Wayne Rooney's legacy

El Jefe

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Wayne Rooney is currently the all time goalscorer for Manchester United and England with 253 and 53 goals respectively. This is a great achievement but I feel as time goes on he's one of those players whose legacy will diminish because he wasn't as great as we thought he was. I know it sounds crazy especially after the opening sentence but hear me out.

Rooney burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion and as a 16 year old. The talent he possessed was actually scary. The things he was doing as a teenager made you almost sure he'd be a ballon d'or one day, if you were too young back then just look at it as you currently do with Mbappe. His Euro 2004 performances and his debut hattrick with us or his goal vs Newcastle at OT were things he did at 18 or younger. His first season with us he showed flashes of brilliance but was inconsistent as expected. The following season 2005/06 he began to show his great ability more consistently and was outstanding. He led us along with RVN that season and when Ruud was banished towards the end of the season he took a leading role alongside Saha and Ronaldo to a lesser extent. It was from this moment, I believed Rooney would go on an be unbelievable but he never really was outside of a couple of seasons at best.

His best seasons statistically were 09/10 and 11/12 where he bagged 34 goals. He also had an unreal 4 months or so towards the end of 10/11 (after an abhorrent start it must be mentioned). He was the true leader of the team in 09/10 and 11/12 both these seasons and we won nothing both years. In 10/11 the league was pretty much won without him although he was instrumental in reaching the CL final. Rooney was never really 'The guy' for us he was an excellent complementary piece.

I look at PL attackers in his time with better and more consistent and influential peaks and can anyone really argue against Drogba, Ronaldo, Suarez, Hazard, Torres, RvP, Aguero, Salah and even Kane.

Rooney had 16 seasons in the PL and never won PFA player of the year or won the golden boot and only made PFA team of the year three times. Kane for comparison has made PFA team of the year four times and won the golden boot twice in only 6 few seasons. Rooney has more talent in his toenail than Kane but Kane has proven to be more effective and consistently great than Rooney ever was. The same holds for all the others in that list.

Rooney's longevity is where he scores his points compared to his rivals. He was in the PL much longer than them and scored a good amount of goals each season. However he never truly delivered at his best consistently like others managed to.

EDIT: Rooney won PFA player of the year in 2009/10
 
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GDaly95

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I was someone who never really got past the whole Man City thing. Irreparable damage in my mind, it just stung. Resented him ever since.

However, I like him a lot more now than I did when he left us, so maybe as time goes on I'll eventually be able to just admire how good he was for us.
 

momo83

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He never lived up to the hype set by the English media who were already calling him the best player in the world at the age of 17 and saying he’d be the greatest of all time. But he had an exceptional career if judged without the media hype.

Just to prove my point. The British Media were calling Joe Hart the best keeper in world a few years ago.
 

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He won PFA Player of the year in 09/10.
 

arthurka

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I was someone who never really got past the whole Man City thing. Irreparable damage in my mind, it just stung. Resented him ever since.

However, I like him a lot more now than I did when he left us, so maybe as time goes on I'll eventually be able to just admire how good he was for us.
This also did it for me..
 

b82REZ

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Rooney tainted his own legacy when he flirted with City.

His longevity will also be called into question because his off field antics clearly affected his fitness and ability as he got into his late twenties.

SAF knew he was declining and due to his stockiness he would always struggle to maintain his standards. The reveal of the second transfer request before Fergie retired was supposed to be the catalyst for the next manager to get rid but Moyes bottled it.
 

b82REZ

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I was someone who never really got past the whole Man City thing. Irreparable damage in my mind, it just stung. Resented him ever since.

However, I like him a lot more now than I did when he left us, so maybe as time goes on I'll eventually be able to just admire how good he was for us.
Echoes my sentiments.
 

fps

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Excellent post OP. However he had a work rate that sometimes made him feel like two players on the pitch, something I couldn’t level at some of those others. That selflessness may have restricted him in some ways. I can’t help feel, because he could do everything, we never truly discovered Rooney’s best position.
 

mu4c_20le

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I never minded the City thing because I always felt he did it out of ambition, and whether directly or not, a protest against the owners. We need more players like that who are not just here for a paycheck.
 

