As of today Wayne Rooney has 4 goals in 4 league games for his club this season , and 10 goals for 9 games including cup play and international games. That’s a fantastic scoring rate which one would not expect Rooney to maintain, historically speaking.
Is this just a lucky run for Rooney, or is something very special going on?
If you have read the football pundits about Wayne Rooney in any of the last several years, it will have been hard to avoid glowing characterisations of his football. His temper is acknowledged, but always with equal space given to his talent on the pitch.
Yet Rooney’s stats, as a striker, have been something short of the very best. Cristiano Ronaldo, for instance, scored more for Manchester United playing on the wing than Rooney did from his more opportune position dead in front of goal. While Rooney’s play always looks good and he does get goals, he was not a player on Real Madrid’s short list. Rooney is never top of the league scoring charts.
That’s not to suggest Rooney has any shortage of talent or drive. Wayne’s touch, thunderous shot, vision and pace are remarkable, and his passion to win is palpable, even through the TV.
To be fair, over the last couple years Manchester United could win championships without Rooney showing world class form season long. When you have an amazing player like Ronaldo coming to the rescue, with goals in abundance, it takes a little pressure off. Now Manchester United are looking for those 40 or so goals they would have hoped to get from Cristiano. Without someone stepping up to supply goals in quantity, the unthinkable will happen: United will be unable to win any silverware this season.
Yet there is more at stake than club, much more.
Much of England’s hopes in the 2010 World Cup lie with the solid striker delivering in the biggest games he’ll ever play. He’s gone missing in some other big games, like the UEFA Champions League finals, but for Capello’s resurgent England side to deliver on their country’s dreams, Rooney will have to play that larger than life role he looks made for.
History might not give you great odds on this happening, but great athletes make their mark by peaking at just the right time and for the right occasion, and surprising the world with their brilliance.
Will Rooney find the other worldly performance level required this year?
Wayne Rooney – Goals Per Game Start
|2009-2010||10 / 9||1.1|
|2008-2009||24 / 52||.5|
|2007-2008||18 / 38||.5|
|2006-2007||24 / 56||.4|
|2005-2006||21 / 47||.4|
|2004-2005||19 / 51||.4|
|2003-2004||10 / 32||.3|
|2002-2003||8 / 17||.5|