Wayne Rooney: Definitely That Sort Of Player

Wayne Rooney's inexplicable and under-punished kick of Jordon Mutch was far from an isolated incident. Nick Miller says it's not a surprise some wanted rid of him...

Last Updated: 25/11/13 at 09:23 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Fast Start Again The Basis Of Liverpool's Success

Post comment

Liverpool have now scored 15 goals in the first 15 minutes of matches in the Premier League. Quick starts have been the backbone of a title bid that looks likely to succeed.

Mourinho's Little Horse Cut Down To Size


After Chelsea's title hopes took a severe blow with defeat to Sunderland, Matt Stanger ponders where it went wrong for the Blues. Jose Mourinho has much to answer for...

All Articles

Back in 2006, Wayne Rooney was sent off for England at the World Cup. You'll probably remember it. Ricardo Carvalho certainly does. Or, rather more specifically, Ricardo Carvalho's balls do, being the nethers that were stamped on for Rooney to earn said card.

Rooney was but a pup at the time, a few months short of his 21st birthday. Thus such hot-headedness could be explained and excused, for we all do stupid things when we're young, but most of us have the fortune to have these stupid things confined to pubs or parks or bedrooms to which we'd never be invited again, rather than in front of 62,000 people in Gelsenkirchen and about a gazillion others watching on the telly.

Still, you'll probably all remember the atmosphere of blame at the time, as is present after any England exit from a major tournament. Somebody had to hang for this, and as nobody really had the appetite to string up the youthful Rooney, Sven-Goran Eriksson was the man. Eriksson had of course already incurred the wrath of a foaming press for his wandering eye (and indeed wandering penis), for the whole Baden-Baden circus (women were allowed near our brave boys! Imagine!), for supposedly 'wasting' the Golden Generation (TM), and he was leaving after relieving the FA of a tidy sum of cash. Thus, he was blamed - and not only blamed for the apparently premature exit from the competition, but blamed for Rooney's sending-off.

Rooney was frustrated, you see. Frustrated because the 4-5-1 system Eriksson played didn't provide him with enough service, and what service he did receive was insufficient. Faced with that, you can see there really was no alternative for Rooney but to try turning someone's love spuds into guacamole. Eriksson was even asked about it at that post-tournament press conference when he pleaded with the gathered gargoyles not to 'kill' Rooney. Don't worry about that Svennis - you were the man they were constructing an effigy for.

Eriksson said at the time: "I don't think that added to the pressure. The pressure he put on himself was that he missed some of his touches because he hasn't played for a long while."

To blame Eriksson was of course tish and fipsy even at the time, but if Svennles was watching Cardiff v Manchester United on Sunday, assuming he wasn't busy with his two beautiful women in Thailand, he presumably would have felt even more vindicated.

Because doing stupid things like stamping on a man's genitalia is just what Wayne Rooney does, regardless of his age. Rooney's kick on Jordon Mutch on Sunday was almost identical to the one that resulted in his red card while playing for England against Monetengro a few years ago, when he kicked Miodrag Dzudovic. Pointless, in an innocuous part of the pitch, after very little provocation. The only difference this time was that he wasn't properly punished.

It speaks to why a section of the Manchester United support would rather not have Rooney in their team. For all the goals and sometimes excellent performances, Rooney also provides plenty of ammunition for those that would have preferred him to be sold in the summer. His weight, fitness, that when he is out of form he isn't just bad but a liability whose second touch is usually a tackle, and the sense that the latest red mist might be just around the corner - it adds up.

These losses of temper are admittedly relatively infrequent. He has only been sent off twice in his Manchester United career and twice for England, but they were all for acts of petulance, and all spread over a significant period of time. There was the dismissal against Villarreal in the Champions League for sarcastically applauding referee Kim Milton Nielsen, then a similar red against Fulham in the Premier League for throwing the ball (sort of) at Phil Dowd. Then we have the two dismissals for England, as well as a number of other unpunished flashes of foolishness - a scrap with Keith Gillespie against Northern Ireland and an elbow on James McCarthy of Wigan spring to mind.

The notable thing is that the incidents listed there occurred when Rooney was 19, 24, 20, 26, 19 and 26, with the Mutch booting of course at his current age of 28. These aren't the actions of a kid who doesn't know any better, but a pattern, evidence that age and experience have not matured Rooney, and that there's no telling when the next potentially enormously harmful brainfade will happen. It's also worth noting that, in the four games in which Rooney was dismissed, his team won none of them.

He claims to have learned though. Speaking about the Villarreal dismissal, he said in 2008:

"Yeah, it was a reality check for me. It was a ridiculous thing to do. When I was in the dressing room when I got sent off I was just thinking "Why have I just done that?"

"I learned from that. I made sure I did. It was a big turning point. You don't want to be in the dressing room wondering what you could be doing for the team if you were still out there."

Quite clearly he hasn't learned. When it comes to inexplicable and sudden acts of violence that could be costly to his team, Wayne Rooney most definitely is that sort of player.

Nick Miller - follow him on Twitter

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments


may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Please Stop Telling Us What To Think


ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

Wenger hails important win


s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

De Gea's Europa League target

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: Arsenal ease to 3-0 win over Hull City at the KC Stadium

Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 win over Hull City thanks to a double from Lukas Podolski and one from Aaron Ramsey.

Premier League: Tottenham are desperate to keep hold of 'world-class' Hugo Lloris, says Tim Sherwood

Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood says the club are desperate to keep hold of Hugo Lloris this summer.

Premier League: 'Happy' Olivier Giroud wants long-term Arsenal future

Olivier Giroud has pledged his long-term future to Arsenal and wants manager Arsene Wenger to do the same.

Mail Box

That's Why We Didn't Want Jose At United

There is plenty of reaction to Mourinho's antics (Isn't that exactly what he wanted?) plus thoughts on Connor Wickham, Fabio Borini, beach balls and Tim Sherwood...

Kieran's Not The Only One Keeping Notes

Another chap in the mailbox has been keeping notes on comments made by optimistic Man United fans. Plus, Garey Vance is offering a double-or-quits on his new tattoo...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property