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Rooney: 10 years with England but still unfulfilled

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Phil McNulty | 20:30 UK time, Thursday, 11 October 2012

Wayne Rooney moves towards his 10th England anniversary still searching for total fulfilment as an international away from his successes at Old Trafford with Manchester United.

If elite players are defined by their contributions to major tournaments, then England's most naturally gifted footballer has yet to fully secure his place in his country's gallery of greats.

Rooney is not alone in his frustration as England's success remains limited to the sunlit afternoon in July 1966 when the late Bobby Moore was carried shoulder-high holding the Jules Rimet trophy at Wembley after the World Cup final win against West Germany.

And yet for a stellar talent, who was given his first cap by Sven-Goran Eriksson at 17 years 111 days on 12 February 2003 in a 3-1 defeat by Australia at Upton Park, Rooney will know the next World Cup may be his last chance to make that indelible mark.

Wayne Rooney(left) and England boss Roy Hodgson

Rooney's 10 years in an England shirt have too often been marked by frustration. Photo: Getty

Rooney's England record is perfectly respectable, with 29 goals from 76 games, but he knows there are spaces left to fill. No-one is more determined to make that leap than the 26-year-old, with a drive that has occasionally carried his game and character to the edge when representing England.

The teenage Rooney illuminated Euro 2004 in Portugal as an Everton player, then fell short and ended his World Cup two years later with a quarter-final red card against the Portuguese in Gelsenkirchen. He only captured the headlines in South Africa in 2010 with some ill-judged abuse of England fans fired into a television camera after a goalless draw with Algeria in Cape Town.

Euro 2012 was another disappointment. Rooney missed the first two games against France and Sweden through suspension and even though he scored the winner against co-hosts Ukraine, still returned home accompanied by a sense of falling short.

The World Cup in Brazil is the next stop and England's qualifying campaign, made more complicated after being held to a draw by Ukraine at Wembley, continues against San Marino at Wembley on Friday.

It is a sign of Rooney's senior status in England's squad that he was able to reflect with pride on the honour of being given the captain's armband in the absence of suspended Steven Gerrard and injured Frank Lampard.

There may be some who believe the combination of the heavy weight of expectation that accompanies Rooney's every England move, alongside a temperament that has improved drastically but can still be combustible, makes him a surprise candidate as captain.

In reality, he is the logical choice within the framework of what will be required against San Marino.

England manager Roy Hodgson has no such doubts and - Montenegro aside - Rooney's on-field discipline has undergone something of a transformation in recent times.

Hodgson said: "The expectations for the likes of Wayne, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are a bit higher than those playing their third, fourth or fifth game but I had no hesitation in thinking Steven could handle it and it is the same with Wayne.

"It is something they have to live with as a top player, a cross they have to bear. But it didn't occur to me to give the captaincy to anyone else. Wayne deserves it."

This is a game that gives the lie to the old adage of "no easy games" in football. San Marino lie joint 207th in Fifa's rankings alongside Bhutan and the Turks and Caicos Islands. It should be an exercise in improving goal difference, something that may yet prove decisive in this close World Cup group.

Celebrating the news that wife Coleen is expecting their second child, Rooney presented a mature figure at England's Hertfordshire HQ - determined to prove the red mist had evaporated forever and now was the time to show his full bloom for England.

Of course this could also be construed as a striker with a chequered disciplinary record tempting fate, but Rooney possesses gifts on such a scale that it would be a source of sadness to his many admirers if he failed to replicate the impact he had as a tyro in the heat of Lisbon in 2004.

And for all San Marino's lowly standing, Rooney's game face was on. He may also be motivated by a growing realisation that he needs to make up for lost time with England, especially after missing the opening two qualifiers through injury.

It will be a temporary appointment, with Gerrard scheduled to return against Poland in Warsaw on Tuesday, but Rooney will call on the spirit of England's current captain and a warrior who fought many battles alongside him at Old Trafford to ensure there are no mis-steps in front of a sell-out Wembley crowd.

Rooney said: "I've learned from captains like Roy Keane having played with him for a couple of years at Manchester United and seen how he played on the pitch and dealt with things off it. He was vocal on the pitch and helped me off it. He was a great captain. Hopefully I can gain some of his qualities in my own game.

"With England it has been Steven Gerrard and his determination. Growing up I saw his passion and desire to play for Liverpool and England and that's fantastic. He's certainly been an inspiration."

Rooney added: "I've had a few rollockings off Roy [Keane]. We've had a few debates but we want to win. Sometimes when you want to win it is not all about sitting down and talking quietly - you have a go at each other to try and get the best out of each other.

"If you saw the way Roy [Keane] was with senior players, he was the same with the younger players. He treated everybody the same and he wasn't afraid to tell everybody how he wanted them to play.

"He didn't scare me at all. No - I respected him. He was one of the best players in the Premier League and Manchester United's history. He is the type of player I like when he has a go at you. I want to show them what I can do. It was desire and passion."

So it will not be a mellow Rooney at Wembley as he says: "It's a great honour and hopefully it will be a successful night. I don't think I'm going to change my attitude because I'm wearing the armband. I'm quite vocal on the pitch and hopefully my determination can help the team.

"I think it's a great responsibility for me to take. I feel I've matured as a player, learned the game better and have a different style. Whatever the manager asks me to do I can do it."

