The Highs And Lows Of Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United Career

7 03 2013

Rooney's Future Is In Doubt

Rooney’s Future Is In Doubt

Highs

  1. 31/08/04 – Four goals at Euro 2004 convinced Sir Alex Ferguson to spend £27m on the precocious 18-year-old. The sum was a world record spent on a teenager; eclipsing the previous record of £20m that A.S. Roma spent on Antonio Cassano. “I think we have got the best young player this country has seen in the past 30 years,” Ferguson said.
  2. 28/09/04 – After sustaining a metatarsal injury in the European Championships, Rooney’s long awaited debut was against Turkish side Fenerbahce, and it was worth the wait. The number 8 scored three splendid goals past the helpless Rüştü Reçber.
  3. 27/02/06 – A brace from Rooney helped The Red Devils to a 4-0 victory over Wigan and gave the former Everton player his first professional trophy. He was also named man of the match.
  4. 05/05/07 – Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty ensured they won the Manchester derby 1-0, helping United to their first league title in three seasons after Chelsea’s failure to beat Arsenal the following day. Rooney scored 14 league goals in 2006/07.
  5. 22/05/08 – A dramatic penalty shoot-out victory against Chelsea earned United their third European Cup. Rooney however is substituted for Nani in extra-time. Overcame early season niggles to score 18 goals in all competitions and also won a successive League title.
  6. 25/04/10 – Rewarded for his imperious form by being awarded PFA player of the year, four years after winning the young player award. Playing more as a poacher, he scores 34 goals in all competitions, including four against Hull City. Also recorded his 100th Premier League goal ironically against Arsenal; the side he first scored against as a 16-year-old for Everton.
  7. 12/02/11 – After a tumultuous season, Rooney redeems himself to the Old Trafford faithful by scoring an overhead kick against Manchester City in a 2-1 victory. Ferguson speaks glowingly “I can’t ever remember a better goal at Old Trafford.”
  8. 11/02/12 – Rooney marks his 350th Manchester United game with a double as they defeat Liverpool 2-1. The game is surrounded by controversy as Luis Suarez refuses to shake Patrice Evra’s hand.
Sarcasm Gets Rooney Nowhere

Sarcasm Gets Rooney Nowhere

Lows

  1. 14/09/05 – Kim Milton Nielsen is infamous to England fans for sending David Beckham off against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup, but he is also remembered as the first man to send Rooney off in a United shirt. The forward was shown a second yellow card for sarcastically applauding the Danish referee in a European tie against Villarreal.
  2. 16/09/05 – Advised to see an anger management specialist after a series of outbursts cause concern. Aside from the Villarreal debacle, that same month he loses his head in England’s defeat to Northern Ireland where even David Beckham can’t negate his rage.
  3. 29/04/06 – The pursuit for a first Premier League in two seasons was ended after a 3-0 defeat away to Chelsea. To add to the despair, Rooney fractured a metatarsal after an innocuous challenge from Paulo Ferreira, putting his World Cup aspirations in doubt.
  4. 21/03/09 – Shown a second yellow card against Fulham for hurling the ball in the direction of referee Phil Dowd. Liberates his anger by punching the corner flag on the way to the tunnel.
  5. 20/10/10 – Hands in a transfer request after concerns the manager will not invest heavily in the squad. However two days later he signs a new five-year contract. Ferguson is heavily praised for his stance in the fiasco and he states “I think Wayne now understands what a great club Manchester United is.”
  6. 02/04/11 – An illustration that Rooney still possesses a fiery side is witnessed by millions at home as the Englishman swears down a television camera. Recovering from 2-0 down, Rooney scored a hat-trick against West Ham but his outburst leads the FA to issue him a two-game ban.
  7. 01/01/12 – Dropped for the Blackburn fixture after breaching club rules by going out for dinner with his family, accompanied by Jonny Evans and Darron Gibson. Fined a week’s wages and made to do an extra days training. United lose 3-2 at home to a team who started the game at the foot of the table.
  8. 05/03/13 – Left out of the starting line-up for the second leg fixture against Real Madrid. Despite scoring against Norwich City at the weekend, the 27-year-old is only a second-half substitute regardless of being renowned as a player who can do a disciplined role for the team. “Maybe the writing is on the wall for him,” says former captain Roy Keane.
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