After recently turning 29 the question is being asked: does Wayne Rooney still have what it takes?
The Manchester United star has been the backbone for his club for the past several years now, this became apparent after the departure of Real Madrid super star Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2009 for what was then the world’s most expensive transfer fee of around £80m.
The season after Ronaldo left it meant a lot of pressure was to be put onto Rooney’s shoulders – pressure that he most definitely handled. That season he went onto score around 30 goals in the Premier League and many dubbed him one of the best players in the world. The question is: has he still got it?
Rooney unplayable on his day
Let’s not get carried away, as when this player is in form, on his day he is absolutely unplayable. It has been only recently though he has had to step up in terms of his leadership and contribution to the team as he has been given the captain’s armband for both club and for country.
With former internationals like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard hanging up their international boots shortly after the disappointing World Cup campaign in the summer, Rooney was next in line to lead the team.
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With all of what’s gone on at Manchester United over the past couple of seasons, he hasn’t seemed to have fully hit his stride in front of goal for whatever reason that may be, confidence? Pressure? Hunger and desire? Only he knows.
As for the national team there are always new up and comers who are chomping at the bit to earn a place in Roy Hodgson’s starting eleven, but can Rooney still perform?
Rooney to benefit from competition
Time will tell. Hopefully with the fresh talent that seems to be constantly emerging, they will be able to challenge him for a place – just like Pantillimon did with Joe Hart early last season – this lead him to the inspired form that he is in now and has no doubt sharpened him up a bit.
Maybe this is what Rooney needs, just something to get him firing again, so other defenders start to fear him whenever they face him.
We will see come this international break whether or not he silences his critics. After all, strikers like Berahino and Harry Kane are fast emerging and may earn themselves a rightful place in that England side.
Rooney still the best
I think it’s good to have a blend of youth and experience and Rooney certainly has a lot to offer there.
I was one of the few people that didn’t want Gerrard and Lampard to retire as I felt they still had a lot to give and offer to a somewhat tired looking England team.
Rooney fits our team well with the new role he is playing and I think he is a good leader to have on the pitch representing your side as, on his day, nobody can beat him.