Wayne of all trades and master of none: The curious case of Wayne Rooney

West Ham United v Manchester United - Premier League

Wayne Rooney

The summer for most parts has been dominated by an enigmatic scouser known as Wayne Mark Rooney. Wayne Rooney, who burst onto the scene by scoring against the “Invincibles” side led by professor Wenger, is now seeing his career hit the lowest ebb.

Once considered to be the next Alan Shearer, he has to an extent failed to fulfil that potential. Everyone can recall the scene of a young Wayne Rooney bursting past opponents with his cheetah-like pace. He was never a trickster, and still he had the ability to go past anyone.

He was a “Beast” they said and his finishing skills stood next to none. He was raising many eyebrows with his magical performances at the Merseyside, and the interest in Wazza was on the up. But after a protracted bidding war, it was Sir Alex Ferguson who got the man, beating off the Geordies challenge.

£25.6m for an eighteen-year-old is more than a hefty fee even in today’s frantic market. Consider how hefty it would have had been almost 10 years ago.

Manchester United had instilled immense faith in Wayne and he justified his price tag with some remarkable performances. Rooney stole the headlines on his debut with a sublime hattrick against Fenerbahce on the biggest stage of them all.

It was already a dream coming true and it seemed like United had unearthed a diamond who would rock Europe, and now 10 years down the line, Wazza has somewhat failed to reach that world class status.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney once formed a formidable partnership at the M16 and that had helped United conquer Europe once again. It was a partnership of skill and strength, and that time you couldn’t compare Wazza and Ronny, they had the same potential and some even said that Wayne could go on and become a better player.

Ronny left for Spain to fulfil his dream and it was race between the duo now to see who could go on to achieve new heights. Now it looks like only Ronaldo ran the race and Wayne just sat back. Today, Ronaldo is a world class player and Rooney is just a very good player and there is a crystal clear difference between them.

It’s a different story that the little magician Lionel Messi has overtaken both of them. Today, Rooney has to fight for a place on the team sheet. It is the same Wazza who would literally shred the opposition defense.

After Ronaldo left in the 2009 summer, Wayne Rooney took responsibility and scored an astonishing 34 goals in the season, but after that it’s been a stutter.

In 2010-11 season, he made his intention of leaving United clear, and that meant he lost the faith of many United fans. He signed a new contract the same year after long talks with Fergie, but many United fans did not forgive him for the fiasco he caused. But, since then, Rooney has never really lit Europe.

Today Rooney is only a shadow of what he used to be. What has caused his downfall? It’s the curios case of Wayne Rooney. What Wayne Rooney is still known for today is his will, determination to defend, win the ball in midfield etc. But that is the reason why Wazza has never gone onto become a world class striker.

For many times, Wazza has played out of position on the wing and at the centre of the park. But, he had been demoted only because of his poor performances as a striker. Wayne Rooney had the chance to rubber stamp himself as one of the greats at the club, but due to some or the other reason, he has not achieved the legendary status.

Wayne Rooney today is a determined warrior at the back when he is needed, he is good at the centre of the park, and obviously he is a good striker, but that’s not how a footballer should be. This is not cricket where you can be an all-rounder.

Wayne is, in fact, good in almost every position but he is not specialized in any area it seems. It has been a downward spiral for Wayne since the 2010 contract stand-off. You rarely see Ronaldo and Messi in defending positions, which would seem as a negative comment, but it’s not. Sometimes you have to be a bit selfish.

Messi and Ronaldo only defend at times of desperation. They have concentrated their efforts on improving their attacking game. Wayne has tried to achieve versatility.

Some say he was forced to play in different positions, but if he had proved himself as a world class striker initially, he could have had continued at his favourite spot. Wayne Rooney may be a more adaptable player than Ronny and Leo but in the end we know who the best players in the world are.

Wayne Rooney is the Jack of all trades but he has never been able to achieve mastery in any field.

It is a precarious position for Wayne Rooney. He has many things to figure out: Does he stay at the Theatre of the dreams and win his place back, or does he depart for a new challenge. Although he has lost some of his attacking prowess, any club would welcome him.

These are big times ahead for this charismatic character. Moyes remains defiant. He continually insists that Wazza is not for sale. In the end, it is in the hands of the English striker.

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