Don't Get Ahead of Yourself, United: Rooney Will Disappoint

will evansCorrespondent IJuly 6, 2009

ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN - JUNE 06:  Wayne Rooney of England is congratulated after scoring by team-mate Frank Lampard during the FIFA2010 World Cup Qualifier between Kazakhstan and England at the Central Stadium on June 6, 2009 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Let me start out by saying that I'm not slating Rooney at all. In fact, he has been my favorite player in 2004.

His passion, aggression, heart, and all around ability combine to make Rooney a fantastic player and a crowd favorite among United and England fans.

So it's only natural, with Ronaldo's departure and the subsequent lose of 25+ goals a season, that fans place the leadership responsibility on Rooney. I know I initially did.

Fans are expecting Rooney to have a breakout season next year. I have no doubt that this next season will see the best of his career.

But fans are anticipating far too much.

I have no doubt Rooney will have a 20+ goal season, but actually expecting him to replace Ronaldo whilst scoring his own tally is ridiculous. Sure he will probably be United's top scorer next season, but he won't be able to make up for the loss of Ronaldo.

The expectations placed on his beefy shoulders—not only by fans but himself—are creating a mindset in which Rooney is the savior who will guide United to the promised land.

This is unreasonable, and won't happen. It is simply too much to ask. Rooney will have a memorable campaign, but it won't be legendary, as people seem to anticipate.

So sit back, get excited for next season, and anticipate a new and improved Rooney who will hopefully play in his natural position.

But don't over-expect. The man is human, and as mighty as he may be, unreasonable expectations simply lead to disappointment.