Wayne Rooney Reflects on Leading the Line for Manchester United

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Wayne Rooney talked about his time as the main striker for Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in the late 2000s.

Looking at Wayne Rooney’s career stats, you’d see that his best seasons at Manchester United were in 2009/10 and 2011/12. When he scored 34 goals in all competitions each year. Despite this, United came second in the Premier League to Chelsea in 2010. However, Rooney won several awards that year, including Players’ Player and Fans’ Player of the Year at the PFA awards.

By 2010, Rooney had become the main player in Sir Alex Ferguson’s team, taking over from Cristiano Ronaldo who left for Real Madrid the year before. With Carlos Tevez also leaving for Manchester City in 2009, one of United’s great attacking trios was broken up. Rooney had to step up, usually playing as the main striker and scored a lot of goals.

Rooney Disliked Playing as the Number 9

It wasn’t unexpected that he did well with all the responsibility. He’s a talented and determined player, usually putting the team before himself – pressure didn’t bother him. But later on, he admitted that he didn’t like playing as the No. 9, even though he scored many goals in that position.

When talking about the time after Ronaldo left in an interview with BT Sport, Rooney thought back on it.

 “Them two seasons (2008/09 and 2009/10) were the two seasons I played as a No.9 on my own. I played there in and out in different games but I played for the whole season in them two years. I actually didn’t enjoy the games as much. I’ve always been a player that wants to get involved in the game.

“It took me seven or eight years to learn how to play there and to learn to play with your back to goal. It’s the hardest position to play. You’ve got big centre-backs coming through the back of you and you’re on your own.

Rooney’s dedication to hard work is clear when you realize he actually preferred playing out wide from 2007 to 2009, rather than being the main striker after Ronaldo left. In a recent interview on Gary Neville’s Stick to Football podcast, Rooney, who holds the record for the most goals scored for United, said he enjoyed the challenge of having more defensive responsibilities.

As featured on ManUNews.com     

As featured on ManUNews.com

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