Did Wayne Rooney fulfil his potential?

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by sullydnl, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. Jan 7, 2017

    The United Irishman "Martial is championship material at best"

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    Rooney also played in a multitude of positions throughout his career
  2. Jan 7, 2017

    Fortitude TV/Monitor Expert

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    Let's put this thread another way: Rooney's talent and physical gifts with the dedication and application of: C.Ronaldo; Roy Keane; Peter Schmeichel; Denis Irwin; Darren Fletcher; Gary Neville; Ryan Giggs (on the pitch!); Brian McClair, who, as far as I know, gave everything they had to develop and maintain the standard they set for themselves, and in the case of Roy Keane, a person who was more off the rocks for a time than Rooney with his boozing and off-the field issues before wising up and becoming a model professional. Where do players with that level of disciplne take the talent and potential of someone like Rooney to?

    This is in-house, too. Someone like Lampard's mentality would have taken Rooney's gifts and maximised them. There are so many more examples of this that make you wonder what Rooney could have made of his own ability with the level of focus any of the aforementioned had.

    Pointing to a trophy haul or goal tally misses the point. The question isn't: has Rooney had a great career? Because, obviously he has, but we're talking about a generational talent here - a great career, injuries permitting, is the bare minimum of expectation. It has to be acknowledged that we're talking about a player with so much ability, he had every right to be mentioned with the most elite of his generation when he was on his way up. That he faded away from that grouping to such an extent that bringing his name up in a top 10 in the world list would be ridiculed, highlights his relative fall from the heights so many of us expected him to ascend to and maintain.

    If you said in 2004 that Rooney would go on to be one of the top 5 players in the world for the next 10yrs+ nobody would have batted an eyelid or ridiculed you, same as if you said this is Bobby Charlton's true successor, people wouldn't find the notion risible. Go ahead and say Rashford is Law's successor or Martial is the next George Best, and see how your view is greeted. It shows how highly Rooney was rated from the very beginning.
  3. Jan 7, 2017

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

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    It's all subjective isn't it? I thought the way he played when he came to United would be how he'd play his entire career but getting better and better as he got older, as he did get older though the way he played changed and he became a completely different kind of player so to me no he didn't reach the level I thought he would but then what do I know? Maybe I'm naive to think he could have played the way he did up until 2007 for his entire career, or maybe he could have and that part of him was coached out, who knows.

    I personally think he should have broke the records at lot earlier than he has but again that's based on the player he was not the one he has been since 2012
  4. Jan 7, 2017

    Oo0AahCantona Full Member

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    He was world class for a few years and brilliant for others, so yeah id say he did. not every brilliant player is going to be the best in the world, and he didnt really have the body for it in my opinion.
  5. Jan 7, 2017

    surf Full Member

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    After his debut hat trick, we might have expected even more. The main disappointment is that his game dropped off steeply while he was still relatively young. Unless affected by injury, which he wasn't, there's no reason why a striker can't still be at his peak at 30.
  6. Jan 7, 2017

    BIGbadBOO4 Full Member

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    I still remember when he signed I was so excited. I think he inspired every young lad and lass who was from a working class background, in that your dreams can come true. In the main when he was in his pomp he was a legend and was fulfilling his potentially to a large degree. However, he never really looked after himself like a professional footballer. His weight and smoking and drinking was often an issue, if you compare him to Ronaldo and his professionalism then I would say we will never know his full potential. Because he never did everything he should have done. Shame really, but what a great player until his rapid decline.
  7. Jan 7, 2017

    shaggy Prefers blue over red, loathed by Spurs fans

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    Had just the season where I thought "yeah this guy is pure class". So in my opinion no, not quite as I thought he'd be at that level for 3 or 4 years.
  8. Jan 7, 2017

    Revan Full Member

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    Of course Rooney was more influential in the second half of the season. In fact, it could be argued that Rooney played his best football ever in the second half of that season, and was by far our best player.

