Football FanCast guest columnist Neil Potter is glad to see Manchester United’s talisman getting the kind of recognition he deserves.
When it comes to naming the best players in the world, or strikers in the league, it always amazes me how often Wayne Rooney is overlooked and never used in the same breath as the Messi and Ronaldo’s of this world. I find it astounding and it makes you wonder as to what more he has to do.
Perhaps Rooney is a victim of his own versatility here and being that he has played in a variety of positions, then perhaps he doesn’t get recognised as the out and out striker that he actually is. I am equally bemused that given that he plays for Manchester United, who have contested consecutive Champions League finals, whilst winning three titles on the bounce, in what Cristiano Ronaldo described only last week ‘as a much tougher league’ than La Liga that he is not given his dues. I don’t think Rooney could give much more than he does; therefore it appears his face just doesn’t fit.
I read an interesting article from Gary Lineker last night where he was discussing the merits of who is considered the best strikers in England at present. It was written in reflection of Ancelotti’s statement that Drogba was the best and which has since opened up the age old debate. Some say that Torres is, while others concur with Carlo’s view, but both Lineker and Shearer claims that Rooney would be their No.1 choice if given £60m to spend on any striker, given his all round game and the fact he produces more than just goals. I think that brings up an interesting point and one that is often overlooked.
If it was a goals per game ratio then I doubt anyone would be anywhere near someone like Ruud van Nistelrooy. The Dutchman’s record is absolutely incredible, but unfortunately that is all you get from him and that is why Ferguson made the brave decision to move him on, in order to change the face and style of the team. The beauty of Rooney is that his versatility allows United to play in various different attacking styles and stops the teams becoming one dimensional, a problem in which effects the likes of the Reds and the Blues, as they don’t really have a strong or effective Plan B when either of their respective striker is out of the team.
That for me is the crux of the whole argument when it comes to assessing striker’s ability and who deserves to be accredited of being considered the best in their field. As Lineker points out Rooney’s goal ratio is nearing the 1 in 2 mark, remarkable when you consider he has played out on the wing, in the withdrawn role and not as the current out and out front man that he currently enjoys now. Rooney has also provided countless assists, therefore would prove invaluable to any team in the world and his whole round game sets him apart. It is time he got the world wide recognition and appreciation that his ability deserves; something that has sadly been overlooked in the past few years.