You may not have heard but Wayne Rooney appears to be under performing in this year’s World Cup. Yes, ninety minutes in Manaus on Saturday and the annual ignominy of the English media is well and truly up and running.
Like a diesel engine, the tabloid press in the UK puffs and pants at the start before warming up into a roaring machine of toxic vapours and billowing gases. If fascination and obsession to a human being is evidenced as distress to a person then a more stringent application of the law ought to be applied in a right minded society.
If Wayne Rooney was the sensitive type, receptive to every column inch inked of him, he may be better off performing Bear Grylls heroics in the Amazon than trying so fruitlessly hard on the pitch to fulfil the expectation of the ludicrous gathering of England’s so – called “footballing experts”. Experts, who are unbeknownst to themselves, are so spectacularly contributing to his downfall.
Leave aside the £300,000 per week, is it any wonder why a man, capable of moments of wonder, is struggling to perform in an environment where he is expected to hold every hope of a nation’s chances amid the complete circus of media attention he receives. Mind you, those slating Rooney are the ones feeding his decline into early retirement from the Three Lions shirt.
Like a pack of wolves waiting for nourishment, Rooney’s failure to perform so far in Brazil acts as the finest excuse to leave the boot in where it hurts. Alfred Hitchcock’s most astounding masterpiece, Psycho, bears a comical resemblance to the hounding of Rooney by his fellow patriots. When it comes to Rooney, Roy Hodgson is left with little option to be as diplomatic as possible.
Play him wide right or left and it’s a national drama that the cobbles of Corrie would struggle to match. Play him up front and we are left with the conclusion that Rooney is simply over the hill, past his best, overrated, the adjectives could extend far beyond this page. Dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t.
After all, the Rooney obsession is far from self-inflicted, at the end of the day he is one player among eleven who takes to the field to play. After the Italy game, Steven Gerrard was made to look like a novice in need of drone feeds to find Andre Pirlo. Glen Johnson was scarcely involved to any degree of acceptance, Raheem Sterling; still a kid at heart showed the maturity far beyond his years on Saturday and was England’s best player.
Despite that, the trial of Rooney will continue in the next game against Uruguay. Lose and the blame game will ratchet up a little more, win and the tide of pessimism will be stemmed for another few days by the predictable and thoughtless prophets of the game across the pond.
Brian Darcy, Pundit Arena