It’s been quite a regular occurrence of late hasn’t it? No I’m not talking about Ronaldo whinging or even a Carlos Tevez transfer story. I’m specifically referring to Wayne Rooney, his versatility and this endearing quality he possesses to play left wing.
Ok so it’s not the biggest revelation since the discovery of electricity as it has been tried and tested before. Although there’s no denying that what it does provide us with is options, affording Ferguson complete freedom to tinker and tweak his attacking line-up however he pleases. And boy has it worked admirably the last few games.
With Rooney operating on the left we have seen Berbatov and even Ronaldo flourish as the central striker. Who knows as Ferguson studies this alternative system, he may even see sense and grant a certain Argentine a future with us that he so desperately craves. With a tighter more compact system and Rooney as an out and out striker, surely that wouldn’t have been the case.
In fairness Wazza squandered the simplest of chances against Wigan on Wednesday, a simple header that he would normally have buried in his sleep. Although since being deployed on the left Rooney has rarely failed to excel and fears that his talents were being wasted out wide were quickly put to bed.
We all feared that a fleet footed Theo Walcott would rip a confidence stricken Patrice Evra to shreds in the Champions League although on both occasions (at OT and the Emirates) Rooney played a part in thwarting the pacey England man to almost a non existence.
The spirited and industrious Rooney may not be the best tackler in the world but he’ll certainly put in a decent shift to aid forward thinking Evra who we all know can be prone to getting caught too far up the pitch. While it’s fair to say that Rooney’s defensive duties haven’t really been tested to the max this season, a meeting with Messi later this month will surely be a decent benchmark to determine his full credentials. Not to jinx it but I’m sure he’ll pass with flying colours.
There’s no doubting Rooney’s genius in the role just behind the striker but in my opinion he’s been given something of a new lease of life on the left. With Giggs a seemingly better option in the middle these days, Nani hardly being flavour of the month with Sir Alex and Tosic something of an unknown quantity at first-team level at least, Rooney is certainly the best viable option for me.
The way he cuts in with that bludgeon of a right foot and lashes towards goal, defenders will often know exactly what he’s about to do but stopping it is a completely different ball game. It’s certainly a joy to watch anyway.
To digress ever so slightly, Rooney’s aggressive nature has led to much criticism for years but to be honest I feel that it is a key component in his armoury that makes him such an unassailably brilliant player. Yes he needs to keep his anger in check in the most precarious of situations but a lot of the time he successfully channels his temper and he can often unfairly get into trouble purely for a reputation that precedes him.
While Ronaldo will never comprehensively commit his future to United we will all still justifiably admire his mercurial ability. At completely the other end of the spectrum you would have to literally drag Rooney out of the dressing room if he’s ever to leave Old Trafford – a trait that I think should draw much praise and adulation as I don’t know where we would be without this sublime scouser.
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