It is hard to believe at times Wayne Rooney is still only 29. Having broken into the Everton team at the tender age of 16 and scoring that memorable goal against Arsenal, which spectacularly announced his arrival and laid the foundations of huge expectations for both club and country which he still carries on his shoulders till date.
If Rooney fails to find the net for a short period of time the questions are immediately asked, is he past it? has this great talent failed to fulfil the expectations?
In a recent interview reported in the Mirror, when asked whether he is less fiery now, Rooney explains, “No, I don’t think so. It’s just really that now, through experience, I know better how to control that emotion. I still care as much as ever. I still want to win as much as ever, but I don’t let that desire impact me or the team in a negative way.”
To those detractors that say he has lost the passion, his words should silence those critics, but more important than words are performances. In recent works Rooney’s performances have certainly picked up.
Having Martial in the starting line up and making runs behind the opposition defence has helped create space in areas where Rooney is most productive. He likes to drop deep and be creative, he has always played football with the passion of a kid in the park, someone who always wants a touch of the ball and he is as happy creating chances as he is putting the ball in the back of the net.
He has certainly matured since taking over as captain of his club and country, and this has helped him channel his emotions in to his play rather than being rash and lashing out as he has done so in the past.
Having broken one Bobby Charlton records by becoming Englands most prolific goalscorer he will undoubtedly break another, by being crowned as Uniteds’ greatest goalscorer, at some stage in the near future. Having personal records will be a great achievement for him, something to look back on when he retires, but ultimately he would like to win more for both club and of course England.
Wayne Rooney is an enigma for many people and may only truly be appreciated when the curtain finally comes down on a glittering career.