Wayne Rooney has scored half a century of goals for England and provided us all with comedy moments such as gluing Weetabix onto his scalp and getting knocked out in his kitchen by a Stoke City right-back. So it’s perhaps strange that he remains such a divisive figure with not only his persona creating fans and haters alike in equal measure but also his actual ability splitting Twitter in half.
England’s record goal-scorer is on course to do similar at Old Trafford (he is just 16 shy of eclipsing Sir Bobby Charlton there too) and has been banging, dinking, and heading them in for club and country on a regular basis now for over a decade. Yet it seems the jury is still out on this rare talent. Is he a ‘great’ as many claim? Or is the born ‘n’ bred Manc hyped to the rafters and, in reality, just pretty good in an era that’s seen a dearth of genuine home-grown talent?
Last night’s record-breaking penalty has brought this debate front and centre especially as it now means – on paper at least – Wayne ‘Wazza’ Rooney has surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton. Is he even deserving to be in the same company as the comb-over king? Certainly there are many today who have claimed so, sharing stats that talk Charlton’s achievements down while debunking the notion that Rooney in comparison has had it somewhat easy.
We asked Sean Meredith for his take on the matter. Over to you Sean….
Of Rooneys 50 goals only THREE came against teams currently ranked in FIFA’s top 10
15 came against teams ranked in the top 20
20 came against the teams ranked in the top 30
26 came against teams ranked in the top 40
28 came against teams ranked in the top 50
The other 22 came against
San Marino (193)
With THIRTEEN of them scored against teams ranked below 104 in FIFA’s world rankings. That’s over 25% of his goals being scored against binmen, solicitors, train drivers and students!
So, is Rooney a bona-fide ledge? Or is he an inflated talent who has been over-rated throughout his career to the point of exasperation?
Let us know on twitter – @TheDaisyCutter1 and @tank1958 – as the debate continues.