In the summer Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney was one of the players that dominated the football news headlines.
He was apparently unhappy at Old Trafford and wanted to move on.
There were conflicting reports about whether the striker handed in a transfer request at the end of last season or not, but Rooney was definitely not at his best last season.
Last season Rooney’s team-mate Robin van Persie was the man of the season at Old Trafford, as the Dutchman fired United to the Premier League title. Rooney seemed to be in the shadow of the former-Arsenal star.
He often cut a frustrated figure and it seemed he was struggling for his best form. It seemed that Rooney did not appreciate playing second fiddle to Van Persie.
This season has seen a slight turnaround and it looks like it is Rooney who is the main man at United. Van Persie may have scored the winner against Arsenal on Sunday, but Rooney created it and was a lot of people’s man of the match.
The 28-year-old gave an all action display, working his socks off in attack and often helping out in defence, as his team claimed what could be a crucial win in the title race.
Wayne Rooney seems a lot happier this season. The England international produces his best football when he is happy. When he is frustrated he is not the same skilful and tenacious player. When frustrated he can be a liability to his team as well although his behaviour has improved as he has got older.
Rooney’s performances have probably been the high point of United’s disappointing season so far. He has been the player that has at times inspired his team and team-mates to achieve vital victories in recent weeks.
Rooney has not only just inspired his team with goals, but the manner in how he plays the game as well. The former-Everton ace will always give a hundred per cent on the pitch and that often lifts his team-mates.
Rooney is without a doubt a very good footballer, but he has underachieved on the international stage, despite finding the net 38 times for England. It is at major tournaments that Wayne Rooney has failed to produce the goods.
At Euro 2012 he missed England’s first two group games, after being sent-off in the Three Lions last qualification match against Montenegro. Rooney had previously been sent-off at the World Cup in 2006 and also underperformed at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Next year’s World Cup will provide Wayne Rooney with the perfect opportunity to prove his ability on the world stage. The United striker will hopefully go into the competition as a more mature person and player than in previous years.
He has curbed his bad behaviour to a certain degree in the past few years, although there is still the chance of him exploding on the odd occasion.
For one of the most talented footballers that England has produced in recent years, he has shown very little of his talent on the big stage of international football. The next World Cup should be his time to shine.
If he continues in the same vein of form then he will once again be one of England’s most important players. Rooney loves putting on that England and shows tremendous passion for playing for his country.
Sometimes that passion drives him to try too hard or do silly things in an effort to gain the victory for the Three Lions.
I think it was former-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher that said that Wayne Rooney has dragged United back into the Premier League title in recent weeks, with the Red Devils now 9/2 to retain the title. It is true, the striker has been outstanding for United, both scoring and creating goals for his team-mates.
It is good to see Wayne Rooney enjoying his football once again. He seems like a completely different person and player from the one that appeared for United last season. For the player and England’s sake long may the good form continue.
Is Wayne Rooney the key to United getting back into the title race?