We’ve seen it many times in Rooney’s career. For all his skill, he has as much anger, and immaturity. On Sunday’s match against Cardiff City he battled with Jordon Mutch and then needlessly kicked out at the player. Somehow the referee only thought it justified a yellow card.
If someone could tell me how Wes Brown ‘s challenge Saturday was deemed a red card, and Rooney’s only a yellow today, then I would love to hear it. This isn’t the first time we have seen Rooney do something stupid in a match, and potentially ruin a match for his teammates. Fortunately for him he went on to score Manchester United’s opening goal in the 2-2 draw with Cardiff City. It could have been so much more for the Bluebirds though if Rooney had been sent off.
In 2005, Rooney was sent off for Manchester United against Villarreal when he sarcastically clapped the referee. In a friendly in 2006 he elbowed Pepe playing for Porto at the time. He was given a three match ban by the FA and then he threatened to withdraw the FA’s right to use his image. He was only 20 at these points, so still young and learning you would think.
For country, he memorably got sent off in the World Cup quarter final match against Portugal in 2006. He stamped on Ricardo Carvalho whilst battling for the ball. All but ending England‘s chances of progressing. In the following World Cup after a goalless draw with minnows Algeria, the England team were booed off the pitch. Fans were clearly annoyed to see such a lacklustre performance after travelling to South Africa. Rooney thought there response was a disgrace however. He turned to the camera and said: ‘Nice to see your home fans boo you, that’s loyal supporters’. I think travelling all the way to South Africa to support your team does show some loyalty in fact, Wayne.
Rooney was sent off again for England, this time against Montenegro in a Euro 2012 qualifying match. He again needlessly lashed out at a player, which resulted in a two match ban. This meant he missed the first two games of Euro 2012. Again putting his country’s chances at risk.
At the start of this season Wayne was reportedly unhappy at Manchester United again. He never seems settled, despite the team being focused around him.
On Sunday, Rooney got away with it, but it is clear he has still not learnt his lesson. He is 28 now, in the peak of his career with a lot of experience under his belt. Yet he still seems to have the brain of someone a quarter of his age. His temperament is astonishing, and for someone with a great deal of ability can never be classed amongst the elite of the game, due to his complete lack of professionalism.
Whilst Rooney clearly has the ability to win a game for his side, by himself, he is also more than capable of losing it too. His immature behaviour is a liability to club and country. As an England fan myself I understand that he is perhaps our most gifted footballer. Having said that, I would much prefer to see any other striker outshine him, and gain his place in the England team. At least then, England would stand a much greater chance of getting through the game with eleven men.