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    When Rooney said Roy was one of the best players in the Premier League and Manchester United's history, for a minute I thought he was talking about Roy Hodgson...

    You should really put [Keane] in brackets there...

  • Comment number 2.

    I think Rooney has matured enough to merit deputizing the captaincy when the permanent captain is absent, he's a quality player and, his red card last season aside, his on-field temperament has improved drastically.

    Solid decision, hopefully we can get a good result tomorrow night and press on from there!

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    Rooney has never really fulfilled that early potential he showed at Everton and for England at Euro 2004. A very good striker in the Premier League but at international level he has simply not been good enough. He will probably score a few against San Marino and some people will forget how poor he was at Euro 2012... and World Cup 2010... and World Cup 2006.

  • Comment number 5.

    Ideally, England make the World Cup in Brazil, Rooney plays continuously for United for at least the last eight weeks of the season, and starts the campaign without injury or suspension. I agree that he is a genuine world-class player, who is more than capable of influencing a game even when not scoring goals. However, Rooney needs continuous game-time and intensive fitness work throughout a season. The differences is his play after time out of the game are far more noticeable than in your average player, perhaps because of his moments of genuine class - which you come to expect - and undeniably admirable work-rate, which he obviously tries to resume straight away.

  • Comment number 6.

    *The difference IN his play... Pardon!

  • Comment number 7.

    Rooney a very good premiership player but never world class.
    A bad day when the only choice for captain of England is Rooney.

  • Comment number 8.

    He's done alright in international football.

    Not sure what else is expected, he's a very good player but a level below world class.

    It's no big deal anyway, beyond the knockout stages of major tournaments intertnational football is a bore with too many games these days. Two weeks without club football for England to play a team with the population of a small town is a joke. International football only exists these days to let fat cats in various football associations get junket trips abroad.

  • Comment number 9.

    Rooney is a fantastic Premiership player, but a flop for England. 29 goals in 76 games isn't bad, but it's not great: however one goal in major tournaments in the past 8 years is appalling.

    Rooney's meant to be England's talisman, but in big games he fails again and again. When England struggle so does Rooney. He can't lift the team, can't change the course of games when things aren't going well. And then he berates the fans, as though his failure is somehow their fault.

    I hope Rooney can find that bit extra that will make him great. But since he hasn't done it in the past 10 years, I doubt he will in the 5 or so he has left for England, and the team should certainly not be built around him. He hasn't done enough to earn that.

  • Comment number 10.

    Rooney is a world class player - when he wants to be. Every manager in the world would sign him up in a flash, even Mourinho said so for Real. But, he is playing in an average international team, and a great but not world class club team. So it is not his fault he has not fullfilled potential for country and in recent years for club. Would Messi be as good if he was English or didn't play for Barca? Not a chance. His raw talents have been fed by the players around him. He will go down as one of the greats for Man U and England, based on raw talent and what he did do, not didn't do, but it's a shame he wasn't around for Man U and England in the 90's or else he would truly be one of the greatest. Maybe he could still be if he overtakes Charlton's record, or at least Law's.

  • Comment number 11.

    What a sad enditement, not just on English football but on English society, the captain of our national team is Wayne Rooney. At the age of 26, despite goals at all levels and numerous honours and awards, the whining, complaining, swearing and aggressive nature which sits alongside 94 yellow cards and four sending-offs is certainly not an example I would want my children to be watching. "The logical choice"....what kind of logic is that?

  • Comment number 12.

    anyone who claims Rooney is an average player clearly hasn't seen him play live. He would get in most national teams, which makes him world class. Agree with #10.

  • Comment number 13.

    At the end of the day who cares? Unlike cricket or even rugby, the captain of a football team has no strategic or tactical influence on what happens on the pitch, set piece takers are already decided and the captain isn't always the most dominant character on the pitch so it is a purely symbolic appointment and shouldn't matter an iota.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    agree with 1. And anyone who is doubting Wayne's temperament should check the facts - 2 yellow cards and one red card last season in all competitions. Yes, the red against Montenegro was idiotic, but he's clearly learnt how to calm himself down compared to how he used to be.

    Euro 2012 has come and gone. As have the previous two World Cups. We all know how gifted he is as a footballer so get off his back and start supporting our players rather than fuelling this degenerative self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • Comment number 16.

    I hope he man's up for the job as he has big footprints to fill but I doubt he will be the incentive England needs.

  • Comment number 17.

    How can Roy Keane be EVER labelled as some kind of iconic professional player who could be looked up to as a role model when he openly admitted his intention to hurt Alf-Inge Haaland in that horrendous 'tackle' in 2001... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_st29mlQwU

  • Comment number 18.

    Get over him Phil (and yourself while you’re at it please). Some of BBC’s sports features are inexcusably trashy. Stop putting unnecessary pressure on this talented young man. Rooney is the best forward in England by a long way. Yet he is NOT the best in the world by A LONG WAY too. He is not destined for greatness with England, our national team stinks. And it’s San Marino. You do not achieve greatness against San Marino in a qualifying game anyway.

    Please write NOTHING if you have nothing to write about BBC. If I want trash I can buy The Sun. I never contribute financially to that trashy propaganda corporation however. Stop seeking to emulate The Sun BBC please (especially Phil McNutter). That is not cool. It's greedy.

