It has been so pleasing to see. Wayne Rooney has finally started to show they type of form many England fans have expected from him since he burst onto the international scene during Euro 2004. The Manchester United striker has hit five goals in his last three games for England and it seems that Fabio Capello has well and truly started to get the best out of him.
By his own admission, Rooney is in the best form of his international career. The 22-year-old also revealed that the influence of Capello has had a major impact on the upturn in fortunes. The Italian has apparently helped improve Rooney’s finishing in front of goal and this was certainly apparent during his two goals against Belarus on Wednesday.
The simplest thing that Capello has done though is to play Rooney in the correct position. There is no way that someone with the talents of Rooney should be wasted on the left flank. He should always operate centrally so he can have a more significant impact on the game. He will score more goals from this position as well. It may mean that he has to come deep to collect the ball at times, but this is fine. It just means that he gets the chance to dictate play from further afield.
There is no doubt that Rooney is England’s best player at this moment in time. The recent performances have also led him to become England’s most important player. Capello can cope with Chelsea’s Joe Cole and Jon Terry; he can cope without Steven Gerrard. However, should Rooney be taken out of the picture it would seem very bleak. No one can perform the way Wayne Rooney does on a football pitch.
Everyone has always known that Rooney was a huge talent. The way he performed, aged 18, in Euro 2004 was out of this world. In the last couple of seasons though there has been murmurs that he wouldn’t quite for fill the potential he undoubtedly possessed. However, the way he has played for Manchester United and England in recent weeks has shown that he really can become not only one of England’s greatest players, but one of the world’s greatest. Don’t stop improving now Wayne!
It has to be said that Sir Alex Ferguson has been guilty of playing Rooney out of position at times as well. Now though, I think he knows better than anyone that the former Everton man operates best when played centrally, just behind another striker. Emile Heskey compliments Rooney so, so well for England and Ferguson has the luxury of replacing Heskey with new signing Dimitar Berbatov. This really could be a winning formula for Manchester United.
This weekend, Rooney and co enterain West Brom at Old Trafford. Unsurprisingly the football odds are favouring a home victory as Ferguson’s side look to continue their revival after a poor start. One football bet that I will be placing though is on Rooney grabbing himself at least a couple of goals. He is, after all, a world-class player in the form of his life.
By Thomas Rooney