Wayne Rooney has been known for his versatility, but it has also been a detrimental aspect of the former Everton star on a number of occasions.
He was not given enough limelight during some title winning seasons because the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin van Persie scored more goals. This does not appear to have hurt his mentality to put the team before him. This attitude has seen Rooney being played in a midfield position under Louis Van Gaal over the last few matches. He has revelled in this role and the Dutchman has praised the 29 year old for yet another impressive contribution in the 3-1 victory against Newcastle.
Alan Pardew’s men were the visitors to Old Trafford on Boxing Day. Even today recently suffered a humiliating big defeat against Arsenal, they were expected to bounce back and improve on their recent trips to Old Trafford. This was not about to happen after Rooney scored two goals and created the other for Robin van Persie in an impressive display. Van Gaal said after the match that he could not ask more from the England international, who he believes has the ability to play as a midfielder for 90 minutes because of his lung capacity.
“He scores two goals and gets an assist. What more can you demand as a manager? In our last match against Aston Villa Rooney was a little bit too defensive so I asked for him to be more attacking. He has the lung capacity to run 90 minutes as a midfielder. I can also use him as a striker but for the team it’s better he plays in midfield at the moment,” said Van Gaal, who used his best strikeforce of Rooney, van Persie, and Radamel Falcao in the same match. Juan Mata also played an important role.
Some people might have started counting Wayne Rooney as veteran now, but, the Red Devils skipper proved in the game against the Queens Park Rangers yesterday that he is still quicker than many of the youngsters in the team.
Rooney was, in fact, the quickest man on the park for United that day. His speed was recorded about 20.3 miles per hour on one occasion.
Some of the other Manchester United players including their new signing Angel Di Maria also crossed that 20-mile mark, but, none of them was as fast as Rooney according to the speed-gun.
Di Maria, one of the club’s expensive buys, has been bought specifically because of his speed and he did a fairly good job playing in his first home game, but, he remained a touch behind Rooney speed wise.
Manchester United has paid as much as 60 million Pounds for Di Maria and he has shown in his first couple of games that he is a player worth that many bucks. It’s still too early though to pass a judgement on him, but, he has impressed people with the looks of him. He is a tremendously skilled player who can rip through opposition defences in top form.
As far as Rooney is concerned, he looked in great touch too against QPR. He was one of the scorers in the game for the hosts and with that goal; he got to the third position in the list of the highest goal scorers in the Premier League. He is currently levelled with Thierry Henry with 175 strikes.
Out of those 175 goals of Rooney, 160 have come for Manchester United, while, 15 came for his previous club Everton.
Rooney has more than 350 premier league appearances to his name.
The new boss of Manchester United, Louis Van Gaal, will take charge from tomorrow and he will have to make a big call straightaway. He will have to select one out of the Red Devils’ two biggest players i.e. Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie for the captaincy post which has become vacant after the departure of Nemanja Vidic.
Rooney is understood to be willing for the armband and rightly so. For more than a decade now, he has been a great servant for the club winning matches in all competitions.
But, most of the people would admit that after the arrival of Van Persie, Rooney’s stardom at Old Trafford has reduced just a little bit. He has started playing wide now or in the midfield in an attacking role with the role of the central striker now being played by RVP.
In the last season, there were even talks of Rooney’s transfer. He eventually didn’t go though and agreed to sign the contract extension, but, it’s clear that his association with the club now is not as strong as it was a few years ago.
As far as Van Persie is concerned, he has earned the respect of almost everybody at United in just two years. Apart from being a highly skilled player, he is a fantastic leader and he showed that in the recently played World Cup where he was the captain of the Netherlands national side. He is believed to be someone who is very good at keeping the team together.
It’s all up to Van Gaal now. Whether he gives Rooney the armband for all his contributions for Man U over the years or he decides to back Van Persie to do the job, it would be very interesting to see.