Wayne Rooney has never been one to hide his personality. His temper on the field has been scrutinized for years, but most Rooney and Manchester United fans chalk it up to the passion and heart he has for the game and for winning. The same passion and heart that makes Rooney one of the best players in the world. It cannot be argued that he plays every game with 100% effort. Even tonight’s game against Algeria, the effort was there, but in my opinion he just had an off night as did the rest of the England squad. So love or hate Mr. Rooney’s temper, was his behavior on the video above fair or foul?
For me, I think Wayne Rooney’s comments possess a fair amount truth. However, I think regardless of that truth, it would have been best if he just kept his mouth shut. With the English media already foaming at the mouth ready to rip Capello’s squad from limb to limb and create even more distractions off the field, Rooney did not need to add gas to that fire. I understand the frustration he must have been feeling, we all know how competitive a player he is. The whole English team all the way down the bench to David Beckham was frustrated. But, Rooney and England need to get it together because the fact of the matter is, if they win their next game, they’re through to the round of 16. So, let’s look at it from the perspective of both Mr. Wayne Rooney and the England fans.
When you are the 8th ranked team in the world as England is, fans are going to expect a certain level of play. When you’re favored to win your group and after two games you’re in third with 2 draws, fans are going to be upset. England, a team of Premier League stars, is expected to get results. And frankly, after their first 2 games, not only have they only earned 2 points, but they’ve looked awful. Fans expect better. Fans demand better. As a fan of a team with expectations, certainly you could make the argument that the play on the pitch deserved the audible disgust from the English supporters. But, does that make it right?
Now, from Rooney’s perspective, does he have the right to voice his opinion back to the supporters after his team’s ugly performances? I’m sure Wayne is just as frustrated at the poor result as the fans in the stadium and back in England are, and just as disappointed, if not more. Well obviously Rooney, who rarely holds anything back, felt it was his right. And I understand that. He’s battling out on the pitch for his country, still earned a point in a frustrating game, and didn’t receive the support he felt the team deserves. England still has a chance to move on. Their World Cup is not over, I’m sure he feels the fans still need to be behind their country and most definitely feels a little betrayed.
That being said, Rooney as well as the rest of the England squad are professionals. They’re used to the limelight, and have to understand by now how fans are going to respond. That is why, for me personally, I think Rooney has to rise above the level of the fans and block the criticism out of his mind. This isn’t an England-only case, this happens with fans in any sport. While I don’t think it’s acceptable for fans to ever boo their own team in any case, I understand that fans will be fans. But pros have to be pros, Rooney should just be focused on the next game against Slovenia. In any case, I’m sure the England faithful will be behind their team on Wednesday when they take the field in Port Elizabeth. And if they’re to move on to the knockout stage, I’m willing to bet the same.
What do you think? Did the play by the England squad deserve the negative response of the supporters? Or do you think Wayne Rooney has a right to be upset?