1) Poor goal scoring record
Wayne Rooney’s goal scoring record is a misleading one. Whilst he is the record goal scorer for England his form has always been poor in major tournaments, with him not having an impact since 2004. Rooney’s goals have typically come against weak sides in friendly’s or qualification matches. For United he’s scored 20+ goals just twice in his 11 seasons in the Premier League. He is nowhere near as prolific as some people are making him out to be.
2) Creating tactical problems
A major problem that Wayne Rooney causes is in terms of tactics. He isn’t a no.10 and he isn’t a no.9. Ideally he’d be best as part of a strike partnership in a 4-4-2 yet no team plays that way anymore. In fact his best form came for England in a 4-4-2 and the same at United. Rooney would have been a world beater had he played most of his career in an era when the 4-4-2 was the modus operandi for attacking teams. Now it is not. So can he play as a no.9 for United or England? Well, no. He doesn’t score enough. He also isn’t that great as a no.10 behind the forward as he lacks tactical discipline and is now quite physically slow. Without a 4-4-2 Rooney should really be more redundant.
3) Far better, more in form alternatives
For United they should allow Anthony Martial to emerge and leave Rooney on the bench. For England Daniel Sturridge (when fit), Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane are all more in form and more prolific goal scoring options. If they are competing for a single striking position. If the side is picked on form then Rooney should be nowhere in it and realistically should be battling to get into the squad, let alone get into the starting line up for England. If anything now he just slows down the play and produces sluggish, lethargic performances.
4) It’s time to move on
The idea of Rooney as a top class player and the saviour of United and England has dragged on for far too long. He’s been a good player for both without ever reaching the dizzy heights he once threatened to. It’s time for both England and United to move on and let Rooney go. Perhaps he should leave United and retire from international football.