Wayne Rooney didn’t do himself any favours away on international duty in England’s 2-0 win over Malta in terms of re-affirming why he should be starting for either club or country.
In a deeper midfield role, one which he’s come out in public to ask for, he was overshadowed by Jordan Henderson. If anything, his inclusion hindered England rather than helped them and that’s how a lot of Manchester United fans feel about him right now.
Something which I had a watch of this week was the Betway’s Blow The Whistle latest episode which took a look at whether Rooney’s decline was irreversible or if he could still offer something to England and Man United.
As a side note, if you comment directly on the On The Whistle video you could be in with a chance of winning a £10 free bet.
On the one hand the argument is that Rooney’s slump in form is no longer a temporary blip, that he isn’t first choice for England or United and that moving deeper hasn’t worked for him. To compound it all, Rooney having less game time isn’t going to bring him back either nor help his positional indiscipline, bad touches or how often he loses possession. The argument is pretty compelling.
Conversely, the argument for him is that if you get runners around Rooney and let him simply be a poacher, he could offer something to the team but the key factor is that has to become more humble and accept he isn’t a starter any more.
That final point about Rooney accepting his new role and not denying his downturn is reiterated in Betway’s latest podcast which raises a few more prevalent points as well.
The discussion covers the usual remarks about Rooney and also questions whether Rooney’s status as England’s poster boy means there is a political angle of pressure from the FA for him to keep starting, and also repeats the argument that Rooney has to accept his downfall before he can address it. If you want further insight from ESPN’s John Brewin on the Rooney situation, you can read more here.
What’s my two thoughts on this? I’ve made them clear previously but the point about Rooney accepting his problems is one which I think deserves to be repeated. The sooner Rooney looks in the mirror and realises he isn’t the player he was in 2008 any more, the sooner he can truly adapt and actually start to get the best out of himself.
I completely agree that Rooney still has something left to offer but for the life of me I can’t see him accepting a role as a bit part squad player for either United or England, and I think that insatiable desire to start every game won’t change. means he simply has to move on from United as soon as possible