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Why Wayne Rooney is the most important player for Manchester United and England in 2015

2015 is here and the footballing season has taken baby step into its second half. The year has a lot in store for Manchester United and the England na ...

CONTRIBUTOR
Feature 05 Jan 2015, 16:34 IST
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Six wins already as Captain, England’s potential leader?

2015 is here and the footballing season has taken baby step into its second half. The year has a lot in store for Manchester United and the England national team. The Premier League, as always is throwing up surprises  as the Red Devils are placed at third, nine points behind League leaders Chelsea and Man City. The FA Cup has just started and United has limped into the fourth round, defeating Yeovil Town. 

During the international break, England has to play the Euro qualifiers against Lithuania, Slovenia, San Marino, Switzerland and Estonia and friendlies against Italy and Ireland. The three lions would be looking to prove their worth, after their disappointing World Cup campaign. And there is one man, whose touch of brilliance and superb leadership might inspire the team this year. Yes. It’s the skipper of Man United and England, Wayne Rooney.  He has been in terrific form for both club and country in recent times and we can expect that to continue in 2015 as well.
 

The rise of Rooney as the English captain:

He was given the captaincy of the national team, after Gerrard’s retirement. Under his leadership, England won all of their six games and Rooney scored the same number as well. Rooney managed to motivate his teammates like no other Captain in the past. His “player-only” meetings have helped the team to unite. The match winning performances for England in the international break this have been a pleasing bonus.

The perfect leader for England’s young players:
Rooney is by far the best player in the England right now. His experience and prowess have proven very useful for the team. The 29-year old’s  ability to play in multiple positions with ease has allowed the younger players to develop their potential. England needs more players like him, who can play in more than one position. Wayne Rooney, 

English fans can expect him to continue his winning ways and lead England to many more victories.

Rooney’s brilliance as Man Utd skipper:
After Nemanja Vidic’s departure, Rooney was handed the Captain’s armband. He  has played 16 games in the EPL this season and here are few statistics to prove his growth. 

  • Goals: Rooney is the top scorer for his team with 8 goals, ahead of Mata (5) and Falcao (3). While Robin Van Persie also has 8 goals to his name, Rooney netted those 8 in lesser matches. He also has 4 assists in 16 matches, only behind Di Maria’s 6 in 12. 
  • Shots: Rooney took 40 shots this season with an accuracy of 50%, just behind RVP’s 56% in 50 shots. This number could have been better if he had not missed 3 games due the red card against West Ham. He has played 1395 minutes compared to 1588 of RVP’s.  He has averaged 2.5 shots per game this season. 18 of his shots have come from inside area while 22 were from outside the penalty area. Thus, he has been equally dangerous from both areas.
  • Passing: He has the highest number of passes to his credit-833, compared to Mata’s 783 and Rojo’s 669. Rooney’s pass accuracy has been 85% which means 711 passes of his has been successful - which is also the highest for any United player this season. He also has 17 key passes to his name, behind Di Maria’s 25 and Mata’s 23. The ex Everton has been highly effective in keeping the ball moving forward with 381 forward passes, which is the highest among the attackers.
  • Attack: He has been the most prolific attacker with an attack score of 488.16, which is the highest among all Manchester United players, much ahead of Mata’s 393 and Di Maria’s 369. He has the total performance score of 526, which is again the highest, ahead of RVP’s 409 and Di Maria’s 327. Thus, United’s attack has relied much on Rooney’s capabilities.
  • Chances created: Rooney has also created 21 chances for his club and for a forward, that is an exceptionally good number given that specialists such as Di Maria and Mata managed not much high numbers of 31 and 26 respectively.
  • Tackling: Among the attackers, Rooney has won the highest number of tackles (15), compared to RVP’s 13 mata’s and they both have played more matches than him. He has also won 67 duels overall, behind RVP’s 71, Valencia’s 81 and Fellaini’s 89. ,
  • Versatility: He has been used as a left forward, centre forward, central midfielder and central attacking midfielder. On multiple occasions, he has gone deep to support the back. Other United players have at most two positions to play in. But Rooney has adjusted his gameplay according to the team requirements, something which is missing in most players.

Louis Van Gaal has effectively used Rooney this season as he has responded positively with match-winning performances. He has played in a wide range of positions and barring a few defensive mistakes, he has been outstanding in all areas of the pitch. Rooney has shown excellent work rate this season and his stamina has also been praiseworthy. Numerous times, he has taken the attack to the opposition, all by himself. With better defensive options, LVG can eliminate the need for Rooney to support the defence and midfield. He can concentrate solely on attack.

Looking towards a Rooney dominated 2015:

It’s been a great season for Wayne Rooney and more is expected of him in 2015. With the kind of form that he is in, we hope both Manchester United and England realise that is their most important player. A player to look forward to. A player who we have great expectations from.  A player, who can help United, with a bit of luck, win the league and fire England into the Euro 2016.

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