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Has Wayne Rooney really fulfilled his potential?

Has Wayne Rooney fulfilled his potential at Manchester United?

Has Wayne Rooney fulfilled his potential at Manchester United?

In the last few weeks Wayne Rooney’s future at Manchester United has been in doubt.

He was left out of one of the biggest games of United’s season when the Red Devils played Real Madrid in the Champions League.


This led to speculation that Rooney would be moving on this summer with the likes of nouvre riche clubs PSG and Anzhi favourites with the bookies to sign the England international.

PSG’s sporting director Leonardo has denied that the club made a bid for the England striker in the summer, but has described Rooney as ‘one of the best players in the world’. I can see the French outfit coming in with a bid for the striker in the summer.


However, Wayne Rooney is still an important player at Manchester United, despite Robin van Persie seemingly taking over as number one striker at Old Trafford. Rooney’s ego must have been damaged by being left out of the starting line-up against Real.

For the last couple of seasons Wayne Rooney has been the main man at Manchester United. Since Van Persie’s arrival he has slightly taken a backseat and it appears that he is less important to the Manchester United cause.


Rooney’s determination makes him vital to the Manchester United’s team. Even when he isn’t playing well he will give his all for the team. Whatever position he plays in he works hard for the team. He is the ultimate team player.


They say that all geniuses are flawed. Wayne Rooney is the closest thing that England have had to a football genius since Paul Gascoigne. Like Gascoigne, Rooney has his flaws. Gazza’s flaws are mostly off-the-pitch and have been documented. Hopefully he will get over his demons.

With Wayne Rooney it’s the other way round. The 27 year-old seems to be a relatively quiet guy off the pitch, but when he gets on the pitch he doesn’t seem to be able to control his temper.

The England international has matured slightly in recent years, but there is still that little red devil that sits on his shoulder when he enters a football field that he can’t seem to control.

Rooney has enjoyed a quiet season for yellow cards and hopefully it is a sign that Wayne Rooney is maturing as a footballer.


Some say that Rooney’s such a good player because he has that edge. That’s what makes him different from normal players. It’s his will to win that drives him on and without his fiery temperament he wouldn’t be the same player.


Despite his tendency to combust Wayne Rooney is the most naturally gifted English footballer of his generation. When he broke through into the first team at Everton his potential was there for all to see.

Rooney has ability that few English players have in modern day football. He doesn’t just score goals he provides and can play killer passes for his teammates. This ability will probably mean Rooney drops further back on the field later in his career.


The one thing that must even disappoint Rooney himself is his international career thus far. He has underachieved in international football, since bursting onto the scene at Euro 2004 he has disappointed for England.

Injuries have hampered his participation in the big tournaments with the Three Lions. He has cost England at big international tournaments and before tournaments because of ill-discipline.

I think it’s fair to say that he hasn’t lived up to his reputation at international level. At 27 he still has time to achieve something with England, but it will be difficult.


I have no doubts that Wayne Rooney will be in the starting line-up later today as United host Reading at Old Trafford. The disappointment of being left out against Real Madrid will make Rooney even more determined to hit top form.

Some people are already writing off Wayne Rooney’s career and saying that he is finished. If I know anything about the England international then the critics will just spur him on to reach a higher level of performance.

Whether he will ever reach his potential remains to be seen, but Wayne Rooney is far from finished.

Has Wayne Rooney really fulfilled his potential?

Sat 16 Mar, 2013
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  1. Brad says:

    The only trophies he hasn’t won (at least not yet perhaps, you never know) are the Euros and the World Cup. Even then, his strike rate for England is still decent. He’s always a handful.

    He’s not finished until he retires.

  2. Todd says:

    I can certainly see why people say he hasn’t fulfilled his potential. When he started out he was hyped so high that I’m not sure it would even be possible for him to achieve what everyone expected of him.

    For United he’s playing in a role that asks a lot of him. He’s basically expected to play everywhere on the pitch both being a link between midfield and attack as well as tracking back and covering in a defensive midfielder role quite often.

    He’s not going to get as many goals this way as if he were an out and out striker or an attacking midfielder, but he still manages to tally quite a few.

    I have also always felt that he’s the sort of player that would rather spend his free time having a drink with his mates rather than putting in extra training (like Ronaldo or Messi).

    Perhaps that’s a false perception, but it is still something that is not helped by his physique. He will always have to work that little bit harder because of his build.

    The one place he truly has not proved himself is the international stage, but there have been few times for him to truly shine. How many tournaments has he been injured for, or not completely fit? This is mostly a by product of these tournaments taking place after a long, grueling club season in which he’s already played 30, 40, 50 or more matches.

  3. Pedro says:

    rooney cannot control his temper? this is not the same rooney from years back, hes grown up, hes a mature player and know that his actions can have severe consequences that may affect the team. Nevertheless, wayne rooney is manchester united, he wont leave and hes in great form so i dont really see him leaving man untd….ever.

  4. All that’s happened this year is that Rooney has shown how versatile he is. His stats of goals + assists per game is equal to his best, this year its shifted for towards assists than goals. With van Persie coming in, he’s having to play a different role, creator rather than scorer, and has clearly done it well (see stats).

    Also Pedro’s comment about his temper is spot on. When was the last time we actually saw him loose his temper? He may get ‘over-enthused’, but that’s just his passion. “a sign that Wayne Rooney is maturing as a footballer” – this may have been a valid comment a few years ago, but he’s already matured past that.

  5. David Nugent says:

    Quantum, do you think Rooney has fufilled his potential as a footballer?

  6. At club level, I think he’s pretty close.

  7. At club level, I think he’s pretty close. As the type of player that relies on technical ability and reading the game, he’s got a fair few years left in him. And the mental side of the game will only improve with time. Even when he’s over his physical peak, he’ll still be a top player, probably dropping back into midfield more as he ages.

    He is one of the best players around, but I feel he gets a lot of criticism just because he’s not in the same class as Messi and Ronaldo, but that doesn’t make him an underachiever.

    If at the beginning of his career you asked people to predict the trophies and awards that he’d have won at the age of 27, would his actual be any less than the predictions? Not by much if any.

    The other thing that works against his is his international career. Undoubtedly he has under performed here, but every English ‘superstar’ has done for oh so long. There is a problem there, fans, manager, media, FA etc so not totally down to the players. Just ask Messi about being a world class player in an underachieving national side.

    To cut a long story short:
    Club – Full potential within reach.
    International – Far from, but another in a long list.

  8. cloud says:

    .. i could only say that Wayne Rooney is another victim of the dreaded British Media. On Club Level he has achieved everything there is to achieve but on National Level, well, it’s unfair to say that he is below par coz let’s face it, the England National Football Team is still under construction.

    .. yes, his temper might get the better of him in the pitch, but that’s just his personality i guess. He wants to win that much that his intensity shines thru be it good or bad.

    .. if only the media would leave the players alone and just do their job by presenting the facts straight.

  9. Brad says:

    Only in a perfect world, Cloud.

  10. bryanirving says:

    Wayne was a teenage terror. Not as influential now. Never sure what his best role is in a team. Not an out and out striker like Greaves, Lineker, Cole and Shearer. Love the way he chips little passes at close quarters like it’s a school playground. He and Danny Welbeck are great outball receivers. Sometimes the media overestimate a players potential on the basis of 20 games. Injuries play a big part in a players career too. Aaron Ramsey were going to be the next big thing but after injuries their progress and potential faltered.

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