David Moyes has refused to take any plaudits for Wayne Rooney‘s return to form this season and has placed all of the credit at the feet of Rooney.
His brace against Bayer Leverkusen was his best performance of the year but even from his first substitute appearance against Swansea, Rooney looked far sharper than he has in the past two years.
Although keeping Rooney at the club was one of his biggest achievements this summer, Moyes didn’t want to take any of the plaudits for Rooney’s resurgence.
“Don’t for one minute think I am going to take the credit,” Moyes told radio reporters after today’s press conference ahead of the derby this weekend.
“The credit is for Wayne Rooney for getting himself the way he is. We are here to help make him better. It is up to Wayne to do it. He takes the credit for that.
“He was always a great player, even when he was leaving Everton he had the potential. He had all the ability in the world. Could he pull it all together? He has proved that over many years.”
Rooney has now scored three goals in his last two appearances going into the derby on Sunday, a game he typically thrives in and Moyes is hopeful that he will take his good form in training back out onto the pitch at the Etihad.
Moyes continued: “Everybody is aware of what Wayne has done since he left Everton. I have only had a chance to work with him for three months here, but he has knuckled down really well. He has done his training. Everything he has done he has done himself. He has done it to make himself better.
“The big thing is he got himself into really good shape physically. He looks lean. He is back to being his aggressive self again. He is fast and hungry. I needed all those things from him if I was ever going to get Wayne back to the level he is at.”
Moyes’ final statement about Rooney regaining his aggression and hunger is exactly what we knew he had been missing.
His aggression was always one of his biggest strengths as a player. It made him who he was and it was part of his identity. When he lost that, he lost a major part of his game and suffered because of it.
Now that he has it back, we’ve seen just how much it has effected his performances in the right way and going into the derby on Sunday, a fixture Rooney scored twice in last year, he’ll be hungrier than ever to keep his fine form going.