I am not sure exactly how to begin this article, so I'll start with end.
The headline is a dead giveaway, though, so here goes: Rooney is overrated.
Now, I am sure millions of Man United fans will quite naturally disagree with me. Taking the emotions and blind loyalty aside, the hard facts speak for themselves.
Wayne Rooney, as a pure footballer, is above average. I tend to measure the talent and potential of a player by asking whether that player, if born in another country, would be deemed good enough to play for the national team.
Would Rooney, if eligible, be called up to the Brazil, Italy, Spain, France, or even Germany squad? Bar Germany, I think Rooney would not only struggle to get into the team, he would find it near impossible to be regularly called up to the national team.
The problem with Rooney, and much of it is not his fault, is that, because he his English, the media portrayed him as a phenomenon.
Remember when he was touted by the British media as the new Ronaldo? Roonaldo, they called him.
I guess the media is doing its patriotic bit.
Here are the reasons why I believe, although Rooney is good, he's ultimately just that; an over-hyped good player.
The common argument I hear in defence of Rooney, why he's not scoring enough and why, even as the no. 1 striker for Man Utd for over four years, he's yet to hit the 20 goal target, is the position/type of football he plays.
Let's break it down.
Whether as a target man, or "the rover" behind and around a target man, he is still scoring far less than expected.
When playing as a what I call a rover, you would expect him to score more often because of the freedom he enjoys, but he never scores.
Saha did that for him, did not score enough, Larson did that for him, Berba is doing that for him and guess what? Same old story.
His record as target man is dismal at best. So i'll leave that be. Rooney overrated? Correct.
Who is better, Tevez or Rooney?
I say Tevez. The same energy levels, but the gritty Argentinian has a better scoring ratio than Rooney, either playing as a target man or rover.
So why is he not playing? Simple, because he is not English.
Now, before anyone accuses me of being anti-Anglo, let's look at the players currently playing with Rooney and make a comparison.
No comment except to ask how does Rooney answer this question, how is it that a goal provider and a winger no less score more than a striker, every season?
Here's a player again who, spends less games playing, but has a better scoring ratio.
The Spaniard saw, came and conquered in a way Rooney could only have dreamed of.
What's more, he plays as a lone striker, which means he takes more knocks and works twice as hard because he does not have the support that Rooney has.
Is Rooney worth the hype? Let me answer that by saying lets look at fellow professionals, who are either at the same age or were hyped as much as him at the that age.
Worth the hype. As a pure talent, Rooney can't compare. As a goalscorer, Rooney lags. Sad, but not surprising.
Pure and thorough striker scoring like it's second nature to him. As a talent, Kun probably edges him.
What a player. What a striker. No comparison.
Better technique. Inconsistent like Rooney, just less hyped.
Now I am tempted to compare to the original Ronaldo.
At 20—23 years old Ronaldo would have made Rooney look like a Sunday league player.
Samuel Eto would earn more than Rooney if he was paid per goal and United's no. 10 would then be a Reading FC superstar.
However one looks at it, whether via talent or strike rate, he's simply not making the cut.
Whereas other young superstars are in great demand, there is hardly a peep of interest from European powerhouses about Rooney.
It's not because Man United are not willing to sell, or that he is not interested in a move, it's just that he is not that good.
He is a valuable team player but hardly one that makes or breaks the side.
So why so much hype?
Well, simply because, like Joe Cole, Theo Walcott, and Owen Hagreaves, Rooney has been over-hyped by an English media desperate for a genuine superstar.
Hence the hate campaign against a genuine football talent; Cristiano Ronaldo.
Rooney is good. Phenomenon? Ask Ronaldo. He's somewhere in Brazil proving critics wrong. Call me when Rooney achieves half of that.
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