Tepid start highlights the importance of Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney has lavished gifts upon Old Trafford since his arrival in 2004, but so far this season United have had to deal with the absence of his magic. Their poor start to the campaign continued on Wednesday at Old Trafford in a tame 0-0 draw with Rangers in the Champions League. And it is with this that you have to question whether continuing reliance on an unstable Rooney could prove their undoing.

Sir Alex Ferguson spared Rooney the inevitable hostilities of a return to former club Everton and although his non-attendance was not directly responsible for their nightmare at Goodison, the omission did lend itself to suggest weakness and the principle of leaving someone with the quality he possesses just because of some abuse he may receive from opposition fans. United played some magnificent football and Rooney would have no doubt been influential in that should he have been selected.

Many people say that when Torres or Gerrard play Liverpool play, or similarly when Frank Lampard plays for Chelsea so do they, and I believe it is comparable to Manchester United and their main man – if ever there was a vindication of this it was on Wednesday night as Rooney was stifled by an excellent defensive display from Rangers and United failed to break their Scottish opponents down.

If anything he was quiet in the “Battle of Britain”, his most significant contribution was sympathising with Antonio Valencia as he went off with a broken leg and there was no sparkle to suggest negative press had not affected him psychologically.

His goals last season, all 26, were vital for Manchester United and it seems that in light of the “hooker” debacle he is not yet ready to instigate another season like his last.

However, the moments of footballing mastery often associated with him may return on Sunday. The stage is almost perfect for Rooney as Manchester United prepare to cast their disappointment at Craven Cottage, Goodison Park and Old Trafford in the Champions League into the abyss against Liverpool. The inspiration United need to get back on track is embodied in Rooney.

The football club is often so dependent on Rooney that it is brought to people’s attention even more so when he does not light up a game.

Perhaps Coleen showing that her and Wayne are moving on from the scandal may allow for the 24 year-old may be able to showcase his talents once more.