One to Watch - Wayne Rooney
Name: Wayne Rooney
Date of Birth: 24/10/1985
Former Clubs: Everton
League Appearances (Goals): 298 (128)
International Appearances (Goals): 73 (28)
Stat of the Day: Wayne Rooney was the first player in Premier League history to score 9+ goals in their first five appearances of the season
Wayne Rooney, the unfortunate recipient of a truly terrible nickname and looks that apparently resemble that of a fictional cartoon character, is undoubtedly one of the greatest players England have ever produced. His tireless, unselfish, high-class playing style is adored by many fans across the country and despite a somewhat recurrent necessity to find himself at the centre of any bad-mouthed, sex-related, money-grabbing, hair-associated controversy, his attitude to football on the pitch is seen as some sort of benchmark for how football in this country should be played - after all, in England we prefer someone who will chase a lost ball back for 90 yards rather than someone who can actually pass the damn thing.
Rooney is one of those players who can and will play anywhere. Ferguson has already employed the 26-year-old as a central midfielder this season, and his ability to head a ball, score goals, ping a ball 70 yards, and pop up with the occasional spectacular overhead kick may cause concern for a QPR defence that is about as dependable as a QPR FA Cup campaign. The Man Utd gaffer has already stated Rooney`s goals often come in spurts, and after his double against Wolves last week, many Rs fans will hope it wasn`t the start of another flurry of goals from the striker. As a QPR fan I hope Rooney fails miserably on Sunday; as an England fan, I hope he finally puts in a worthy performance at this year`s Euro`s so England can hopefully say they made it past the first knockout stage of a major finals.
Wayne Rooney joined Everton at the age of nine and quickly found scoring goals came as easy and as rapidly as losing his hair. His first team debut came in August 2002, soon followed by his first Premier League goal; a spectacular striker against Arsenal to end their 30-match unbeaten run. Arsene Wenger described the then 16 year old as the biggest England talent he had seen since his arrival in England, he went on to score 15 goals in 67 appearances for The Toffees and after a significant amount of interest from numerous clubs he eventually joined Manchester United in 2004 for a fee of around £25 million.
I vividly remember Rooney`s Manchester United debut; not because he scored a hat-trick against Fenerbache in the Champions League, but because it was the same night Jamie Cureton score a hat-trick for QPR against Coventry in a Championship encounter. This was only the beginning of Rooney`s Man Utd career and by the end of that season he had amassed 17 goals in 43 appearances for The Reds. His second season saw him net 19 times, earning him the Fans Player of the Year award and PFA Young Player of the Year for the second year running. The 2007/2008 season saw Rooney form a formidable partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, leading Man Utd to both Premier and Champions League success.
Rooney`s displays since have seen him rise to the summit of elite football across the world and with already 113 league goals in 231 appearances at Old Trafford, the striker will surely continue to score goals, win league titles and surpass many more records.