There ain’t no party like a Wayne Rooney redemption party, so after the striker finally offered a performance worth at least half of his £300,000-a-week wages, the papers were always likely to get giddy.
In the Daily Mirror, John Cross wonders ‘quite how Rooney did not finish on the winning side, having scored twice and set up another’. You want to speak to Paul Dummett about that. Cross also says that ‘from boring the pants off the Old Trafford faithful, this was football heaven’.
The Sun make Wayne Rooney their ‘STAR MAN’, which would be noteworthy had he not been their STAR MAN for every game since the Berlin Wall was brought down.
Also in The Sun, Neil Custis gave Rooney enough praise to fill one of those massive jars that you can keep spaghetti in.
‘It should have been the night when Wayne Rooney ruled after scoring twice and setting up another,’ Custis begins. Is he advocating Rooney being made king?
In the Daily Mail, Martin Samuel went all teary-eyed and weak at the knees. ‘He’s still got it, you know,’ Samuel writes. ‘Not as much of it as he once had, and not all the time. But there are moments, fleeting moments, when Rooney closes his eyes and is a teenager again.’
— Goal UK (@GoalUK) January 12, 2016
The Daily Mail also put in a graphic insert entitled ‘NEW YEAR, NEW ROONEY’, in which they point out that, after three matches in 2016, Rooney has managed 30.8% of his 2015 goal tally. Without doing the maths, we’re guessing that’s league goals. The MailOnline headline claims that Rooney was on fire, which will do little for that faltering hair weave.
In The Times, Oliver Kay writes that ‘a resurgent Rooney scored a spectacular strike with 11 minutes remaining’. God love The Times and their determination not to get hyperbolic.
It took until the Daily Telegraph’s website for us to finally find the line we’d been seeking: ‘Wayne Rooney put in a display to silence his critics’. We’ve not quite gone mute yet.