rss twitter facebook mobile

The Tide Turns… Time To Praise Rooney Following Fergie’s Sacrificing

Wayne Rooney made a positive impact in United’s dull 1-0 victory over Orlando Pirates last night, injecting a bit of class and excitement in the match.

Earlier in the week, Rooney was on the receiving end of some harsh criticism from legend Pele, the namesake of our favourite chant for the striker. It was claimed that Rooney has never fulfilled the potential he appeared to have back in 2004, but I’d argue this is a point of view coming from someone who isn’t afforded the luxury of watching Rooney play for us week in week out!

The stats shown on RoM earlier in the week prove Rooney is becoming more effective with every season he spends at Old Trafford, and his winners medal collection certainly helps confirm it. More than any stats or medals though, just watching Rooney play for United is proof enough to me that he is a top quality player, that makes all the difference to our team.

Whilst there are several players at United who could bathe themselves in all the limelight and adulation that comes their way, Rooney is far happier to take a back seat and sacrifice himself for the sake of our club. Fergie has today conceded that it his willingness to allow Rooney to do this which has cost him the praise he deserves.

“I have to take a bit of responsibility for it,” Fergie said. “He’s sacrificed himself and never complained about it, which says a lot for the lad. He will score goals. He scored a couple against Aston Villa last season after not scoring for seven games and I thought that would have catapulted him into a good run, but we kept using him in different positions. We need to define his role better. I think his best position is through the middle, either a front role or tucking in just behind. He can play either role very well. He is aggressive, has two feet, good pace, he has the courage to get in the box. It’s great credit to the lad that he never complains. Some players know what their best position is and they don’t want to challenge themselves in any other one, but Wayne would play centre half [if he was asked to].”

Players showing their willingness to be versatile is an important characteristic, and one that comes when they have the club at the top of their list of priorities. Roy Keane started in the 2004-2005 season in the centre of defence, Ryan Giggs ended the 2005-2006 season playing as a central midfielder, Owen Hargreaves slotted in at right back on several occasions last season. No player should be ‘too big’ to play this sacrificing role, whereby their performance is likely to be less dazzling, less impressive and less worthy of praise. The club has to come first. Every time Rooney plays out wide, to accommodate the different tactics we’ve employed in Europe, as well as making room for the likes of Ronaldo, Tevez and Nani, he is putting United’s glory ahead of his own, which is admirable.

Can’t praise him enough and I’m glad to see Fergie taking some of the burden of the criticism off Rooney’s shoulders.

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.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. harry says:

    the premiership better watch out 2008-2009 is gunna be rooneys season

  2. jsos says:

    there is no denying rooney’s impact for us and i am looking forward to fergie making good on these comments and putting roon back in the limelight!

  3. Gabriel says:

    People seem to forget Rooney missed a handful of games for us last season, coupled with the fact he played out of position most times. Yet he averaged more goals per game than he had the season before!!
    Nothing to worry about tho, all this criticsm will just make Rooney play better and since SAF is bringing in two proper strikers for him to play off, we can also expect more goals.

  4. denton davey says:

    From the time I saw TheBoyWonder score a scorcher against the Gooners -when he was just 16 – I’ve been a huge fan of Wayne Rooney.

    he may not have the skill-set of Ronaldo, but Rooney more than makes up for that (slight) deficiiency with his energy, commitment and “teamsmanship”.

    For my money, he was the key attacking player for UTD last season; Rio was the key defender.

    I’m a bit concerned about his recurrent injuries but otherwise TheBoyWonder is the future of this team.

    I’d really love to see Rooney and Tevez roaming freely behind a Berbatov/Benzema striker in a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Ronaldo and Nani on the wings, backed by Anderson. Our back four is strong enough to deal with that and any opponents would have one hell of a time soping with that multi-dimensional threat.

  5. Kings says:

    A selfless player with so much ability in his locker, worth every penny that was shelled out for his services. Hopefully he will have an injury free season and will nick 30+ goals this season. We will beat anyone put out in front of us when he’s playing.

  6. Craig Mc says:

    Lambast me if you like, but Rooney got away with coming back to training after summer break, with surplus of weight, and on holiday was quite the ‘Fag ash Lil’. If he continues disrespecting his body, No I don’t think he will progress as he could become another Gazza.

  7. OMelhorDoMundo says:

    Rooney’s 13 assists pretty much says it all. Against Roma and Barcelona away, Rooney was played on the flanks because Ronaldo isn’t disciplined enough to play that role.
    I go back to the game against Derby where United were missing chance after chance. Rooney was setting up Ronaldo again and again and again and the commentators were only focusing on how “this might not be Ronaldo’s day.” You know how after every miss, Ronaldo poses for the cameras with his disappointed look into the skies?
    And when Ronaldo finally scored from a Rooney cross, fuck Rooney. It’s all about Ronaldo who is so brilliant when things aren’t going his way. Ronaldo the matchwinner.
    And Rooney just quietly joins in with Ronaldo’s bizarre hand-on-forehead celebration.
    I honestly don’t care whether Rooney scores 30 goals or not as long as he sets them up as well as he does now. The only thing missing from his game is a little ruthlessness but if he takes all his chances and also takes some shots from outside the area rather than looking for the teammate, the goals will come. It’s the other aspects of his game that make him valuable

  8. UnitedRay says:

    There is one key thing you missed out scott. While ronaldo is capable of scoring with his thigh, wazza has been guilty on many occasions of not being quick/alert/sharp enough to finish off a through ball when one on one with the keeper. Being his big fan, i realize that this is something that wazza seemed to have lost since euro04. He used to be able to round/chip keepers almost at will. Now he shoots tamely straight. The striking coach really need to help wazza here.

  9. Mugsy says:

    The thing people don’t understand from watching the TV is when Rooney gets the ball _ALL_ of Old Trafford comes alive in anticipation. That’s because you know when Rooney gets the ball something will happen. Ronaldo will loose the ball 5 or 10 times before making something happen, whereas Rooney is ALWAYS asking questions of the opposition. Truly the White Pele.


You must be logged in to post a comment.