Wayne Rooney has been struggling in front of goal over the past few weeks, despite having several very good chances in each game he plays. Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo has been stealing the show, scoring goals in every game he plays, and is rapidly approaching the goalscoring record set by George Best.
I suggested that possibly the pressure being put on Rooney by Ronaldo’s form, and the ever watching Fabio Capello, is detrimental to Rooney’s game at the moment. Too often he has been guilty of attempting to do the beautiful thing, the more impressive thing, than actually just putting his foot through the ball and getting the job done.
Sir Alex Ferguson has today said that it is probably Rooney’s work rate which is costing him the goals. “We told him after the game he doesn’t need to expend so much energy in midfield,” Ferguson said of Rooney’s performance against Portsmouth. “Wayne worked too hard and that maybe cost him the opportunity to get goals. He is doing fine. You wish every player you had showed that desire and appetite to play. It is a joy to see someone of his age play with so much enthusiasm. He just needs to control his energy – he will soon be banging in the goals again. Wayne worked too hard and that maybe cost him the opportunity to get goals.”
So Rooney’s problem is not Ronaldo or Capello, rather his desire to be too involved in places he shouldn’t be?