    Berbatov lost his place to Hernandez in the second half of 2010-2011, and didn't start in any of the important matches.
  9. Jan 7, 2017

    Lentwood Full Member

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    I think it would be unfair to say Rooney hasn't fulfilled his potential. The lad has broken both Utd and Englands goalscoring records despite never really playing as a #9 for the majority of his career. Yes he never won the Ballon D'Or or a World Cup/European Championship but then again he has been unfortunate to be around in the same era as Messi and Ronaldo who i think will probably go down in history as the two best players to ever play the game.
  10. Jan 8, 2017

    Eckers99 Michael Corleone says hello

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    Feck me, the number of people who are missing the point of a pretty clear OP is mental.
  11. Jan 8, 2017

    Flying_Heckfish Full Member

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    Agree with all of this.

    He's had a great career and he was instrumental for us a few years back, but when he broke through it really looked like he could be a once-in-a-generation type player. Now, whether that was just hype is up to each of us to decide for ourselves, but watching him in the Euros that summer it really did feel that way.
  12. Jan 8, 2017

    Sylar Full Member

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    Forget what Manchester United won as a club, what was his potential?
    I think his potential was to be winning ballon d'or if not competing for it.
    He was that highly rated and his early performances backed that up

    I think whilst he helped us win trophies, he wasnt ... the man. Maybe in the one season after Ronaldo left, but that was as good as it got for him. It was unfortunate the timing of his injury against Bayern, cos he ended up missing that Chelsea home game (which we lost) and played a half against Munich in the return leg (but couldnt do much more). We looked on for a double that season, but ended up with nothing.

    I honestly think he should have been better than he was individually. Whilst people can say he made sacrifices for the team, I think there was a reason for that. I honestly think part of the reason was the way he looked after himself. Normally that doesnt matter, but it did. It seemed he would come back after breaks and just not be ready, and it would take him some time to get into things.

    When he should have entered his prime, he was already past it and winding down despite what most consider stat padding.
  13. Jan 8, 2017

    Fortitude TV/Monitor Expert

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    I don't get this line of thinking because even a slower, heavier Rooney is still a much better athlete than hundreds of other truly great players. If he honed his technique and worked tirelessly on his weaknesses, like so many have done, he could have modified his game completely and played out the remainder of his career as a completely different player to the firecracker he started off as.

    Scholes, who was never even close to this Rooney athletically, re-modelled his game 3 times from the start of his career as a support-striker, to the end where he was a deep-lying playmaker. His legs diminished, but his ability allowed him to be dominant in a different role.

    A lot of support-strikers slowly work their way backwards into different positions as their legs go because their technique is so good.

    Rooney's development didn't have to stop with his body potentially ballooning.

    He has had to lose weight and get himself back in playing form a number of times from season end to the new one beginning. If he didn't have to do that, he could have worked on things in his game over those same summers and pre-seasons, like a lot of players do and come back the next season with it added to his game. That's not the path he went down and it's cost him quite dearly in terms of staying at the club into the foreseeable future. I don't think his story here had to end as prematurely as it probably will do and a part of that is down to the way he has applied himself over the years.
  14. Jan 8, 2017

    Steven7290 Full Member

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    In hindsight we misjudged their potentials big time. But think when you first watched both of them, given their level of performance at the time I don't think there is one single person in 2003 that thought to themselves, Wayne Rooney would at no point be the best in the world, while the one trick pony, skinny kid from Portugal would go down as one of the GOAT with two Ballon D'or. Of course the road from potential to the realization of it is never straight and different from player to player.

    At least to me and the majority of fans back then, Wayne's individual potential wouldn't just stop at being a Giggs (no sly at the club legend here) but maybe a van Basten.
  15. Jan 8, 2017

    Eddy_JukeZ Full Member

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    Yes I would agree with that. His performances towards the tail end of that season were spectacular.

