Friday, February 19, 2010

Wayne Rooney really is that good

So who else tuned in to the latest episode of The Wayne Rooney Show on Tuesday night?

For the first 45 minutes in Milan on Tuesday night, Rooney had to share the billing with other big names - Ronaldinho and Beckham to name a couple. But after the break, it was pure, glorious Rooney. As with the other episodes, his supporting cast added little to the spectacle, certainly not their Portuguese winger who had stolen the show at Arsenal last month, but had rapidly lost his mojo since. Nor United's over-priced Bulgarian striker, poached from the Tottenham Network in 2008 but hardly living up to his price tag. For the gazillionth time this season, Manchester United got away with a shoddy performance and a dodgy defensive display, thanks to their talismanic striker.

Wayne Rooney is in the form of his life, the sort of form that every footballer dreams of - where you expect to star and score in every game you play, and where you can impose your own will on a match, even in the presence of numerous other top players. The 25 goals so far this season tell only a part of the story; while there is no doubt that the Shrek-a-like's finishing has improved dramatically this season, he still puts in the incredible power of work that he always has. When Cristiano Ronaldo went through a similar purple patch two seasons ago, he had the benefit of sharing a teamsheet with Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Carlos Tevez, all significant distractions for any defence trying to keep tabs on the Portuguese forward. But Rooney has to do it with Nani, Berbatov and Park Ji-Sung.

It helps that he is more mature this season as well. Whilst a frustrating first half at the San Siro (no doubt down to Nani's inability to produce a half-decent cross ball) led him to pick up a yellow card for dissent. But instead of sulking, or lunging into daft tackles, as he so often did in previous years, he gritted his teeth, knuckled down, and came up with the goods. Big time. The greatest players can keep this sort of form going for two or three seasons at a stretch. Is he ready to join the ranks of Messi, Kaka' et al. Just maybe.

I wonder how many other Scots are keeking their pants at the thought of Rooney firing England to World Cup glory?


No comments: