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Friday, April 15, 2005

Rooney: Representation and Reality

Ok, let's cut to the chase. If England are to have any chance of winning the forthcoming World Cup, we will need Wayne Rooney firing on all cylinders. While Beckham, Owen, Lampard et al, are all fine players, Rooney adds that little bit of je ne se qua to the equation.

And yet, the nation, or at least the popular press seem hell bent on his destruction.

Wayne Rooney is headline news. Rather like his United predecessor, Beckham, it would seem Rooney only has to fart to attract the attention of the rabid tabloids. However, coverage of the two men is very different. Beckham is the wide boy turned glamourpuss, Rooney still very much the wide boy.

This divergence certainly isn't founded upon tabloid writers exercising an informed assessment of the duos varying characters. No, the real reason is the fact tabloid editors encourage their writers to express themselves in straight lines. Elaboration and over-complication are the strictly forbidden tools of the nancy-boy set. When I was working at the now defunct 'Sportfirst' weekly, my editor stormed into the office one evening to object to my use of the word 'superfluous'. If I may quote his rant in full:

"F****** superfluous!!!!! I'll show you f****** superfluous, you f****** superfluous twat!!!!!Do you really think Barry, Gary and Kevin know what the f*** superfluous means!?!"

I'm sure you get the message. Anyway, the point of this particular elaboration, is to illustrate that such journalists are prone to paint a simple picture. After all, why bother analysing Rooney's character, when your editor/ readership would prefer him to be cast as little more stereotypical pantomime villain.

Now, even I, the most ardent of Reds, can't deny that this representation has some basis in reality. Rooney certainly is a very hot-headed young chap. His overwhelming competitive spirit drives him to acts, which, outside the context of competitive sport, can only be regarded as thuggish. However, I've seen much worse and I'd say there are dozens currently plying their trade in the Premiership, who'd have Rooney for breakfast.

Answer this question: How many times has Wayne Rooney been sent off this season? I'll tell you at the end of the post.

Back to the post: How does this representation affect Rooney? The clash between Rooney and Tal Ben Haim, the Bolton Wanderers player: Rooney’s intemperate hand-off, Ben Haim’s melodramatic reaction, provides a case in point. Rooney received a three match ban for what was little more than a trivial incident. In fact, in my opinion, Haim's crime was morally graver. The travesty of it all so moved me, that several weeks later, I even managed to alienate myself from my fellow Man Unt fans down the local, when, upon witnessing Drogba grab Fortune by the throat, Immediately and repeatedly shouted: "Three match ban, three match ban!!!"

Before I launch into a tirade about the injustices served out to United, (unless you have hours to spare, don't ever mention the Ferdinand fiasco in my presence), I wish to conclude by imploring all sensible people to get behind Rooney and ignore the tabloid tosh. He is, after all, our only hope.

Alistair Maiden

P.S. Rooney hasn't been sent off this season.


Blogger T said...

Wayne Rooney is a paradox.

He broke Arsenal's 29 match unbeaten run with a last minute long range effort which had me clapping in admiration.

He then broke Arsenal's 49 game unbeaten run with a blatant dive that had Arsenal players and fans flattened with a sense of injustice for a good couple of months.

In England colours Wayne Rooney ripped up the French defence and was about to score one of THE great goals before being bought down by Silvestre for a penalty.

A few months later he is dangerously shoving Casillas into the crowd and throws off the armband commemorating Liverpool great Emlyn Hughes.

A genius to be respected; AND a kid who still has a lot of maturing to do.

I don't care about his off the field life. Only cheap tabloids will indulge in that.

EFT will only talk about his football-pitch behaviour. Sometimes it marvels, other times its ugly.

I agree with Alistair that Rooney can be our Maradona, our Zidane. When he limped off against Portugal it was as if England were reduced to eight men. England's World Cup hopes depends on a fully fit Wayne Rooney.

Sir Wayne Rooney- don't rule it out in the years to come.

4/15/2005 7:32 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Wayne Rooney, automatic inclusion, yet we don't kid ourselves that he can do it alone. The youngster (believe it or not, he is) has potential to create that needed to gain victories. He shoots, scores, passes, sprints, tackles, takes freekicks, heads and dispossesses. Whether he can do it week in, week out is another debate. But his inclusion into any side should be a closed matter. Unless one speaks of upsetting Sir Alex. Nothing supersedes that. Nothing.

Silly behaviour is common on the football pitch, Rooney is little exception. Though he would do well to calm his temperament, those who call for his curbing (or electronic tagging) could pay more attention to whether it is his temperament that pushes him to perform well, when he does. So it could be a case of taking the rough with the smooth.

As for the tabloids, goodness gracious. Pay attention to them and comprehension takes leave for good. Such trash journalism that they feel sells publications. Yet some want to know Rooney off the field as well as on. His private business, for me, is his affair. I'm concerned with how he is on the pitch, the entertainment he can bring.

And as ts said, his exit in the Euro2004 against Portugal came like the proverbial spanner in the works. The Portugese were content to see him leave and it's that kind of fear Rooney, and others, should install into opponents. And it is about time that England looked to push themselves much further than they have done. Particularly when you have a raw talent leading in Rooney, alongside Owen.


4/16/2005 1:43 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rooney is not getting yellow and red card s because he is playing for Manchester United.

Lampard could be they key for England success as international football emphasis on defending and locking striker/forwards. If Lampard bringing his shooting boots, you will have a chance

4/20/2005 10:54 pm


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