An Open Letter to Wayne Rooney: Dear Wazza, we hope there's more to come from you!
I'm quite sure that I'm writing this to you in good health, but it’s certain that you're not receiving this in the best health that your footballing career has ever witnessed. As they say- "A healthy mind in a healthy body," I don't think that your mind would be in a healthy state right now, implying that you're clearly not in a state that you would be liking.
It’s been days since I saw you smile, or at least, flash a grin during your presence on the pitch in a game, which would be enough to suggest that you're a happy man. Although, I can't imagine what you would be going through right now but I can certainly empathise with what is being made of you these days.
And much like the situation of the club right now, you aren't the player you used to be. When it comes to respite, all that exists right now in that sense is nothing.
Before I jump to your rescue, irrespective of whatever anyone scoffs about this, Jamie Carragher has done that already. And I second him in your defence, which is something you really need right now.
I can't imagine being under the spotlight every second of the day, being at the receiving end of innumerable amounts of abuse from detractors from all around the globe. I can't contemplate living a life where people sometimes tend to forget that I am human and treat me as if I am a mere laughing stock, who doesn't have the feelings that my detractors have.
I would never want to live a life where the amount of pressure I deal with in every minute of a day would only add to my woes. I would hate to live a life in which I can't move about my city in peace. And every place I go comes to a standstill because I'm there.
I don't want to have people like the English FA officials around me, who leak information out to the media just to make matters worse and spoil my already tarnished reputation. But the whole fact of the matter is that, you Wayne, are living a life that most would hate to come close to residing in.
And you don't know how much I revere you for that matter.
I've always had a soft spot for footballers, you know. They put their bodies on the line every single week and play in front of thousands of people, excluding those who are clinging onto you for making sure that their week passes by well. People like you harbour and carry the hopes and aspirations of millions of people across the globe.
And no matter how many good things you do, a minute error can be enough to vitiate your reputation among the masses.
I've got to admit that you've been one of the most inspirational figures of my life and throughout childhood, I never missed a single opportunity to watch you on TV, play for United and win us games. You're among those players who have taught me how to live my life by never giving up, being cent percent committed in everything you do and never backing away from a challenge.
And no matter what happens in the next few months, you'll always be my hero.
You may be enduring the worst period of your footballing career, but I've seen you go past everything that's been thrown at you, much like how you zoomed past defenders as a 25-year-old. The manner in which you've proved people wrong in the past has always been left overshadowed by the glorification of your failures by the infamously famous media of your country.
In fact, they are the biggest force in the world that you've proved soundly wrong many times in your career. But they, being the media, never seem to give in. And you, being the Wayne Rooney I know, will never back down from proving them wrong.
The sight of you banging in goals in every single game has been replaced by the deeply saddening sight of you warming up on the sidelines around the 60th minute of the game. While the performance trajectory of your career has receded, the professionalism graph has crept admirably up.
When you were dropped by Gareth Southgate from the English national side, I was heart-broken but was of the opinion that it was being done to take you out of the firing line. And the manner in which you dealt with the unenviable glare of the cameras at the press conference was commendable, to say the least.
Despite knowing that you were dropped, you came to the press conference to face the media. On top of that, you lauded stand-in skipper Jordan Henderson for being the kind of player he is. You were brave enough to take it on the chin and accept your failures.
You showed another glimpse of being a thoroughly professional individual during United's 4-1 win over Fenerbahce in the Europa League. You could have taken both the penalties that Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial eventually scored from, but you were happy to give them away to those who needed it lesser than you did.
It was an instance of the amount of presence of mind you have during the chain of events that can be unfavourable. If say, you hadn't allowed either Pogba or Martial to take it, the media would have torn you apart. And if you had missed them, the front and back pages the next day would've been full of it.
I miss chanting your name by sitting in front of the TV, whenever you scored. I yearn to go back to the time when a dynamic young Rooney ran rings around the opposition defences. Missing those long gone days won't help as much as realising that they won't come back at this age.
You're not the quick, nippy forward, that could go past the backline on his own. But you still have the determination and hunger to give your all for the team.
Your performance against Feyenoord reminded me of the Wayne Rooney I have grown up watching. For around seventy minutes, it felt as if I had gone back in time, to assume the form of a kid to watch a nippy, sharp and energetic form of you again. Apart from being nostalgia, it was probably a signal of intent from you.
It suggested that while everyone can criticise and abuse you as much as they want, you will never stop shattering records.
Bad times may be battering you. People may be trying to criticise you for being a soft target, but you have dealt with every bit of that throughout your career, haven't you Wazza? In fact, these are the qualities that separated you from the rest at a point of time. You're being kicked when you're down and you are being made the scapegoat for the overall failures of someone else, I believe.
You've won and accomplished things that many have failed to win. But few realise as to why successes are never as highlighted as failures. But no matter who supports you, I certainly will. Because Wayne Rooney isn't dead yet. There's more to come. It's only a matter of time before you do what your career has been founded on - prove the doubters wrong.
A Manchester United fan who never gives up hope.