Is Rooney THE ‘Greatest’ MUFC Goal Scorer?

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Wayne Rooney finally beat Bobby Charlton’s all time goals record today, scoring his 250th goal for Manchester United.

The goal itself was a sublime “Free kick that Bobby Charlton would have been proud of”, quoted MOTD host Gary Linekar. It came in the 94th minute at the BET365 Stadium against Stoke City, to salvage his side a point.

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Yet whilst his name is rubber stamped in the record books, the question still remains…. Is Rooney THE greatest goal scorer to EVER wear, the Manchester United shirt?

We look at reasons both for and against this argument…..

FOR

THE STATS

Prolific, Reliable – 250 goals in 13 seasons – averaging 19 goals per year. Broke the club record in fewer games than Sir Bobby Charlton-but he does plays further up the pitch than the United legend.

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TROPHY RECORD

5 Premier League titles, 1 Champions League, 1 Fifa World Club Cup, 1 FA Cup, 2 League Cups and 4 Community Shields. Oh and he’s England’s Greatest ever Goal scorer too.

GREAT GOALS-GREAT PLAYER

He may not be the player he once was and age may now be playing a factor in his role as Captain at Old Trafford – yet, there is no denying he has been a great servant for the club and in his ten years at Manchester United has scored some cracking goals.

Who will ever forget that bicycle kick against rivals Man City? That thunderous volley against Newcastle & that fabulous hat trick against Fenerbahce  on his full first team debut. What about the goal against West Ham from the half way line! To name a few…

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AGAINST

HE MAY BE A GREAT BUT IS HE A LEGEND?

With the names and calibre of player to have donned the United red throughout the clubs history, it’s hard for any player to live up to the heights of the legends to have graced the Old Trafford turf before them.

The names are endless:

Bobby Charlton, Denis Law, George Best, Duncan Edwards, Mark Hughes, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs, Ronaldo – with the record his own, can Rooney be regarded as a true legend alongside the fore mentioned players above?

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What makes a great – a legend? 

“Doesn’t have the grace, influence and inspiration of King Eric”

“Won’t have a terrace song sung about him in 20 years’ time”

“Doesn’t keep you on the edge of your seat like Best, Giggs & Ronaldo”

Just some of the arguments mooted online re: Rooney’s current status among supporters.

ISN’T A MATCH WINNER!

OK, so he got a good goal against Man City in a derby but name another game, where Rooney ran the show,especially in a major final.

Has he ever influenced a final like King Eric (Cantona) did for United? Or scored a memorable ‘major’ goal like Ryan Giggs, Mark Hughes or George Best to win a truly BIG game?

What’s that…? You can’t?

Point proven!

NEVER LIVED UP TO THE HYPE!

Wayne Rooney was a fresh faced 18 year old boy, who had already made the world stand up and take notice by setting the division alight and representing his country as the youngest debutant both in the EPL and for England at the time, whilst at Everton. When Manchester United plucked up £30M to sign him, he was regarded as England’s next best thing, our Messi etc!

He arrived on the back of single handily inspiring England to the Quarter Finals at Euro 2004, where he scored four goals. He scored a hat trick on his full Manchester United debut in the Champions League.

Although his record suggests his goals have been consistent throughout his ten years at Old Trafford, he only scored 20 goals or more in four of the thirteen seasons.

Some would argue that Rooney never had the influence of previous greats and never truly reached the levels expected of him.

The last two years in particular have only gone on to further that claim as the United captain struggles for game time and has even featured in a more deeper role, playing in midfield for both club and country, rather than lead the line.

Conclusion

Personally, I think Rooney must be considered a true great – especially as he has just become Manchester United’s all-time record goal scorer.

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He may no longer scare defence’s the way he once did but he has scored some truly memorable goals. He is still a technically gifted footballer with a great intelligence of the game, whom is a record goal scorer for both club and country.

It’s hard to be considered the number one legend of said club, when compared to the games true greats: Best, Charlton, Cantona et el.

Is he THE Greatest player to have played for the Red Devils?

I’ll can only play devil’s advocate here – and let the Manchester United fans decide.

Overall, congratulations to Wayne Rooney. Credit due for your achievement and I’ve enjoyed watching you play throughout your whole career. Long may it continue (just not against Arsenal!)?

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