Wayne Rooney has scored four goals in his last four games for Manchester United since moving to his preferred position in the centre of our attack.
Before this season, Rooney was forced out wide to accommodate for Cristiano Ronaldo, which took away from the amount of goals he scored. Whilst other players might voice their displeasure about being shifted out of the limelight, Rooney kept quiet and got on with his job, playing wherever the manager asked him to.
Former Manchester United defender, Gary Pallister, reckons players with Rooney’s attitude are a Godsend to the manager and he expects to see great things from our young forward over the coming years.
“From day one Sir Alex will have known full well that the best way to play Wayne Rooney is up front, just off another striker,” said Gary. “That’s where he is most destructive and dangerous. That’s where defenders don’t want him to be. He can express himself there and cause untold damage. But it is fully understandable when you have a young man with his work ethic and attitude that at times you will use him for the good of the team. A player like Rooney who doesn’t spit his dummy out of the pram when he is asked to play away from his favoured position but will do it superbly is a Godsend to a manager. Wayne won’t bang on the manager’s door complaining about it. But what he can do and he appears to be doing this season is sending a message to the boss that he cannot afford to move him back wide even temporarily. He looks like a player who is saying I am going to do so much goal damage that you can’t put me back out wide.”
Pallister then reflected on his playing days at Manchester United but can’t remember ever coming across a player like Rooney.
“I cannot think of anyone I played against or with who comes close to the player Wayne is,” he added. “It is quite frightening to think of what he can do and he is still only 23. He is about four or five years off his peak and if he keeps progressing the way he is then he can achieve anything. He is the type of player who needs a challenge and Ronaldo going has given him a new one. He’ll have seen Cristiano become World Player of the Year and, though I don’t think he is the type who says `look at me I am a superstar,’ I believe that title might be one he thinks he is capable of achieving. I wouldn’t bet against him doing it one day. He has got the stage, he has got the hunger and desire and he certainly has the ability in his locker to achieve it.”