    Notably Schalke away stands out to me. He was majestic that game.
  16. Jan 8, 2017

    m1tch Full Member

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    I think his potential was over estimated in the beginning, but that's easy to say now we've watched his excellent career pan out, and seen that he never developed into close to being one of the world's best. I personally would attribute that over estimation of ability to his physicality, it made him stand out as a young teenager all the more. Having seen all those physical strengths fade at 28, if he'd been born in Africa/South America then we'd be doing a bone density scan!
  17. Jan 8, 2017

    mancan92 Full Member

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    But he wasn't even in the catergory of the players below messi and ronaldo except for one season.
  18. Jan 8, 2017

    nick2004 Banned

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    Yes he did. Top scorer for country and Man Utd, lots of trophies, lots of money.

    No, he is not Pele or Maradona or Messi or Ronaldo. But he is probably the best British player, ever. It will take decades for anyone to break his scoring records.

    We have seen a lot of talented players over the years who flopped. I still remember that many people said Walcott is even better than Rooney. Walcott is not a flop, he is very talented and very successful, but still his career and status cannot be compared to Rooney's. It is silly to say that Walcott is a failure. It is absolutely bonkers to say that Rooney has not fulfilled his potential because he is not the new Pele.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  19. Jan 8, 2017

    NotQuiteManc Full Member

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    Yes he did. Based on what he have shown us (at least pre-2011) and his achievements. His season playing as the main striker, and having Tony V as his sidekick was immense. Up there with gold individual performances of other players in yesteryears. Shame he got injured before the season ends. Who knows, United and he might have achieved more if not for the injury?
  20. Jan 8, 2017

    Slavkov New Member

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    He could have been world's best player had he worked much harder and looked after himself in a better way. He was that good. I do not know whether do you remember that in his first 2-3 years, maybe until 2006 he was a much better player than Ronaldo. But the latter worked harder and in the beginning of that season looked like a machine physically and the rest is history. In his early years Rooney could easily dribble past players score from everywhere, headers etc. and then when he turned 25 out of nothing he lost most of those things and turned into a slow number 10. I really have no idea what the reason was but nobody would be able to make me admit that he has fulfilled his potential as that definitely is not the case. A real pity in my opinion...
  21. Jan 8, 2017

    nick2004 Banned

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    No he wouldn't! That's unfounded bullshit. It is similar to expecting England to win the next World Cup, and then become disappointed when they don't.

    How do you know how much talent Rooney had compared to other players? Rooney had talent, but he wasn't the greatest talent of his generation. At 15, Rooney had lots of talent, but Messi had more! So, Messi became better than Rooney. Nothing surprising here.

    Over the years, we have seen a lot of players who had a lot of talent at ages 15, 17, 21. Some of them worked hard and became great players. Some of them didn't and disappeared. Rooney is one of the examples that worked hard and became a great player. It is silly to expect him to surpass Messi or Maradona. And I am mentioning those two on purpose, their lives and success is exceptional. And yes, Maradona is more exceptional than Messi, he won the world cup, too! Does anyone really believe that Maradona "did not fulfill his potential"???
  22. Jan 8, 2017

    rpg Full Member

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    He didnt developed to become the white pele he was touted to be. But at some point of his career, he was easily one of two best striker in the world. He is definitely among Man Utd greats such as Giggs Scholes Cantona Best Charlton. And he was finished and rightfully dropped from the squad this year.
  23. Jan 8, 2017

    nick2004 Banned

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    Rooney has worked very hard over the years. It is silly to believe that you get to be top scorer for country and Man Utd, without working hard! It is silly that some people are not impressed but they would expect Rooney to be the best player in the world and play till he is 42!!!... Rooney did not have Messi's talent, nor Ronaldo's body frame, but apart from those two there isn't anyone else in his generation who has been more successful.
  24. Jan 8, 2017

    stevoc Full Member

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    To be fair neither was Rooney for large parts of his career. I would imagine he's only played up front as a no9 30-40% of his career.
  25. Jan 8, 2017

    mancan92 Full Member

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    But he could have reached Zlatan's level forget messi or ronaldo what about the tier of players below them.
  26. Jan 8, 2017

