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Wayne Rooney - A good England International?

Aman Kedia
826   //    11 Nov 2012, 22:10 IST

We have seen Wayne Rooney do it all for his club – Manchester United and also his ex-club Everton. But, when it comes to the matches of the Three Lions, Wayne Rooney has all but failed. He may be among the top 5 scorers for England, but that doesn’t underline the fact that he has under-performed when it comes to his country. Apart from his first Euros, when Rooney was a young lad, short-tempered and faster than he is now, he has really not done well for England.

Although England have a number of strikers available to them, they have always entrusted Rooney with the job.
Many Three Lions supporters, who are not supporters of Manchester United have always complained that Wayne Rooney has done nothing for his country and hence, cannot be categorized as a world-class player. They maybe somewhat right with their proposition. There is no doubt that Wayne Rooney is an exceptionally talented player with great speed, accuracy and commitment. But all these aspects of his game have been seen only when he plays for his club – Manchester United. Many England fans were disgusted with the performance of English players in the last World Vup and blamed Wayne Rooney for his poor performance too.

But the fact that Rooney has underperformed for England may indicate that the style of play of the Three Lions doesn’t suit the play of Wayne Rooney. Rooney always likes the free role that he plays for his club, but when it comes to England, he mostly plays as the lone striker. We all know that Wayne Rooney can finish, but he is not a natural finisher. He plays at his best when he is free to move around the pitch. Now, this is where the propositions come into play. A world class player is a world class player because he can adopt to the changes in teams and playing positions. We have seen Rooney perform well in different positions for United, but when it comes to England, Wayne just fails to impress.

It’s not that Wayne Rooney doesn’t give his full effort when he plays for his country, but it just hasn’t happened for him so far, while playing for England. He has always said that he is 100% committed to help the Three Lions win, and Roy Hodgson has also said that Wayne Rooney is the future captain of England, but until England win something and Wayne Rooney scores a considerable number of goals for the Three Lions, he will still be facing such accusations and allegations from English supporters (other than the Old Trafford faithful).

Rooney is not the only well established player who faces such allegations. Lionel Messi is a classic example: Messi has been mesmerizing for Barcelona throughout his career, but when it comes to playing for his national side – Argentina, Messi has failed to impress. A lot of football legends have argued that Messi cannot be compared to the likes of Pele, Maradona, Zidane and others because he hasn’t performed at the same level for his country. Hence, for a player to be truly a legend, he has to perform both for his club and country.

At 26, Wayne Rooney has a lot of time to improve on his England career and win a major title with the Three Lions. To be classified as a truly world class player, he must perform for England at the same level as he does for Manchester United. Perhaps, he needs someone in the England coaching staff to give him a ‘Hairdryer Treatment’ when he is playing for England.

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