  • Comment number 19.

    Yet another frustrating blog Phil, sticking up for your mate Rooney. I've just done a rough count (so these numbers are just to give an indication rather than a definitive assessment) and that is your 4th blog just on Rooney this year. To out into perspective, of the teams that have played in the premier league this year, that is more times than Fulham, Reading, West Ham, Southampton, Villa, Wigan, Wolves, Swansea, Norwich, WBA, Stoke and Sunderland combined. For teams that have finished out of the top 7 from last season, I counted a grand total of 6 blogs (Wigan Blackburn, Villa, Wolves, Bolton, QPR), I may have missed a few here and there, and been generous in my calculations, I counted 45 blogs this year Phil, on top 7 teams. As I said, this was a rough quick count to give an indication to which way the blogs are skewed.

    And if you were to point out that blogs on smaller teams/players do not attract as many comments, you would be correct. I am not going to argue that point. But what does that make the smaller teams, are we just making up the numbers. You must remember that this is an international blog, for instance I am reading this from Australia. Others reading this will be from Kenya, China, Brazil, America etc etc. All from round the world. We are flooded with, and I don’t use this term wrongly, propaganda, about the top clubs all the time anyway, your blog adds nothing to what will already receive. What we are starved of is information, and detailed analysis of smaller teams. And year on year we are seeing support for the ‘cannon fodder’ teams contract, whilst support for the big clubs continues to grow. And coverage has played a large part in this. Who, when picking a club, would support a club that gets no coverage and you get no detailed assessments about them? Especially if you are overseas .

    Now perhaps I am been a little unfair, after all, you do have to cover England, and the players from the top clubs happen to play for England. And yet, using this particular article as an example, where is the insight to England? There is no mention about how Rooney will fit into Roy's model, the way he wants England to play. I fail to see what this article is meant to achieve, what it is meant to tell us what we already don’t know? England will beat San Marino, and Rooney will be captain, and will probably score a couple..
    I strongly suggest, in the case of your England blogs, that you provide some real insight to the England situation. You will be aware of Holt’s comments last week, about the lack of chances given to English players that do not play for a top club. Now, I don’t agree that Holt should be in this squad, but obviously his comments should have been taken in the context of the wider argument. A blog on some of the fringe English players, the likes of Osman (staggering in itself that he hasn’t been called up) Lambert, Dyer to name a few would have been an intriguing argument. And you didn’t have to think of it yourself! The argument has already begun, thanks to Holt. And yet you deliberately chose to ignore it and write a frankly useless article about Rooney captaining a couple of matches ,one against San Marino, rather than discuss the merits of English players playing well. And no, I don’t expect you to write that the likes of Holt, Lambert etc should be included. But justify why. You are meant to be the Chief Writer for goodness sake. Use some evidence, and not clichés (age, lack of pace etc because round the world players have proven themselves on the international scene despite these attributes supposedly hindering them) on why these players may not fit in to a particular way of playing. And maybe you could start establishing some real credibility among real football people
    I know this is a long post, but such has been my frustration built over such a long period of time. I expect this post to be ignored, and indeed will be shouted down by the usual United, Liverpool etc etc supporters who don’t think they get enough coverage for some absurd reason, but I strongly suggest you start recognising that there is a larger football world out there. And if the BBC had more regular bloggers, I would have more sympathy to your decision of only covering the top sides. And I in no ways expect us to have more coverage then the top teams. But some sort of detailed recognition that we exist may be a start. And that we do have a role to play in English Football and the English National Team.

  • Comment number 20.

    Scunthorpe!

  • Comment number 21.

    Let's cut thru' the chase.
    Has Rooney performed up to expectation as England main striker?
    In Euro 2012?
    In WC 2010?
    Yes he is good at Old T. One can say under the auspices of Fergie mantle or MU aura of smoke & mirrors.
    So far Rooney has not produced up to his alleged WC standards for England's Roy or his predecessors. Correct me if I'm wrong.

  • Comment number 22.

    Defoe on the other hand has lived up to expectations.
    Install Defoe as the man should be the mantra.
    Don't shortchange the nation just because Defoe doesn't play for United.

  • Comment number 23.

    @18
    I beg to differ.
    Mr. McNulty has something important to write about. Especially when it concerns England captaincy which is going to be led by a controversial character with dubious past and has not performed up to expectations to-date at major tournaments .
    You are of course entitled to your opinion... which is not to proffered one here.
    Leave it to us to have our say ;)

  • Comment number 24.

    @10
    Blaming others for his shortcomings. That takes the cake.
    The notion of a WC player is one who carries the team (to wit Maradonnna, Messi, Michael Jordan et aL) NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

  • Comment number 25.

    I have to ask in what world Rooney is fit to be England's captain. I thought one important qualification for captaincy was leadership ability. Where and when has Rooney ever shown his ability to lead and encourage teammates? I had serious doubts when Hodgson was named manager. His ineptness astounds! Good luck England. You're going to need it.

  • Comment number 26.

    I have to laugh at this title. "Rooney is the clear choice to captain England". Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Why is it that we continue to put our stars up on a pedestal right before they drop the ball, only to be shot down in a burst of flames. Rooney is NOT the clear choice except from a seniority standpoint.

    He came into this season unfit, which was totally unprofessional in my view. He hasn't proven anything to anyone that he won't lose his mind again if the going gets tough, and with a full squad, he's not even a first choice, for me, unless we pick people on reputation.