    Slavkov New Member

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    Well I just remember what the situation was and I am old enough to have watched all his games for United and some of his games before joining. Had not been for his injury in 2004 he would have won the Euros for England. Well may I ask whether you had watched him in his early years because you are talking as if you had not. Silly? I do not think that it was silly to expect that of him because he was that good. I do not know what he was at 15 but I remember him at 16 and older. And yes mate, he was the greatest talent of his generation along with Ronaldo and he was better than Ronny until 2006. That was not just my observation but that was the universal truth. After that Ronaldo stepped up . As far as Messi is concerned he is a bit younger and when Wazza burst into the scene nobody had heard of Messi. Messi made his debut in 2004- when we bought Wazza for 30-odd million quid...
  27. Jan 8, 2017

    nick2004 Banned

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    Why?

    It is the same as saying that Zlatan is a failure because he never had Messi's success. He could, but he didn't, he became a journeyman.

    Actually, Rooney's career is much better than Zlatan's. In ten years, nobody will remember Zlatan.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  28. Jan 8, 2017

    nick2004 Banned

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    That's exactly what I mean!!!

    No, England would not have won the Euros! Even if Messi was playing for England in 2004, they would not have won it. And Messi did not win the World Cup, either!

    People have unrealistic expectations. They like someone and they want to believe he is The Superman, the Roy of Rovers. Real life is not like this.
  29. Jan 8, 2017

    mancan92 Full Member

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    Not at all. As I said Rooney hasn't even achieved zlatan's level which isn't near Messi. You can't say Rooney couldn't have reached zlatan's level. It is an underachievment that he was unable to play at a world class level with the likes of Zlatan, Iniesta,Xavi, Robben, Suarez etc. He never reached their level and I see that as not reaching his potential because it was clear he had atleast that potential.
  30. Jan 8, 2017

    Slavkov New Member

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    How old are you mate? Did you watch football in 2004? If you say that those expectations were unrealistic then I guess you have not.
  31. Jan 8, 2017

    nick2004 Banned

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    Greece in 2004 would beat England, even if England had Messi. Greece beat Portugal twice, and Portugal was playing at home and had Ronaldo AND Figo. Most of us cannot remember a single player from the Greek squad. Some tournaments are won by TEAMS, not individuals.
  32. Jan 8, 2017

    nick2004 Banned

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    Actually, on second thought ... Rooney had a much better career than Zlatan! Zlatan did fine for himself, but he played in many countries and teams, and in ten years nobody will remember him. Rooney's records will be mentioned 50 years from now.
  33. Jan 8, 2017

    Slavkov New Member

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    Did you watch football then? I remember how the Greek team played and almost all of their players, I also remember they scored 60% of their goals from corners and 1 from cross from a direct free kick. Rooney had the talent to be the best player in the world or at least in the top 3 alongside Ronaldo and Messi and that is the bottom line. As I said I guess you did not watch football then in order to say that was not the case.
  34. Jan 8, 2017

    Bob Hope New Member

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    A player who I feel polarized opinion, and has being underrated and ovverated in equal measure. This is partly down to the fact that when he's having a bad game he looks like a sunday league player, but when on song has unquestionably provided us with some truly breathtaking moments. The incredible consistency of Messi, and Ronaldo has slightly reconfigured the bar by which great players are judged, and it doesnt help that Wayne played with Ronaldo, (and for a short period when both with us was playing at a higher level than Ronnie). But overall he is safely in that tier below, alongside the Rauls, Shearers, Batistutas, Shevchenkos etc in terms of great goalscorers.
  35. Jan 8, 2017

    mancan92 Full Member

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    HUH? One of the most baffling posts I've ever read. Staying at one club forever doesn't equal better career. Replace zlatan with rooney and im 100% sure we would have won even more trophies.
  36. Jan 8, 2017

    Yik Full Member

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    Has he had a good career?
    Yes, undoubtedly.

