It is not often that I feel sympathy for the highly-pampered and privileged young men who call themselves professional footballers.
However, in the last few months, I have started to believe that the British media have decided to crucify England captain Wayne Rooney, but have just forgotten the cross.
Why pick on Rooney?
It seems everybody is having a go at the United star. Everything from his looks, his lifestyle and his ability have been questioned by the media in recent years.
The latest ridiculous incident came when a tabloid decided to publish pictures of Wayne worse for wear at a wedding at the Three Lions hotel after the 3-0 win over Scotland.
My question was what was wrong with Rooney enjoying his night off? Another England player appeared to have been at the party. There were also unconfirmed reports that ten others members of the squad went to a London night club.
Just because he is a professional footballer does not mean he is not allowed to enjoy himself. It was not a night before a crucial game. There were also no reports of Rooney behaving in a particularly poor manner. By all accounts, he was cordial and friendly.
The report by the tabloid that he gate-crashed the wedding was ridiculous as well. It is safe to assume he was invited to join the party, so making out like he decided to join it without permission seems like a shameless lie to make him look bad.
This is a 31-year-old man having a few drinks at a wedding reception, call the papers! Oh somebody did and apparently it’s open season on Rooney because he is England captain.
Rooney has now apologised unreservedly for the incident. However, in an age when footballers seem further away from the supporters than ever, the incident showed that they are only human beings.
Rooney is starting to show effects of career
Wayne Rooney is now 31 years of age. One journalist rather unfairly compared Rooney’s physique to that of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who let’s face it puts most footballers or men to shame with his physique.
Ronaldo is actually older than his United counterpart. However, his build is more athletic than Rooney. The Manchester United captain has reportedly had a constant battle to control his weight as it goes up and down.
If indeed the report that he drinks and smokes are true then that will not help Wayne’s cause either. His body is starting to show the effects of 15 years of playing football as well. He started playing at 16 and has hardly had a break since.
He would not be human if his body did not show signs of wear in his thirties. A decade and a half of putting your body through gruelling training is always likely to have an effect on a person’s body. It is how you manage it that is important and that seems to be where Rooney has gone wrong.
In real terms, most footballers do not start their career at 16, so in football terms, Rooney is probably closer to 35 than 31. He has to be admired because he has battled criticism and genetics to keep himself going.
Wayne Rooney has had a great career
No doubt Wayne Rooney has had a great football career. He has won major trophies with Manchester United, is England’s top scorer and captained his country. Not bad for a lad who seems to come in for constant criticism from seemingly everywhere.
Rooney’s career is definitely on the wane (pardon the pun), but he still has a lot to give in football. He still has a very good football brain and a very determined personality.
For all the criticism that Wayne Rooney receives, he keeps going and trying his hardest for whatever team he plays for. Some people may not like the lad because he is on £300,000-per week. He may not be good enough at the top level anymore, but does he deserve to be being prodded so much?
Being criticised comes with being a footballer. However, Wayne Rooney now seems like an easy target and the constant criticism is not helping anybody, including the player.
Does Wayne Rooney deserve such criticism?