    Oh, that's right. This is England we're talking about. My bad.

    For the record, I would have picked Hart. He CLEARLY IS THE CHOICE.

    http://www.soccerlimeyinamerica.com/?p=4307

  • Comment number 27.

    Rooney is nearly as good now as when he was 18. Unfortunately almost all players improve between ages 18 and 23.

  • Comment number 28.

    Stop whinning and support the lad. Why do't you suggest who should be captain then

  • Comment number 29.

    #28
    "quite clearly" it should be Joe Hart. Rooney's performances on and off the pitch do not represent what an England captain should be. He is not the role model I want for my kids.

    Phil misses the point entirely, it is not Ronney's fault was asked, of course he would accept. This decision tells us more about Hodgson. He has said he would still have the ageing, slowing Terry in his side if possible. He retains Lampard and Gerrard. He chose to take Rooney to the Euros, played him as soon as he could, continued to play him and not sub him instead of others who were performing better. All when he was awful at best. He then makes him captain.

    He is star struck like he predecessors. He will fail like his predecessors. I won't go into his tired, outdated, inflexible 4-4-2. Nor his tactics.

    And wait for Phil's post match "analysis" on how Rooney proved the critics wrong with his mature performance tonight on the international stage (against the mighty San Marino).

  • Comment number 30.

    Time for Rooney to rise to greatness.............?
    Against San Marino..................?

    Comedy Gold from BBCMUTV

  • Comment number 31.

    "If elite players are defined by their contributions to major tournaments, then England's most naturally gifted footballer has yet to fully secure his place in his country's gallery of greats."

    So who has joined this gallery of greats over the last 40 - 50 years? Some very talented players who had great careers never really showed their best football whilst playing for England.Thats not saying that Rooney should not strive to provide something special, but the way that is written you would think England has been winning tournaments as regularly as Germany...

    14. Leek - Completely agree, I actually (boring day at work) went through the boring process of signing up to the BBC just to get this on. I just cannot believe the sheer lameness of these blogs and one can only hope it changes soon

  • Comment number 32.

    Those who don't see Rooney as world class are placing him in a wrong position. No he doesn't have a world-class strike rate, he doesn't get tap-ins and he'll never be a number 9.

    We've found his best position and are playing him there right now at United, but I can't see Woy having the tactical nouse to play him there. I fear he can along 10 years too early. I'm not saying he'd get in the Barcelona team but that's exactly the right style/formation he would fit into.

  • Comment number 33.

    #29
    "performances on and off the pitch do not represent what an England captain should be. He is not the role model I want for my kids."

    Rooney's on and off the pitch perfomances might not be great, so are those of the last captain JT. I suggest you be a role model for your kids and not require that some footballer do it for you. Rooney's descipline has improved of late. I just hope being given more responsibility will propel him to doing more for the country.
    He has not been great at international level, but partly that has to do with the fact that England has not been great. Apart from Him, Hart and Cole, which other world class player is there in that team.

  • Comment number 34.

    Rooney is the modern day John Barnes, can produce the goods for club but not for country.
    Don't think he would be a good choice for captain not consistant enough and doesn't set good examples on or off the pitch.

  • Comment number 35.

    The hate is strong in this thread master Yoda.




    I blame Luis Suarez

  • Comment number 36.

    Oh, and even as a Manchester United fan, this whole "He is not being played in his correct position" wreaks of the same nonsense we have had to put up with from the red half of Liverpool in regards to why Saint Stevie is pants for England 90% of the time.

  • Comment number 37.

    "Rooney: 10 years with England but still unfulfilled"


    Well thats got to be one of Phils biggest u-turns EVER!

  • Comment number 38.

    Hello, is there anybody out there. Just nod if you can hear me.. is there anybody home ?

  • Comment number 39.

    No disrespect to WR who I'm sure is fundamentally a decent person but this has to be - whether through necessity or choice - England's worst ever captain choice. You don't inspire a team because you are supposed to be its best player. You do that anyhow. And does WR strike anyone as being an inspirational character who commands respect and attention and can make team decisions or provide tactical nous? The captain of England used to be a serious issue and to give it to WR given his image and baggage and flaws is a backward step. Surely there has to be someone else even for a one off situation.

  • Comment number 40.

    That really is an embarrassing blog.
    Exquisitely painful hero worship.

  • Comment number 41.

    Rooney is consistently inconsistent. Every time he produces something magical in a game or seems like he is putting a run of good form together he suddenly dips and produces a run of sub-par performances. I'm fully prepared to praise him when he does well and criticise him when he does badly. From your postings Phil it always seems you want to do the former without the latter.

    Rooney's early promise was blown out of all proportion by a media wanting desperately to find the next big star, but IMHO he has never fully realised his potential. He has good qualities like his vision and his workrate, but also flaws like his poor (sometimes hopeless) first touch and his temperament. The latter he has worked on and it does seem to have improved, but it doesn't help when English referees turn a blind eye to some of his indiscretions like his elbow two seasons ago.

    Rooney is a Zlatan Ibrahimovich type player. Capable of great things and scoring great goals but also capable of looking like he hasn't played football before and being hopelessly off the pace. What is embarrassing though is for the English media to compare him to historically great players like Pele or Maradonna, or the current worlds best players in Ronaldo and Messi. Such comparisons are really undeserved because he isn't as good as any of those players but he is a good player and on his day can be world class.