GifLord

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I never minded the City thing because I always felt he did it out of ambition, and whether directly or not, a protest against the owners. We need more players like that who are not just here for a paycheck.
In his last 4 seasons he basically was here only because of the paycheck :lol:
 

OnlyTwoDaSilvas

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I didn't really give a shit about the transfer request stuff. He's a scouser, he came here to win, not because he loved the club. He saw a possible opportunity to keep winning at another club who were on the up. At the time, I felt he echoed a lot of frustration from the supporters. We saw some top class players leave and some much lesser players join in return, there was a whole lot of scaremongering at the time about how skint we were. He was looking out for #1, and ended up getting what he wanted. Whatever.

Generally I prefer him to Ronaldo. Rooney stayed, even if it the relationship was occasionally tumultuous. Ronaldo was desperate to go to Spain and made no secret of it. We were way better than Madrid at that time too.


He's a club legend given his record here. He delivered on the pitch, and the effort was always there during his decline.

He probably could have had a better and longer career with better conditioning and care. Obviously he didn't have the genetics of a pro athlete, but occasionally he didn't help himself with the drinking and smoking, as well as his publicised private life. That bugs me more than the City flirting, to be honest. I wonder how different a Wayne Rooney living a heads-down Paul Scholes lifestyle could have turned out.
 

SirAF

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His longevity will also be called into question because his off field antics clearly affected his fitness and ability as he got into his late twenties.

SAF knew he was declining and due to his stockiness he would always struggle to maintain his standards. The reveal of the second transfer request before Fergie retired was supposed to be the catalyst for the next manager to get rid but Moyes bottled it.

The bolded part: Yes, for me this is the biggest "complaint" with Rooney's legacy. I think a lot of United fans are annoyed because we feel he should have been even better (which feels a bit unfair considering what he won at the fact that he's both United and England's top scorer!) and really should have been a Ballon d'Or contender. He obviously wouldn't win one against Ronaldo or Messi but at the very least he should be contending for it on a regular basis which never happened - except in 2011 (5th) I guess. Maybe it's not 100% fair to compare him to Ronaldo's work ethic but I feel that's where Rooney should have been - not being photographed with a cig and a beer during his holidays.

As for the second part, I absolutely agree. I definitely think that Ferguson set it up for Moyes so it would be easy to get rid of Rooney without a fan backlash.

As for the City thing I'm not extremely bothered by it, but it was disrespectful to Ferguson to question the ambitions of the club in public.
 

Pexbo

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Very very good player until he was about 25/26 then his drinking, smoking and general disregard for his body caught up with him, although people will have you believe it was down to playing lots of games or injuries he suffered 5 years before and subsequently recovered from with no issues at the time.

Also an absolute scally of a human being.
 

Treble

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Rooney didn't play in a high-scoring team like Barca, Real, City, which had a negative effect on his stats.

Fans are fond of the 2008 team and rightly so, but it scored just 108 goals in all compets. That's some 80 goals less than Barca with MSN (2015?) and 60 goals less than City in 18/19. This explains to an extent why Rooney never scored 20 goals in back to back seasons, whereas Sterling is on the way to scoring 20+ goals 3rd season in a row.
 

stevoc

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And Solskjær has won it!
I was someone who never really got past the whole Man City thing. Irreparable damage in my mind, it just stung. Resented him ever since.

However, I like him a lot more now than I did when he left us, so maybe as time goes on I'll eventually be able to just admire how good he was for us.
I’ve never actually believed there was anything of substance in the whole “Man City thing”. Seemed like tabloid bollocks that people latched onto as fact at the time still does.
 

SirAF

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Very very good player until he was about 25/26 then his drinking, smoking and general disregard for his body caught up with him, although people will have you believe it was down to playing lots of games or injuries he suffered 5 years before and subsequently recovered from with no issues at the time.

Also an absolute scally of a human being.
Absolutely. That's my biggest issue with him. I wouldn't expect him to get as ripped as Ronaldo or anything but at least stay off the drink and cigs while minding your diet as a pro athlete.
 

Red_Aaron

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Dig up stupid!
His legacy is only diminished by the over analysis of numbers and the constant over rating of the next big thing who's played well for a couple of months . Of the players you mentioned only Ronaldo was a better player

Besides you can shove statistics and individual awards up your arse, football is a team game and at his peak he was the ultimate team player and I wouldn't have swapped him for anyone else in the world.

