From the Press box

Nicole Carroll: A one woman mission to make a name in football

Forget the rabbit, it’s Rampant Rooney

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Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Fulham today has added a further two goals to Rooney’s Premier League tally of 23. He’s leading the charge for Manchester United to secure the title, and is looking towards a busy summer in South Africa, leading the England charge.

United fans are understandably delighted by his recent form, but all fans of England will be hoping he can recreate this blistering form during the summer, and perhaps take us further than we have ever been before.

England fans will not so fondly remember Wayne Rooney’s last contribution to a World Cup campaign. Casting our minds back, the match in 2006 against Portugal ended for Rooney after a stamp on Ricardo Carvalho. England’s World Cup dreams ended in a penalty shoot out again, and people were left lamenting Rooney’s temper. It’s not to say that England would have ultimately got any further in the campaign without Rooney being sent off, but it certainly made him a scapegoat for a while and was a knock for the young striker.

A lot has changed in 4 years though. Rooney is quite obviously older. He’s now an established part of the United team, and is a new dad. He seems to have grown up on and off the field, and his football seems to be feeling the benefit. Alex Ferguson has hailed him as “unstoppable”, and as the league comes to a close, the media hype will all surround “Roo-mania”.

The focus on one player is not always helpful when it comes to football. United have been accused of this in the past, and teams such as Real Madrid are also pointed at as an example. This week ex-United player Ronaldo has fought back claims that Real Madrid are a poorer team without him. At an international competition, a team is selected based on the best players available to that country. All of England’s squad will be highly talented individuals, and therefore the focus should be on the team as a unit, rather than individual players.

The worry with the Rooney focus in the run up to the World Cup is the disappointment if anything happens to the player. Already we have stories in the press about the change in his training schedule to avoid World Cup burn out. In the run up to World Cup 2006, the media fed off the story surrounding Rooney’s battle to overcome a metatarsal injury and be ready in time for the tournament. With his blistering form, England fans will be hoping to avoid any injury worries, and look forward to him reproducing his league form on the biggest stage of them all.

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Written by Nicole Carroll

March 14, 2010 at 6:50 pm

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