  • Comment number 42.

    You English are hilarious in the way you treat your players, Rooney would start in any team in the world, Spain included. I live in Italy, when the Italians talk of England they only mention 2 players, Rooney and Gerrard. They respect Gerard as a world class player, but they are afraid of Rooney. The guy has 29 international goals, including 21 in competitive games. He'll go 5th on the all time list if he scores tonight. In 2004 he was the best player at the Euros, England were hopefull of winning until he got injured. In 2006 he played even though injured, same goes for 2012 so give the guy a break. In a generation of mediocre England internationals, maybe you should give a little support to the guy who is carrying all the rest since he was 18.

  • Comment number 43.

    42. At 08:47 12th Oct 2012, Irecolly wrote:
    maybe you should give a little support to the guy who is carrying all the rest since he was 18.

    More comedy gold.
    Rooney has done very little positive for any England side since 2004. You are talking utter claptrap. The only reason Italian fans might be "afraid" of Rooney most certainly wouldn't be for any footballing reasons.

  • Comment number 44.

    #42 Irecolly
    In a generation of mediocre England internationals, maybe you should give a little support to the guy who is carrying all the rest since he was 18.
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    You have just given the reason why some think of Rooney as world class, the rest are poor. That does not make him world class.
    Anyone thinking Rooney would start for any team in the world is deluded.
    His first touch and control is very poor and the top teams demand first touch and control to be a basic for their players.

  • Comment number 45.

    44. At 08:53 12th Oct 2012, parisian818 wrote:
    Anyone thinking Rooney would start for any team in the world is deluded.
    His first touch and control is very poor
    ________________________________________________________________

    Rooney can trap a ball further than he can kick it......

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    29.
    At 07:49 12th Oct 2012, letusbefair wrote:

    #28

    Phil misses the point entirely, it is not Ronney's fault was asked, of course he would accept. This decision tells us more about Hodgson.
    _________________________

    Spot on. After the dismal performances at the Euros (which he should have never gone to by the way) that was the opportunity for Hodgson to say i'm not picking players purely on reputation. Not only is Rooney straight back in the team he is made captain.

    It will make no difference in the next match - you could put me up front instead of Rooney and England would still beat San Marino. The issues will arise in Brazil in 2014 when Rooney will no doubt be hyped up as the man who can win us the World Cup singlehandedly only to be rubbish.

  • Comment number 48.

    I think it is highly likely Rooney will become one of the top scoring/highest capped players for England. Does this make him great? No!
    He is the English version of David Healy - scores plenty in qualifying and friendlies but never does it when it counts.

    3 goals in International tournaments is an awful record for the main striker and star player of a big side.

  • Comment number 49.

    I'm stuck in two minds. If Hodgson can get the best out of Rooney we stand a much better chance of success than if he were cast aside. Having said that we really do need to get away from the mindset that certain players have to play no matter their fitness or form. Too many players in the past have gone to tournaments unfit and having no recent games under their belt. Rooney playing from a deeper (no 10) position has looked very good so hopefully Hodgson plays him coming from deep; it was when he was picking up the ball deep and running with it at Euro2004 when he looked great and at 26 it's not too late for him yet to fulfil that early promise.

  • Comment number 50.

    Does anyone know the number of goals Messi scored during the last World cup (2010). Does that change the fact that he is the greatest player of all time, NO. I will be behind WR all the way in tonight's macth and beyond.

  • Comment number 51.

    This is all a bit of a non story. Do you think Hodgson cares about your kids? No, he just wants to win and keep his job for as long as possible. Plus its against SAN MARINO. We could make a ball boy captain and still win. If this was against Spain or Germany then i could understand the point in this blog. Fact is, he'll be captain for one game and the game is against an international side who would struggle in League two. Gerrard will be back on Tuesday. Relax. Stop putting unnecessery pressure on our best players (of which Rooney is obviously one). Hopefully we go out score 8 concede none and Rooney scores all 8.

  • Comment number 52.

    I think your piece on Wayne Rooney was excellent.
    I am amazed at some of the comments regards his ability.
    On this site.
    No matter what he does somehow or other his head is always.
    On the chopping block.
    We know he is not a Maradona or a Messi so try not to compare.
    Him that way.
    He is a wonderful player with a lot of ability and still many years ahead.
    Of him so lets enjoy what he has himself.
    His touch and control is poor somebody commented (killingholme)
    Sorry my friend you really have to see him week in week out not by TV.

  • Comment number 53.

    Surely one of the most over-rated England players ever. The fact that he has failed at every tournament he's played in since 2004 seems to have passed the media, pundits and his managers by with one likening him to Pele during the last tournament.
    Rooney is now a pale shadow of the player who lit up the Euro 2004 tournament in Portugal. That he has been Man Utd's top scorer is an indictment of the quality of the PL and not a testament to Rooney's skills.

  • Comment number 54.

    Have to agree with the majority of comments about this blog. There are far more interesting (and controversial) things that could be talked about regarding England this week. Like maybe a comparison between being an English player not playing for one of the big 4 (and Liverpool) and being a BBC blog about a team that isn't one of the big 4 (and Liverpool).

