vader says:

    While I have to admit I agree with your eventual conclusion, that in a 4-4-2 it should be Tevez and Berba up front, I have to disagree with everything else Gazzaro said.

  20. Tom F says:

    Anyone want to play a game?

    Imagine England are playing Croatia tomorrow night? Easy right?

    Now, imagine if the starting XI to face them consisted of Wayne Rooney playing in every position. That’s right, 11 Wazza’s against any country in the world even.

    Now, imagine the exact same thing but with any other England player you like. Is that player going to do better than Wayne?

    The answer is: NO!

    Do you see?

  21. Marvsharpe says:

    I’ve been watching Wayne Rooney ever since he came on as sub against United all those years ago, before that goal against Arsenal. You could see he was special then and he’s developed just way i’d have hoped.

    In my opinion, his form is a bit wayward at the moment, but dropping him is a ridiculous notion, especially when you consider the alternatives.

    I very much doubt that any of these “experts” or “critics” actually watch Rooney play week in, week out because if they did, they’d see he does a whole lot more than score the occasional goal.

    I don’t care what anyone says. In my eyes, he’s United most important player.

  22. DarkDevil says:

    The unfortunate thing about Rooney last season and even the season before was that just as he was hitting top form for United, something would get in the way. Something like an injury or a 2-week International break. It always seems to come around at the wrong time. Luckily he’s still very young and has time on his side.

    The problem with the English press is that when England stop performing, they look for a scapegoat and 99.9% of the time that scapegoat is in the form of a United player eg. Beckham after 1998 World Cup, Scholes for retiring, Ronaldo for 2006 World Cup, Mclaren (ex United) for Euro08 Qualifiers (though it may have been justified) and now Rooney for England’s current form.

    It really rattles my cage when people blame the performance of 11 men on 1 man. Englands lacklustre performance is down to Leadership and a lack in depth. Rooney, Gerrard, Terry, Ferdinand and the like, know that they are the current best English players at their respective positions which guarantee’s a place in the starting lineup. Capello should be brave enough to drop those players and replace them with fringe or young players just to prove that no player’s position in the team is guaranteed.

  23. Liam says:

    DarkDevil; you can’t say anything bad about Gerrard in the media or you would probably be deported. You can expect a man in a white suit to call to your door to do an insanity test now. Clearly Ronney is the worst player England have. Btw he is also better player than both Tevez and Berbatov

  24. dodgee says:

    “Wayne Rooney is arguably England’s greatest asset, but I believe Fabio Capello must drop the Manchester United striker if we are to reach the 2010 World Cup. Rooney, 22, hasn’t scored for England for almost a year.”

    LOL! he scored against Russia in Feb i think it was and if anyone needs to be dropped it is Lampard! everytime without fail we see him in the starting XI why!?! he doesnt do anything…. he can’t play with gerard possibly englands best midfielder…. you never see him attack all he does all game is lick his top lip :S and plus England qill be lucky to get to the world cup in my opion if we do great im behind them but 2-0 against andorra and we had to wait for joe cole to come on isnt good… so saying it rooney fault is just wrong he works just as hard maybe harder who ever he is playing for club or country. im not saying this because im a united fan, im saying it because its true drop Fat Lumpard and get Barry back in!

  25. DarkDevil says:

    Liam, I disagree strongly that Rooney is the worst player England have at the moment. At the risk of sounding cliche, Rooney is in no way an out and out striker which is where he is played most of the time. He’ll usually start the game as a lone striker and he’ll be virtually inactive. Then a sub will be made half way through the 2nd half and a second striker will come on moving Rooney into a link-up role which is when he will spend 15 minutes constantly on the run, constantly battling, constantly creating opportunities before he’s subbed off. If that’s what makes Rooney the worst player in the England squad then he should stick 2 fingers into the air and proudly say “fuck all of you and go to hell”.

    What I was trying to say earlier was that Gerrard and the like know that they have virtually no serious competition for a place in the England squad mainly because there are no other players in the same mould as Gerrard and Co. Who’s going to seriously threaten John Terry’s or Rio Ferdinand’s place in the England squad? What’s happened is that Gerrard and Co have this thought running around that should they have a bad game, they’ll always have the next game to make it right. That’s the problem.

    If there’s a system whereby Capello had to say, “okay, Gerrard and Rooney, you didn’t perform in the last game, so I’m replacing you with Carrick and Defoe”, then the likes of Gerrard and Rooney and the rest of England starting lineup would realise that if they don’t perform, they will be replaced. And they’re not being replaced with just any players. They’re being replaced by players who spend most their International career warming the England bench so when they get a chance to impress and they know that if they impress, Capello will seriously consider them, they’ll perform well which in-turn will force Gerrard and Co to up they’re game.

  26. Liam says:

    DarkDevil; I was trying to be sarcastic about calling Rooney their worst player but I stupidly ommitted any indication :oops: Not that I care about England anyway

  27. paddy says:

    collymore has just said that barry and lampard were the best on the park!!!!!!!

    thick doggin twat.

  28. malino says:

    may God punish all the people that said wazza is the worst player.what he needs is paul scholes to give him pass.lampard is only selfish.rooney,if they dont want you,we need you badly


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