15 December 2009

The Problem With Rooney; Wayne's World

By Dr3



Wayne Rooney hasn’t been in the top 10 in his position, much less all positions since the beginning of his career yet he has been in the top ten for the ‘ European footballer of the year’ title at least twice since 2004. Let me stop right here and say; Rooney is an exceptional ‘player’.

But here’s the problem; Rooney is a striker. Not a trequartista, not a winger, not a defender, not a defensive midfielder, and definitely not this second striker garbage people try to shovel in his defense (who’s the 1st striker then?). The reality; he’s a non-scoring striker. With a tally of 91 goals from 239 appearances in the Premiership (yes I crunched some numbers), it’s hardly disgusting, but hardly deserving the billing of 8th best anything in ANY football ‘world’. He has yet to tally over 16 goals in his domestic league which spans 38 games of which he makes about 30 appearances (fingers crossed for this season??).

But again here’s the problem; Rooney represents the ‘unbridled’ passion that makes football beautiful. He’s undoubtedly a fan favorite and a cult icon due to his seemingly tireless drive to help his team. He averages about 11 or so assists, and on many an occasion he’s back in midfield, and even defense putting in last ditch tackles, and if he could he would pull off a fingertip save or two.

Yet again though, another problem; the truth unlike fanaticism and fascination cannot be biased, not by any admiration of the true spirit of football. No, there can be no favoritism and no alibis. So what’s the problem? If Drogba, Dirk Kuyt, Ibrahimovic (at Juve and Inter), and Henry (at Barca), can be criticized for their lack of goals (you know being STRIKERS), then why does Rooney escape. A striker’s job is cut and dry scoring goals; that win games, both ugly and pretty. As an Ibrahimovic fan myself, I have found it somewhat amusing how he has been dismissed due to his supposed lack of scoring yet Rooney is celebrated(in the media). Ibrahimovic scored 80 goals in 158 appearances in the Serie A (better than Rooney), and averaged about 8 assists a season. FIFA who we all imagine to have a duty to impartiality have gotten this correct with Zlatan appearing above Rooney in the ratings; but I’m still not satisfied.

Why exactly is he even in the top 25 players of the year, when he is not even in the top 25 strikers of the year. For a quick example, In ‘Ruuuuud’s’ (please exit if you don’t know this reference) first season at the Bernabéu, he won the Pichichi with 25 goals, yet a certain Wayne, with 14 goals was rated and voted above him. If these ratings are about all round play and drive, and not black and white decisiveness; then my question becomes, how exactly do you measure drive (tangibly)? Certainly Chiellini, Tevez, Javier Zanetti, Matrix, Scholes, Essien, and other less celebrated ‘icons’ should also be highly rated. The truth is there is no football reason as to why Rooney is SO HIGHLY rated. He’s good, even damn good, but not decisive and not the best or even near best at anything ‘football’. He’s dynamic, one of a kind, but the award, and rating is for being the best, period. It takes a man winning the player of the year in his domestic league, winning the top goalscorer in his domestic league, and producing simply put his best season of his career to eclipse a certain Wayne Rooney by one spot for the Ballon D’or(Ibra).

For me the problem is that it is impossible to really be impartial with the existence of football ethics. Rooney embodies what we want in a football hero; passion, moments of genuine quality, and a certain male bravado that is just admirable. He’s maybe the top footballing ‘personality’, but again this is not eHarmony, and he’s not the top 20 of any damn thing.

Let's toast to the future..

“Party On, Wayne” and “That’s what she said”.

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