    Even taking this blog at it's merits it still doesn't show any sort of analysis. Again, it could have been about the fact that he claims to have grown up despite missing half the previous tournament because of a petulant act. It could have looked at Hodgson's decision to give him the armband despite Rooney not having played for England yet in this qualifying campaign.

    This reads more like a piece from the Wayne Rooney fans club, allude to the fact that he has made mistakes and was a naughty boy but he has really grown up in these past 4 days!

    Oh and no Rooney should not be captain, the captain should be someone who plays at the back (goal keeper or defender, doesn't matter which) in my opinion as it means that they are able to analyse the majority of the pitch (plus those players tend to be the best organisers/have the biggest gobs).

  • Comment number 55.

    50.At 09:25 12th Oct 2012, United_Again_I_Say_United wrote:

    That is exactly why Messi is not the greatest player of all time!
    Maradonna and Pele are considered the best and a large contribution to their legacy are their appearances and performances in the World cup.

    It is easy to be great player playing for a great team in a poor league. International football is where you show your true class.

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    Also Rooney has thrived at United, contributing to four league titles and a champions league winning campaign. Every week at Old Trafford the crowd back him and the team to the hilt. Rooney has failed to shine for England, and everytime he pulls on an England shirt every non Manchester United fan is praying for him to fail. I hope he retires early from international duty and focus on playing for a club and entertaining its fans who actually respect him as a player.

  • Comment number 58.

    57.At 09:38 12th Oct 2012, andrew9090 wrote:

    The same fans whom Jeered him after he said he wanted to leave Utd!

  • Comment number 59.

    Why do the English insist on slating there best player..... he's captain because he has gained experience and won more than most of the england team put together, who else is Hodgson going to pick. the fact he talks to rooney about how he thinks the team are doing says alot for Rooney, im sure there's more than one person on this site that believe they know better than the currant manager and wouldnt have rooney near the squad..... rooney weather you like it or not is one of if not thee best england player atm. A good captain has a bit of attitude and grit. i think rooney will suit the role. but remember..... please remember this guys weather you win 1-0 2-0 or 10-0 its only san marino

  • Comment number 60.

    Rooney should be made permanent England captain. Gerrard is past it and will be too old for Brazil. Time for Roy to take a leaf out of Sir Alf's book and to only pick young players under 30 with longevity. It's great that Terry has been forced to drop out. He was far too slow for the international game. Nobody should be in the England set-up now who will be older than 32 in Brazil. Think of that blistering heat. Without doubt Rooney is the best player in the EPL.

  • Comment number 61.

    36.At 08:26 12th Oct 2012, Jesus the Teddy Bear wrote:
    regards to why Saint Stevie is pants for England 90% of the time.
    ______________________________

    To be honest mate , you would be hard pushed to name any player who is not pants for England 90% of the time

  • Comment number 62.

    Play Rooney in midfield, give him the armband and England will be a different side with a serious chance of winning the World Cup in Brazil. And please drop Ashley Cole who will be too old at 33 to cope with the blistering pace of the Germans, who will be our main rivals.

  • Comment number 63.

    60.
    At 09:45 12th Oct 2012, CarterUSM1 wrote:

    Without doubt Rooney is the best player in the EPL.
    _______________________

    Without doubt that statement is preposterous.

  • Comment number 64.

    Comment number 58.
    At 09:41 12th Oct 2012, clummers

    Well everyone makes mistakes!

  • Comment number 65.

    59. At 09:44 12th Oct 2012, King Red wrote:
    Why do the English insist on slating there best player.....

    Nobody on this thread has slated Joe Hart.
    What the hell are you on about?

  • Comment number 66.

    And why should Hart be made captain? Apart from his performance against Dortmund his performances for city have been woeful this season! At fault for two goals in the Bernabeu, both goals against southampton came from very "savable" shots...the list goes on where he has lost concentration. At least Rooney has a nasty injury to blame for his lack of goals!

  • Comment number 67.

    I really cannot get excited about whether Rooney is captain or not. What's much more interesting is that Hodgson continues to see him as a striker when, as recent club evidence shows, he's much more effective as an offensive midfielder with a right to roam. I know we have a real lack of striking talent, but Rooney's performances and goals per game ratio for the national team don't justify him putting him ahead of genuine strikers. Hodgson should try Walcott as a striker, something that Wenger seems so dead set against but every Saints supporter will tell you is his best position...

  • Comment number 68.

    "#55. clummers
    It is easy to be great player playing for a great team in a poor league. International football is where you show your true class."

    uhhhh, George Best? Eric Cantona? David Ginola? Stan Bowles? Matt Le Tissier?

  • Comment number 69.

    62.
    At 09:48 12th Oct 2012, CarterUSM1 wrote:

    Play Rooney in midfield, give him the armband and England will be a different side with a serious chance of winning the World Cup in Brazil.
    _________________________

    I don't like repeating myself but that statement is also preposterous.

  • Comment number 70.

    51.At 09:27 12th Oct 2012, brooksy wrote:
    _________________________

    Sensible post , I think most people would agree with all that.

  • Comment number 71.

