England and Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney has had a tumultuous few months, perhaps the most difficult in his illustrious career.
The fact that the 30-year-old cannot guarantee his place anymore either at club or international level is a painful but not an unexpected reality.
His career is slowly but surely on the decline and it is normally at this time that most distinguished footballers head off to the Far East or the American Major League Soccer to ‘enjoy’ playing their last years while they still can and earn lucrative financial deals in the process.
Legends such as Kaka, Ronaldinho, Pirlo and Gerrard are such players.
When it has reached a time when the Old Trafford faithful begin booing a man they for so long revered and who achieved cult status in the process, it is indeed time that Rooney, began to start thinking about his own future.
Rooney sits in the dugout during England's match against San Marino. (Photo: Talksport)
Interim England Manager Gareth Southgate out of respect had to drive in person to break the news to Rooney that he will be dropped as captain during Tuesday’s World Cup Qualifier against Slovenia.
Career in decline
The stats look grim for Rooney and depict a footballer’s career certainly on the wane.
Rooney’s 478 mins per Premier League goal ratio is a pale shadow of the 144 mins per goal achieved barely three years ago.
His disappointing eight Premier League goals last season does not augur well for a striker in an ambitious club such as Manchester United who are expected to be challenging for the title and are used to unprecedented success.
That goal tally was the lowest for the forward since the 2003/2004 when he was at Everton FC, a team which propelled him to the limelight.
The once prolific striker has only scored a shocking two goals outside the box in the last three seasons. He had scored 13 in the previous campaigns.
Rooney has only managed an 8.3% conversion rate down from 22% two years ago.
His 40% dribbling success rate at the moment is also a drop from the nearly 60% he achieved in the 2013/2014 season.
Replaced at United
It came as no surprise when Manchester United Manager Jose Mourinho dropped Rooney for their match against Champions Leicester a fortnight ago in a move seen by many pundits as an attempt to save the talismanic captain from the wrath of the Old Trafford faithful who for weeks have been asking him to be dropped.
Rooney substituted against Aston Villa early this year. (Photo: Daily Star UK)
United went on to play one of their best football witnessed so far this season scoring four goals in the process with Rooney coming later on in the second half to play a cameo from the bench.
In his absence, stand-in captain Chris Smalling scored the opening goal; world-record signing Paul Pogba looked in total control of the midfield, capping his impressive performance with a goal while United’s main forward this season Zlatan Ibrahimovic looked commanding up front.
Despite all these, the England and Manchester fans should not forget the fact that Rooney has conducted himself in a dignified and professional manner throughout these tumultuous times.
Rooney’s passion and dedication towards his club and country is unmatched.
This is why Wayne Rooney is England’s all-time record goal-scorer and is only three behind Sir Bobby Charlton’s goal tally in Manchester United and thus deserves respect and a dignified exit should he call it time on his career.
Rooney is already a legend no matter which way anyone looks at it.
Is this the end for Wayne Rooney? Reviewed by on 1:52:00 AM Rating: