Save Wayne Rooney: Sir Alex, Please Judge Again

Andrew WhittakerCorrespondent IMay 2, 2009

This article will be connected with a growing concern that many Manchester United fans have had over the last months.

That being, of course, the misuse of the biggest talent of the country: Wayne Rooney.

Continuously, seemingly to compensate for Cristiano Ronaldo's missing tactical ability, Wayne has been used on the wing. This has frequently been seen in the Champions League especially, but now Sir Alex seems to have accepted the idea, and that's resulted in several Premier League outings on the flank.

Wayne Rooney is one of the few players today who does not mind being played at a different position; he simply just wants to play.

However, this should not alter Ferguson's judgement when it comes to where his most destructive player should be.


I read two very interesting articles today, one written by Terry Venables and another commenting upon Rooney's role in Tuesday's match against Arsenal.

Venables chose to label his article in the Sun "Rooney is Messi Mk II"; he's actually comparing the act of Lionel Messi to Wayne's performance on the wing. The following was included:

"When Rooney plays on the left, he becomes much more difficult to mark...[he] finally seems to have got his head round the fact that he can have an impact and influence games from the left. And that has to be right for him—and United."

Now, that first comment is, in my opinion, absolutely ridiculous. If you think back to Rooney's October form, when he was deployed behind a solid Dimitar Berbatov, he thrived immensely. The defenses of the league had nothing against him, and he consequently answered with the best goal-scoring stretch of his life.

I do agree with one thing Venables said in the article, though: Wayne can have an impact from the left or right. He could do well as a centre-half, which Sir Alex alarmingly pointed out today after the Boro match:

"He says he’s a good centre-half, and we’ll find out one day! He’s got the ingredients."

Even though Ferguson might be joking here, let's hope we won't ever find out whether or not Rooney is a "good centre-half."


The point of this is that Wayne is the biggest talent this country has seen for a long, long time. When he came bursting onto the scene at age 16, few could help thinking that a world-beater had presented himself.

Even as his goal haul this season has been acceptable, if he was given a continuous run as a second striker, we would see a Wayne Rooney that torments national and international defenses.

If he ever is to become the player we all hope he will one day become, he needs to be given a serious continuity. I hope for fans of Man U and England that Sir Alex Ferguson will reject the ideas of people such as Terry Venables and his amusing articles.