Watching him in our shirt at his barnstorming best, wow, what a privilege, some of the moments he produced will be replayed forever :drool:

World class without a shadow of a doubt and bona-fide legend for Club and Country
 

Kostur

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I was someone who never really got past the whole Man City thing. Irreparable damage in my mind, it just stung. Resented him ever since.

However, I like him a lot more now than I did when he left us, so maybe as time goes on I'll eventually be able to just admire how good he was for us.
Rooney tainted his own legacy when he flirted with City.

His longevity will also be called into question because his off field antics clearly affected his fitness and ability as he got into his late twenties.

SAF knew he was declining and due to his stockiness he would always struggle to maintain his standards. The reveal of the second transfer request before Fergie retired was supposed to be the catalyst for the next manager to get rid but Moyes bottled it.
This and this. God I miss you @b82REZ posting here.
 

Man-United

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Didn't really like him after the Man C saga in 2010. Was my favurite player until then.
 

SirAF

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It's not.

I struggle to see how anyone could have watched him for us and place him below all those names in the OP
Ok, that part of the OP I disagree with. However, the general gist of it is completely fine. It's tough to criticise someone who achieved so much - it's just that it could have been so much more if he had Ronaldo's attitude to his craft.
 

El Jefe

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It's not.

I struggle to see how anyone could have watched him for us and place him below all those names in the OP
I didn't say they were all better than him. I said they played at their best longer than he did and arguably had better peaks. The only person that you can say is a reach is possibly Kane but I backed it up with his personal achievements.

Rooney never had great back to back seasons. He had incredible moments but never put it all together consistently.
 

Art Vandelay

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Very very good player until he was about 25/26 then his drinking, smoking and general disregard for his body caught up with him, although people will have you believe it was down to playing lots of games or injuries he suffered 5 years before and subsequently recovered from with no issues at the time.

Also an absolute scally of a human being.
Agreed. He was his own worst enemy and the City thing didn't help at all. It can't be forgotten how bad he was in those last 4 seasons, he was a hindrance as much as a help on the pitch more often than not. LVG refusing to drop him still haunts me.

After it's all said and done though, I'm not 100% sure he wasn't just a story planted by Colleen.
 
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Jibbs

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Rooney is one of United' legends, but one of the reasons we are in such dire situation currently is not selling Rooney in 2012. It was the perfect time to move on. Sir Alex thought so to, but somehow stuck with Rooney. I think it's up there with appointment of Moyes, sale of Pogba and Stam, refusing to buy a midfielder, not replacing Ronaldo in Sir Alex mistakes.
 

Handré1990

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It's not.

I struggle to see how anyone could have watched him for us and place him below all those names in the OP
Besides Ronaldo and Aguero I agree completely. Don’t like him, and think he’s scum, and probably a disturbed human being. However, that’s neither here nor there when talking about his ability and what he delivered for us before he rapidly went to shit. Since I started following United religously in 97, not many players we’ve had can be said to have been better for us imo.

Edit: Can’t let his final years taint his legacy here, nor the fact that he maybe didn’t reach the heights some expected.
 

432JuanMata

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Absolutely. That's my biggest issue with him. I wouldn't expect him to get as ripped as Ronaldo or anything but at least stay off the drink and cigs while minding your diet as a pro athlete.
This too. Imagine he had the work ethic off the field that Ronaldo had. Sure he be still at the top level at 33/34 instead he broke down late into his 20’s and that was him. Top player though
 

Eyepopper

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Wasnt the source for the links to City the Daily Mail?

Can't recall Fergie ever saying he was going to go to City, and Rooney himself, afterwards, said:

"Everyone was saying that I was definitely going to Manchester City. Believe me if I had gone it wouldn't have been in England."

To me, the City "links" always seemed overblown, even at the time.
 

Jim Beam

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Brilliant player despite his early decline.

But then again we are pissing on everyone's legacy these days, so why the hell not?
 

VeevaVee

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Rooney was a fantastic player. He wasn't incredible at anything in particular. Not an out and out goalscorer (despite his record), or a special dribbler or anything, just very good at football and someone with what now seems like rare traits - raw passion and grit. In his prime, the perfect man to have in a brilliant team.