    55.
    At 09:32 12th Oct 2012, clummers wrote:

    Im not to sure about that clummers. the prem league teams consist of top players where as as like tonight england are playing part timers. international football has changed because club football has changed. of course with rooney being picked as cap there will be lots of wums on here today basically trying to slate the lad by rambling on about previous situations or by mentioning the weird shape of the lads head, that to me says more about the england fans than anything, any team in the prem would take rooney in a heart beat, england fans..... they think they know better. Rooney would also walk on to most international teams, even some of the very best.

  • Comment number 72.

    65.
    At 09:52 12th Oct 2012, Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake) wrote:

    59. At 09:44 12th Oct 2012, King Red wrote:
    Why do the English insist on slating there best player.....

    Nobody on this thread has slated Joe Hart.
    What the hell are you on about?
    ----
    Joe Hart.... who mentioned him??? what are you on about, im talking about wayne rooney as captain..... read above plenty of slating going on.... who's joe hart btw?

  • Comment number 73.

    I think everyone is making to much of the England captaincy again. Really don't think it matters who stands in especially against San Marino

  • Comment number 74.

    @65 Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake)

    You spoke too soon. See #66

  • Comment number 75.

    62.
    At 09:48 12th Oct 2012, CarterUSM1 wrote:


    Play Rooney in midfield, give him the armband and England will be a different side with a serious chance of winning the World Cup in Brazil. And please drop Ashley Cole who will be too old at 33 to cope with the blistering pace of the Germans, who will be our main rivals.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    This statement is insane

  • Comment number 76.

    #73
    I doesn't make any difference any of the time, absolutely none. The team needs to play well and if it doesn't we won't win anything.

    The team playing well has nothing to do with who wears a little stretchy armband.

  • Comment number 77.

    68.At 09:53 12th Oct 2012, a fat bloke down the pub said so wrote:

    HA HA HA Eric Cantona, Matt Le Tissier, David Ginola - Good one!]

    Maradonna, Pele, Garincha, Baggio, Maldini, Zidane, Zico , Socrates all made enhanced their rep and legacy in the world cups

  • Comment number 78.

    63.
    At 09:49 12th Oct 2012, BaggiosPonytail wrote
    i wouldnt agree that hes the best, but look at his stats..... says he def up there. if you watch the prem its there to see, he finishes second top goal scorer and gets slated for having a bad season. scores the winner for england but gets slated, gets picked to captain england but gets slated, wins more silver ware than most of the england squad but gets slated.... i can tell you this it wouldnt happen in another country but england. celebrate your team, dont slate them.....

  • Comment number 79.

    76.
    At 09:59 12th Oct 2012, Weallfollowunited wrote:


    #73
    I doesn't make any difference any of the time, absolutely none. The team needs to play well and if it doesn't we won't win anything.

    The team playing well has nothing to do with who wears a little stretchy armband.
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Exactly. Players who lead well and are vocal in instructions will still carry on the same way without the armband.

  • Comment number 80.

    77.
    At 09:59 12th Oct 2012, clummers wrote:

    68.At 09:53 12th Oct 2012, a fat bloke down the pub said so wrote:

    HA HA HA Eric Cantona, Matt Le Tissier, David Ginola - Good one!]
    ===========
    clummers come on, those guys were some of the league best ever players..... but on the international stage..... different story. put it this way if your club could take any of those players in there prime would you not be over joyed?

  • Comment number 81.

    77.
    At 09:59 12th Oct 2012, clummers wrote:


    68.At 09:53 12th Oct 2012, a fat bloke down the pub said so wrote:

    HA HA HA Eric Cantona, Matt Le Tissier, David Ginola - Good one!]

    Maradonna, Pele, Garincha, Baggio, Maldini, Zidane, Zico , Socrates all made enhanced their rep and legacy in the world cups
    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Yes, but know the European club stage is the highest standard and the stage that the internationals used to be.

  • Comment number 82.

    Unfortunately Rooney will never reach the very top levels, as like many before him, he puts Man U in front of England. And the person to blame for that is A. Ferguson

  • Comment number 83.

    Good grief. Him as Captain says it all about English football and the international team in particular. A new low!

    His best days as a player were when he was abaout 19-20. Downhill ever since and never the 'world class' performer you lot in the media bull him up to be. Putting his name in the same blog that mentions Bobby Moore is shameful in itself to be honest.

  • Comment number 84.

    28.
    At 07:34 12th Oct 2012, United_Again_I_Say_United wrote:

    Stop whinning and support the lad. Why do't you suggest who should be captain then
    ---
    come on man..... he plays for Manchester United, universally hated and envied.

  • Comment number 85.

    Another brick in the wall of the joke the FA are, what a great message to youngsters, swear down cameras, petulantly kick out at player, berate referees with foul language at any given opportunity and your reward is England captain!

    Not to mention the fact he is completely useless for England, bottles every big game as he does for Man U and has been a hindrance in most games he plays in. It beggars belief, but what doesn't these days when the FA are involved.

  • Comment number 86.

    82.
    At 10:04 12th Oct 2012, richard ord wrote:

    Unfortunately Rooney will never reach the very top levels, as like many before him, he puts Man U in front of England. And the person to blame for that is A. Ferguson
    ----
    lol go back to bed

  • Comment number 87.

    #83
    Who would you make captain then? Do you actually think it makes the slightest bit of difference who wears a little armband?

  • Comment number 88.

