Wayne Rooney

Last updated : 08 January 2006 By Smallsy
With the passing of legendary footballer George best in 2005, the spot light has been firmly placed on one young man looking to emulate the former Manchester United star, Wayne Rooney.

The teenage sensation signed for a deal of around thirty million has been long predicted to be United's modern day answer to the passed Irishman.

The words 'legend' and 'hero' are over used in football but the youthful Evertonian certainly seems to be heading for famous status all across the world. With a series of sparkling performances in 2004's European Championships the footballing world became aware of Rooney in a big way.

Indeed it seems Rooney's consistency for England is as you would expect from a world class player, impecible. Only in November did the twenty year old inspire England to a dramatic 3-2 win over Argentina and gave fans a real hope of bringing back the big prize in 2006.

Pele, Maradona and Cruyff, three of the greats agree that young Wayne is destined to sparkle as the greatest player of his generation. Rarely is a player like him unearthed and allowed to fulfil his potential. As a link striker it is doubtful if anyone since Cantona was made for the role, however different to the Frenchman Rooney has a combination of strength, pace, power and skill which make him mature beyond his years.

It may be true that Rooney is not the most prolific goalscorer in the mould of his striker partner Van Nistelrooy but a combination of Rooney's fifteen or so goals a season plus the thirty or so he lays on for his fellow players will do nicely for both United and England.

Like Best had alcohol and Madadona had drugs, young Rooney it appears has a kryptonite, a mortal enemy a weakness if you will, his temprement. Although it is said sucessful people, not just in sport need to have a nasty streak in them and a drive for success.

Rooney's is far from beging channeled into the correct areas at the current moment. His physical signs of frustation on the pitch are a worry for both club and country, especially if they both continue to rely on him as heavily as the presently do. His public row with David Beckham after the defeat against Northern Ireland and his sending off against Villareal for the most petty of dissents as well as several nasty uncessary incidents incolving the striker during both his Everton and early Man Utd career do not bode well for Sven or Fergie who tell the world that the young man is tackling his temper.

If Rooney is to become the player we all want him to become on the pitch it is time to grow up quickly or head down the same road as a player such as Paul Gascoigne, excellent but not world class. There is a fine line between passion and petulence and at the current moment Rooney falls awkwardly between the two. Beckham is prehaps a man Rooney should listen too as he found out the hard wat what happens if you let your country down at a vital time.

Without a doubt the future is bright for the Manchester United number eight and England number nine but whether he flourishes as a 'great' or a 'legend' is entirely down to him.