He's not someone who's looked upon as fondly as some, and perhaps he could have been even better, but it won't tarnish anything. If anything, it might make you wonder what could have been, but personally it doesn't even cross my mind unless someone makes a thread like this, considering what was.
 

Jibbs

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How I wish wish we could get back players like Rooney and Tevez and Park of 07-09. They were simply irresistible, a constant menace for the defenders, in words of Evra, they were like two pitbulls at front, making job so much easier for us defenders.
 

Revaulx

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The City “links” never bothered me that much, as I treat the likes of the Mail with contempt and Paul Stretford was probably stirring it for his own ends.

Moyes/Woodward giving an obviously in-decline player that long contract made my blood boil, and that alongside LvG’s refusal to drop him did cause me to have bad thoughts about Wayne for a while.

The moment Jose moved him on (which he did with considerable tact and a surprising lack of drama), all my resentment vanished and his legacy is completely secure with me. His relatively early decline is a shame, but I certainly don’t think less of him because if it.
 

DoomSlayer

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Another thread to slate Rooney? Have you guys not done enough of this in a lifetime? Sometimes I feel like this fanbase of ours totally deserves decades of misery so you can all start to appreciate things much more.
 

Jeppers7

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Very good player, what you'd do for an 18 year old Rooney now. That said he was never going to be a Pele, he was more ordinary than extraordinary.
 

Tel074

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Wayne Rooney is currently the all time goalscorer for Manchester United and England with 253 and 53 goals respectively. This is a great achievement but I feel as time goes on he's one of those players whose legacy will diminish because he wasn't as great as we thought he was. I know it sounds crazy especially after the opening sentence but hear me out.

Rooney burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion and as a 16 year old. The talent he possessed was actually scary. The things he was doing as a teenager made you almost sure he'd be a ballon d'or one day, if you were too young back then just look at it as you currently do with Mbappe. His Euro 2004 performances and his debut hattrick with us or his goal vs Newcastle at OT were things he did at 18 or younger. His first season with us he showed flashes of brilliance but was inconsistent as expected. The following season 2005/06 he began to show his great ability more consistently and was outstanding. He led us along with RVN that season and when Ruud was banished towards the end of the season he took a leading role alongside Saha and Ronaldo to a lesser extent. It was from this moment, I believed Rooney would go on an be unbelievable but he never really was outside of a couple of seasons at best.

His best seasons statistically were 09/10 and 11/12 where he bagged 34 goals. He also had an unreal 4 months or so towards the end of 10/11 (after an abhorrent start it must be mentioned). He was the true leader of the team in 09/10 and 11/12 both these seasons and we won nothing both years. In 10/11 the league was pretty much won without him although he was instrumental in reaching the CL final. Rooney was never really 'The guy' for us he was an excellent complementary piece.

I look at PL attackers in his time with better and more consistent and influential peaks and can anyone really argue against Drogba, Ronaldo, Suarez, Hazard, Torres, RvP, Aguero, Salah and even Kane.

Rooney had 16 seasons in the PL and never won PFA player of the year or won the golden boot and only made PFA team of the year three times. Kane for comparison has made PFA team of the year four times and won the golden boot twice in only 6 few seasons. Rooney has more talent in his toenail than Kane but Kane has proven to be more effective and consistently great than Rooney ever was. The same holds for all the others in that list.

Rooney's longevity is where he scores his points compared to his rivals. He was in the PL much longer than them and scored a good amount of goals each season. However he never truly delivered at his best consistently like others managed to.
Rooney was a brilliant brilliant footballer. He was way more than just a striker and he was a huge reason why we got to CL finals and why we won alot of trophies . You may not but I certainly will remember him as one of our greatest players the past 20 years
 

Forevergiggs1

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How can Rooney not go down as one of the greats? There will never be a statue of him but that doesn't take away from what he helped the club achieve in his time with us. Didn't always conform but that made him the player he was. Probably should of left a couple of seasons before he actually did but between 2004-2012 he gave everything he had and more.

About the City rumours. What I seem to remember was he was putting in a transfer request because he was questioning the ambition of the club. At the end of the day I think those doubts he had were well founded.