I wouldn’t cross the road to watch Rooney

I wouldn’t cross the road to watch Rooney
wayne rooney the subject of a bid by chelsea

Which shirt will he kiss next?

I’ve been lucky. Thanks to having three elder brothers to take me to matches, as a child, I got to watch some of the greatest players in British football.

George Best, Jimmy Greaves, Booby Moore and many, many more.

Later in life, as a writer for Fleet Street newspapers and a producer of televised football, I was also fortunate to see at close quarters some of the finest footballers in the world.


But were he playing opposite my front door, I wouldn’t cross the road to watch Wayne Rooney.

I have spent years campaigning for the word “great” to be used accurately when it comes to people describing football teams or individual footballers.

It is a losing battle. The word great has been debased. A bit like the word pressure.

And when so called great footballers are asked how they cope with the pressure… well then I throw things at the TV or radio.

And don’t start me on the use of the phrase world class.


Wayne Rooney is not a great player and he is not world class.

Never has been and likely never will be. David Beckham was not a great player, nor world class.

Those who think they are/were are clearly too young to have seen live truly great, genuinely world class footballers.

Both, when performing at their best, have been very good players. On other days, simply good players.

The modern generation of football fans attribute the word great to a favourite player at their club after he has scored a memorable goal, or strung together three good games.


Listen up! Great is Pele. Great is George Best. Great is Lionel Messi.

Wayne Rooney could have been a great player. When he was young it looked as though that was possible. But he has not developed into a lethal striker on the world stage. He does not put the fear of God into the best defenders in the world. They can handle him.

Jose Mourinho has said Rooney is his only transfer target this season. I am not surprised to hear he wants Rooney at Chelsea. Apart from anything else, if he succeeds, he removes from Old Trafford a man who – when he is in the mood at least – can score important goals.

Rooney and agent Paul Stretford. Photo by PA

Rooney and agent Paul Stretford. Photo by PA

The player needs a new lease of life and Mourinho is the ideal man to reinvent Wayne Rooney. Such a move could work well for both player and Chelsea.

I have no doubt that his divisive agent has been working hard to get him such a move. Even before Sir Alex Ferguson retired, the future of Rooney at Manchester United was open to doubt.

The moment Rooney’s former Everton boss David Moyes was announced as Fergie’s successor, I couldn’t see how the two men could work together. How many people do you know who work for a man that successfully sued you?


For there is history between Moyes and Rooney.

A dispute that went all the way to law. Moyes won and although it is said Rooney was the first to pick up the telephone and make peace, I don’t believe the original comments made by the two men, about the other, have been either forgotten or forgiven.

How Wayne Rooney could allow himself to be quoted as being “upset” in a week when there were some truly upsetting events taking place in the world only proves how out of touch those who advise him are. With the real world I mean, not the world of football.

At his best, Rooney is a dangerous player. He is certain to go on scoring goals whatever the colour of the shirt he wears next season.


But he is a moody, spoilt, overrated footballer who believes what his equally greedy agent tells him.

Unlike Law, Best, Charlton, Bell, Greaves, Pele, Messi, Moore, Zola, Waddle and many other gifted players I have been lucky enough to see in action, Wayne Rooney is not a player worthy of the entrance fee alone.

At least not for me.

What about you?

Have your say below.


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