    Is he a United legend?
    Once again, a yes. Even despite the transfer requests. He has to my estimation at least 8 good seasons with us. He played in an integral role in the period between 2006-2010, which ranks as one the finest periods our club has ever had success wise.

    And as for his fulfilling his potential?
    My gut feeling says no. But then I used to feel the same way in the days when he was scoring for fun, as a lead striker. I had always envisioned him as a support striker, a battering ram, Scouse Maradona. But he changed his style of play and he never did become that type of player. Often Fergie literally played him in positions where he couldn't become that type of player anyways. Plus injuries and his body shape/fitness issues took their toll.
    In recent years, I supported Van Gaals decsion to make him a midfielder so he could continue to contribute like Scholes did all those years ago. Of course that hasn't transpired nor will it. Being finished as a top class player at the age of 31 is sad since with his talent you'd think he'd continue to play a reduced role like Giggs and Scholes did in their last years. And like Giggs had one or two incredible seasons in his swansong, I imagined Rooney would give us something similar as well in his thirties.
    However, the question that comes to mind is what really counts as fulfilling one's potential? Does having 4 or 5 good seasons in a career count? Ronaldinho, Owen, Luis Ronaldo for instance have had less seasons at their peaks than Rooney has. Could they also be said to have not fulfilled their potential?
  37. Jan 8, 2017

    stevoc Full Member

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    Are you saying Rooney was never World Class?

    Zlatans the better player now but for my money over their careers Rooney's been the better player, and he was World Class for quite a few years.

    Zlatan has had better longevity no doubt but before his time in France i doubt many would have rated Ibrahimovic as better player than Rooney. Ibrahimivoc has arguably had the best years of his career in the last 4 years (his time in France), thats coincided with Rooney's worst years. I can't help but feel that clouds peoples opinions when they compare them now.
  38. Jan 8, 2017

    nick2004 Banned

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    In 2003, when we got Ronaldo and I saw him dribble past 3 or 4 defenders, I was excited and I hopped that he will became a world class player, perhaps better than Beckham. In 2004, we got Rooney, but I was not that excited about him, I thought that this kid was a liability. I believed he will get more red cards than goals for us! I don't know who and how they managed to install some brains to that kid! Whoever did it: good job! Rooney, with the character he displayed at 18, should have self-destructed in a couple of years. Kudos to him that he changed to the better and that he lasted that long and broke the records. I did not believe in him initially, but now I admire him.

    Still, I cannot understand those who say that Rooney had more talent than Ronaldo when they were 17. Perhaps it's because Ronaldo was a winger, Rooney was a striker, and goals are more important. But Ronaldo always had more talent than Rooney. And they both worked very hard and did a fantastic job. Perhaps Ronaldo worked harder than Rooney, but definitely Ronaldo had more talent than Rooney when they were 17.
  39. Jan 8, 2017

    Stack Leave Women's Football Alone!!!

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    Yes
  40. Jan 8, 2017

    FahadiHossein Full Member

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    Yes and no. He attained great achievements but was still below expectations, because expectations on him were way too high.

    He became a really good player, not exactly World Class but a level below World Class. He also won Leagues and European Cup with United, so he attained great achievements. But, when he was young, people expected him to win Baloon d'Or or lead England to World Cup glory, and he achieved neither. He was expected to achieve what CR7 is doing right now; however, look at what CR7 is still doing and what he is doing right now.

    Because Rooney is English. The English people are always expecting the coming of a Messiah to lead them to World Cup glory since 1966, but this never happened. There was Gascoigne, there was Rooney, and last season they were talking about Ross Barkley. There were a lot of expectations on Rooney when he was young and people were negative towards Ronaldo. They all said that he would end up like Denilson because he dribbled way too much and was too showy.

    Look at who is the greatest footballer in the world right now.