In the aftermath of England’s World Cup opener against the USA the goalkeeping bungle of Robert Green unsurprisingly dominated the headlines, but the most disappointing thing from my point of view was that our Wayne Rooney, our best player, was completely anonymous.
In the build up to the World Cup many were questioning Rooney’s temperament after he allegedly swore at a referee during England’s friendly against the Platinum Allstars, but his aggression is part of his game. Do we need the Manchester United man to get angry to rediscover his best form?
I don’t know who started the myth that Emile Heskey brings the best out of Rooney, but I do not see the point in playing our talisman in an unnatural position to fit an inferior player into the XI and the fact he wasn’t the main man in the attack made his performance a little tame. When Heskey is having more of an effect on the game than Rooney there must be a cause for concern, especially when the best chance to regain the lead fell to the laboured Villa striker instead of the more clinical Rooney.
If it isn’t broke, then don’t fit it. Why would we want Rooney to be any different to the way he plays in the Premier League for the Red Devils? He has just had the best season of his life playing as a lone striker for Man United scoring (34 goals in 44 games) and is often angry, aggressive, menacing, competitive and admittedly sometimes petulant…just as long as he isn’t getting himself sent off we should let him be that way.
I couldn’t imagine the Ivorians wishing for a meeker Didier Drogba than the one who scores all those goals for Chelsea and by the same token it wouldn’t make sense for the Portuguese to wish for a more humble Cristiano Ronaldo than the one who has carried Real Madrid over the past season in La Liga
The opposition managers must be delighted that we are sticking the reins on the player that they fear the most, not only that but we seem to play a system which is also to the detriment of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard also and they are our other main goal threats.
Capello is a great coach, but he has to trust his players and must let Rooney play to his most snarling, aggressive and angriest self. Instead we seem to have a Rooney playing in fear and the media seem more concerned about his supposedly vulgar language than the way he performs on the pitch.
Perhaps one of the reasons the 24-year-old Three Lions forward is so subdued is because he is still getting over the injury problems which marred the latter part of his Premier League season.
It’s not out of the ordinary for England to suffer a slow start in the World Cup and they didn’t even win their opener back in the 1966 campaign when we won it. From what I saw of the Algerians and Slovenians we have absolutely nothing to worry about, but we must win the group as meeting Germany so early playing the way we are could mean an early exit.
However, Capello must get the best out of Rooney, who is our most potent weapon and after the season he has had he deserves to have his name mentioned alongside the world’s best player, if England are to have an impact in this tournament then the Manchester United forward would have to be at his most aggressive and fieriest self, the player that Sir Alex Ferguson demands him to be on a weekly basis.
What do fans think Capello should do to get the best out of Wayne Rooney?
Here’s some highlights of the United forward from over the past season: