David Moyes has sung Rooney’s praises for his attitude this season, which has been hard to fault, and goes some way to explaining why he has opted to name the striker captain in the absence of Vidic and Evra.
“Wayne has turned himself into a real team player,” said Moyes. “The assists for the team, the goals and his all-round contribution has been fantastic. He looks as if he is beginning to take ownership himself. He is starting to say: ‘Look, come on, we need to play better. We need to make sure we are doing much more than we are doing.’ I see that in the dressing room. I see it every day in training when he is continually trying to improve himself. Wayne has those qualities. It is good for us. Hopefully in the years to come we are going to need that from him.”
But hasn’t this always been the case? Or is Moyes comparing Rooney with when he last played for him, as a kid at Everton?
Last season Rooney had 10 assists, bettered only Hazard (11), Cazorla (11) and Mata (12) and in 2011 Rooney had 11 assists, bettered only by Drogba (13) and Nani (14).