A Singapore press holdings portal

Sports

Scholes deliver shocking verdict on former United teammate

The New Paper | Ian Macintosh | Sunday, May 25, 2014

Football - England Media Day - 2014 FIFA World Cup Training Camp - Vale Do Lobo Resort, Portugal. England's Wayne Rooney during training.

In 20 years as a Manchester United employee, Paul Scholes avoided the press and hardly ever voiced an opinion.

Well, he's making up for lost time now.

In March, his withering assessment of his old club marked the moment when David Moyes' credibility was irreparably shattered.

Now his new column with bookmaker Paddy Power has delivered an equally stunning verdict on the limitations of his former teammate Wayne Rooney.

Scholes initially praised Rooney's desire to play football, but it wasn't long before he unleashed a series of damning, but entirely accurate verdicts on the England forward's capabilities.

According to Scholes, Rooney "needs to use his energy more effectively now", instead of trying to play everywhere on the pitch at once.

"He does that too much instead of saving himself and his energy for what his teams need," the former United midfielder added.

Scholes, 39, suggested that Rooney might make a good midfielder, saying that he had "all the ability to take over my old position", but then went on to question "whether he had the discipline to do it".

Finally, and most damagingly, Scholes suggested that 28-year-old's best years might already be behind him.

"There's a chance he's worn out," Scholes said. "Wayne's peak may have been a lot younger than what we'd expect of footballers traditionally."

Scholes' words are certainly a welcome breath of fresh air.

The mythology that surrounds Rooney tends to obscure his limitations as a footballer.

In England, work-rate and determination can be over-valued, the marks on a heatmap can be erroneously seen as the defining method of judging an individual's contribution.

Rooney has always played with the enthusiasm of a six-year-old boy, but while that was endearing when he was a teenager, it's rather less impressive as he approaches his 30th birthday.

VOLATILE

All too often, he appears in the left-back position, harrying the opposition for the ball, winning it and then smashing it up the pitch into the void that he himself should be filling.

Channelled correctly, his desire should be an asset, but Rooney has always found it hard to sustain his levels of motivation and focus.

Rooney's best season came in 2009/10 when he was the unopposed front man, no longer obliged to do the running for Cristiano Ronaldo.

He was deployed up front, he stayed up front and he scored goals at an astonishing rate.

The improvement was so dramatic that Fabio Capello ripped up his existing framework to try and replicate United's formation for England, a move that backfired horribly.

After the disappointment of South Africa, Rooney returned to England in loathsome form and promptly picked a fight with United over what he saw as their failure to strengthen the squad to his liking.

The next season, he scored freely again. Then came another trough, the dreadful conclusion to the 2012/13 season and another fight with United because they had strengthened the squad to his liking and now he couldn't get a regular game.

No comments yet.
Be the first to post comment.