    82.
    At 10:04 12th Oct 2012, richard ord wrote:


    Unfortunately Rooney will never reach the very top levels, as like many before him, he puts Man U in front of England. And the person to blame for that is A. Ferguson
    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Yes blame Fergie for playing him at the highest level (champions league) and giving him a chance to improve.

    What a monster

  • Comment number 89.

    80.At 10:02 12th Oct 2012, King Red wrote:

    Joking aside all were very good players

    81.At 10:02 12th Oct 2012, Theres_something_about_joe wrote:

    Yes agreed the European stage is the top one but the beauty about International football is that you can't buy the tournament lies Chelsea, Madrid etc have done. You have to play with what you have got in your own country.

  • Comment number 90.

    79.At 10:01 12th Oct 2012, Theres_something_about_joe wrote:

    I doesn't make any difference any of the time, absolutely none. The team needs to play well and if it doesn't we won't win anything.

    The team playing well has nothing to do with who wears a little stretchy armband.
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Exactly. Players who lead well and are vocal in instructions will still carry on the same way without the armband.

    _________________________________

    If the managers called the toss of the coin on the touchline before kick off you could do away with captains all together.

  • Comment number 91.

    "To be honest mate , you would be hard pushed to name any player who is not pants for England 90% of the time"


    Tis true dat.

  • Comment number 92.

    87.
    At 10:07 12th Oct 2012, Weallfollowunited wrote:


    #83
    Who would you make captain then? Do you actually think it makes the slightest bit of difference who wears a little armband?
    ---------------------------------------------------

    I think it has magical powers that could be used for good or evil and some commentators are worries Rooney's nature will lead him to the darkisde

  • Comment number 93.

    89.
    At 10:07 12th Oct 2012, clummers wrote:


    80.At 10:02 12th Oct 2012, King Red wrote:

    Joking aside all were very good players

    81.At 10:02 12th Oct 2012, Theres_something_about_joe wrote:

    Yes agreed the European stage is the top one but the beauty about International football is that you can't buy the tournament lies Chelsea, Madrid etc have done. You have to play with what you have got in your own country.
    ------------------------------------

    Agree with that but the point is that the CL is more of a measuring stick for greatness

  • Comment number 94.

    #90
    Exactly.

    #92
    The ITV commentators probably wouldn't notice if it did.

  • Comment number 95.

    89.
    At 10:07 12th Oct 2012, clummers wrote:
    Yes agreed the European stage is the top one but the beauty about International football is that you can't buy the tournament lies Chelsea, Madrid etc have done. You have to play with what you have got in your own country.
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    excatly clummers, harder to manage a team, harder to be part of a team, time to gel etc. with rio terry cole lampard and gerrard i believe all missing the game it was a no brainer. but again its only an arm band, too much hype. it'll be a good game though, rooney for a hat trick is prob sitting at 1/2 atm.......

  • Comment number 96.

    @72
    England's best player certainly isn't Rooney.
    He might qualify as our best under performer or liability.

  • Comment number 97.

    Wearing the armband grants all the same preformance enhancment as a racing stripe on a car

  • Comment number 98.

    Wayne Rooney is a conundrum. For Manchester United, he thrives, he scores many goals and utilises his talent to the fullest. For England though, it has always been a different story. He was magnificent in Euro 2004, he was arguably the player of the tournament and was top scorer. If he had continued this form in international football, we would talk about him as one of the very best players in the world.

    Rooney is not alone in being unable to replicate his club form for the three lions. Many other players have had this exact same issue. There could be many reasons why but ultimately the players don't appear to enjoy playing for England like they did in the 1990's.

    For many years, I believe that Frank Lampard was a problem for Rooney with England. He was always running into the space that Rooney loves to use. This deterred Rooney from dropping off his markers which is the fulcrum of his whole game. Also, it was far to easy for opponents to push his buttons. This often meant he found himself worrying more about his mental state than actually kicking a football.

    Rooney can still elevate England with his skill, strength and imagination. He is a real rarity for an English born footballer, he thinks outside the box and doesn't play in straight lines. Perhaps Roy Hodgson should enquire to Alex Ferguson as to exactly how he gets the best out of Rooney. Its the one area of his career where he has unfinished business so that alone should motivate him.

    People rightly say England are a poor team currently. Yet a spine that contains Joe Hart, Jack Wilshere and Wayne Rooney gives a good base to build a team around.

    I have never bought into the notion that England's players are hugely inferior technically. Of course they are inferior to the likes of Spain and Germany, but not so much that this is the reason they lose. The issues that are more important are a lack of imagination, tactical naivety and limited movement. The reason Spanish players look so good on the ball is because they always have 2/3 options, this is down to movement of team-mates. England don't do this as we will see in the coming days.

    Rooney is probably England's most technically gifted player. Now aged 26, he needs to translate his club form to the international arena. A Wayne Rooney playing at full capacity can drag the team to victory, the Rooney we usually see for England might as well not bother...

  • Comment number 99.

    96.
    At 10:13 12th Oct 2012, Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake) wrote:


    @72
    England's best player certainly isn't Rooney.
    He might qualify as our best under performer or liability.
    ------------------------------------------

    Who is in your opinion

  • Comment number 100.

    93.At 10:10 12th Oct 2012, Theres_something_about_joe wrote:

    It is a different measuring stick. You can still make a name for yourself in International Tournaments without playing regularly in the champs league but it is becoming harder due to the money in the comp.

 

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