Why history shows dropping Wayne Rooney is a bad idea

first_img Wayne Rooney receiving a golden boot after breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s Englan goalscoring record 1 Wayne Rooney has faced questions his whole career.Is he a striker? Can he be the main man for Manchester United? Does he even want to play for the Red Devils?And now he faces another – is he worth a place in Louis van Gaal’s starting XI?In the Cristiano Ronaldo years at Old Trafford, Rooney was always second fiddle to his headline-stealing Portuguese teammate, who led the Red Devils to three consecutive Premier League titles and back-to-back Champions League finals.The England captain only managed 12 goals in Ronaldo’s final season in the north-west and questions were raised whether he could fill the three-time Ballon d’Or winner’s boots.The following season, Rooney scored 26 Premier League goals on the way to winning PFA Player of the Year, Premier League Player of the Year and Football Writers’ Player of the Year. Questions answered.In the build up to the World Cup 2014 in Brazil – despite scoring seven goals in the six qualifying games he played – questions were again raised over whether he should be dropped in Roy Hodgson’s starting XI, this time for Raheem Sterling.As a result, Rooney was played in a marginalised position on the left in the opening game defeat to Italy before being moved back to the No.10 position. He assisted and scored England’s only two goals of the tournament.Even when he had been awarded the captaincy at both Manchester United and England, more questions were asked about his temperament or even his right to be in either team.More questions, and yet more answers (you may notice there is a trend developing). The former Everton man led England to 10 wins from 10 Euro 2016 qualifiers, scored seven goals in eight games and broke his country’s 45-year-old goalscoring record in the process.And yet there are still pundits, journalists and fans alike all saying he should not start in France next summer.Critics will point to his lack of potency for Manchester United this season – just one Premier League goal – but Rooney will point you to five goals in 11 games in all competitions.However, the questions of Rooney are still being asked and he has admitted himself that he needs to be more prolific for United to ease the burden on the 19-year-old shoulders of Anthony Martial.The persistent interrogations of the man 14 goals behind Sir Bobby Charlton’s Manchester United goalscoring record is actually a compliment – that any drop in his impeccably high standards should be cause for concern.So question him, yes, but drop him at your peril, as history shows, Rooney always finds a way to answer his critics, and that is when he is at his best.last_img

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