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Friday, October 19, 2012

10 years of Wayne Rooney

Ten years on from his wonder goal against Arsenal, the young scamp that turned so many heads in British football has developed into a marmite player that splits opinion throughout the footballing world.
Wayne Rooney has graced the Premier League for a decade now and fans and pundits alike in the betting world have been considering whether or not the Liverpudlian has fulfilled his early potential.
Of course he has.
Rooney, like him or loathe him, has been a consistent wonder to watch over the past 10 seasons. That goal against Arsenal when he was just a spotty youth of 16 in an oversized Everton shirt was just the start of things to come. A handful of goals for his boyhood club was enough for Sir Alex Ferguson to invest a reported £20m in the striker and that hat-trick debut for Manchester United is something very few Reds fans will ever forget.
People ask how you gage success and trophies and goals usually come pretty high up. Fast forward to thePremier League 2012-13 and Rooney has lifted four league titles and two FA Cups with United, plus the 2007/08 Champions League crown.

His 200 club goals are no mean feat for a player who’s best position is widely regarded as behind the main striker, and 32 in 78 England appearances is a record very few can beat.
Compared to others of his generation, neither Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi of Argentina have managed to lift a major trophy for their respective countries so criticism that Rooney has not yet done it for England can be dismissed.
Indeed, if you want to know just how well Rooney’s career has gone so far then ask an average United fan. He may have had his scrapes in the past, but Rooney’s passion and drive to play for the team has endeared himself to the Old Trafford faithful over the years – certainly punters logging onto agree.
He is able to play in various striking combinations with a number of team-mates and this all-round quality proves Rooney has fulfilled the trust Sir Alex put in him all those years ago.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Is it time for Vidic to move on?

Nemanja Vidic’s future at Manchester United looks increasingly uncertain amid rumours two of Europe’s top clubs are chasing him, following his drop down the Old Trafford pecking order thanks a fresh injury on top of his eight-month lay off last season.

Vidic, a firm favourite with the United crowd, endured a serious knee injury during his side’s 2-1 defeat to Basel in the UEFA Champions League group stage and played just five games until limping off again last month.

His spell on the sidelines has given fellow centre-halves Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling the opportunity to prove themselves in his position and all three have not looked out of place at the back, especially in last weekend’s convincing 3-0 win at Newcastle.

With United reportedly looking to further strengthen their defence in January, there may be little room for Vidic and with increased speculation both Juventus and Barcelona are interested in the 30-year-old it may be time for Vidic to move on.

Although many would view a transfer as an admittance that his career is on the wain, switching to another of Europe’s top clubs would certainly have its benefits. Both Barca and Juve would offer a slower game for Vidic to wind down his career and he would still play Champions League football.

Financially, his weekly wage would unlikely depreciate as Patrick Vieira – reportedly on £130,000 a week at Inter Milan despite being 30 when they signed him - can testify, plus the Serbian would benefit from a hefty signing on fee.

For United, they could expect a decent transfer fee for a player that struggles with his fitness and could reinvest such a sum in a young defender for the future, boosting their Barclays Premier League title odds in the process.

Vidic does still have his qualities but with his age and injury record Sir Alex Ferguson may well cash in on the defender before he runs out of stream for good.