Form is temporary, class is permanent. Wayne Rooney has proved that his barren spells could last no more than 11 competitive games since his last strike for Manchester United against Aston Villa in April 2015.
People have raised questions in his ability to become the club's main striker this season. He looked off the pace, his touches on the ball deserted him and his speed has greatly diminished.
Rooney is 29. He should have at least a couple more years in him to compete at the top level. But his former team-mate, Paul Scholes thinks that Rooney had already hit his peak when he was 25-26 years old.
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The hat-trick against Club Brugge is his eighth for the club. His first was on his debut against Turkish opponent Fenerbahce in 2004. In that match he announced his arrival with quick speed and thunderous shots on goal that made him so prolific at such a tender age.
At the moment Rooney has 233 goals in his Old Trafford career. He is behind Denis Law who has 237 and Sir Bobby Charlton who holds the record with 249 goals.
Rooney is also on the brink of breaking Sir Bobby’s England record of 49, as he in now tied with Gary Lineker on 48 goals. He is not far behind. Form permitting he should past Sir Bobby’s United record.
Rooney has entertained us over the years with his memorable goals. His volleys against Newcastle United and Middlesbrough in 2005, his bicycle kick against Manchester City in 2011 and also his goal from the half-way line against West Ham in 2014. Although his goals against Club Brugge were not in the same category it could only signal better things to come.
Rooney’s best tally in a season came in 2009/2010 and 2011/2012. He racked 34 goals on each occasion and was the club’s top scorer. But Rooney has always been a slow starter at the beginning of a season or when he is coming back from injury.
Sir Alex Ferguson wrote in his autobiography about Rooney; “if he missed a couple of weeks for United it would take him four or five games to get his sharpness back.”
We could see that this season when Rooney, despite his high work-rate, would more than often lose his footings and concentration during the first three games.
During the first-leg against Club Brugge last week, we could see glimpses of his abilities and sharpness and it was only a matter of time before he hit the high notes again.
It was wise for Louis van Gaal to keep faith with Rooney. His stance for not bringing in a new striker so far have paid dividends with Rooney’s performance.
The next game is a trip to Swansea, followed by Liverpool at Old Trafford a fortnight later, and then a Champions League game with PSV Eindhoven.
These opponents should wish that they had face United earlier in the season, because for Wayne Rooney it is now time to deliver the goods and prove the critics wrong once again.