After Manchester United’s 1-0 victory against Liverpool in the League Cup on Wednesday night, the Sky Sports commentary team aptly described Wayne Rooney’s summer transfer window escapades as playing “hard to keep” as opposed to “hard to get.” The reigning Premier League champions stood firm during a summer of ludicrous transfer dealings and even more unfathomable outbursts to the press from their main man (cue, “I’m angry and confused”). Any approach from rival clubs, including Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, was promptly swatted away. And the Red Devils, yet again, managed to keep hold of one of their prized assets.
And now it seems their tough no-nonsense approach has done the trick based on the striker’s renewed bill of confidence under new United boss David Moyes so far this season. Rooney, 27, has arguably been United’s top performer as his side venture to fight on both domestic and European fronts with an encouraging start in the Champions League, and a League Cup win against their bitter rivals that could act as a springboard for the Premier League matches.
Rooney could not be blamed for that embarrassing defeat against Manchester City. He was the only United player that afternoon who got around the pitch with purpose… not to mention the stunning free kick he hammered home in the second half to give his side a faint shred of respectability.
What has been evident this year is his uncanny passing ability in the mould of recently retired teammate Paul Scholes. ‘Pinging it about like nobody’s business’ was a turn of phrase a friend of mine coined following yet another convincing performance from Rooney in David Moyes’ maiden appearance in the League Cup with Manchester United Wednesday night. And with the striker also finding the net more regularly too these days, the United faithful will hope he can stay fit and form a lethal partnership with team mate Robin van Persie (who should return to action this weekend against West Brom), something that the fans have yearned for since he joined the club from Arsenal last season.
Editor’s note: Read more articles from Andrew on his blog at www.laligablog.com.