Wayne Rooney‘s performance during the 1-0 win over Arsenal has made it easy for Manchester United fans to appreciate him again, after a summer where many supporters were unimpressed.
Last season was a real low point in Rooney’s career, as his fitness and playing ability had dropped in quality. United fans weren’t pleased, and that was heightened when Sir Alex Ferguson told the press Rooney had asked to leave.
Understandably, that was a series of events that makes his standing with many United supporters not great. But his performances in such an important period for the club can only be appreciated.
I was one of those who felt Rooney had to be sold in the summer, as I predicted his reported future plans away from the club would hinder the new era. But, in fact, without Rooney, things may have be far rougher for United.
It turns out, as of late, Rooney’s performances have been the difference between mediocrity and winning. Against Arsenal, it was almost as if the old spirit that Rooney used to possess had been awoken once again. He recognized the importance of the fixture and rose to not only work harder than anyone else on the pitch, but find the quality to make the difference. It was his corner that Robin Van Persie met to give United the winning goal, but Rooney’s work rate and tenacity to take the game to Arsenal inspired the rest of the team and the crowd. It was something that was evidently required to overcome Arsenal, and although the rest of the United team performed well, Rooney was the flag bearer, the leader from the front who lifted United.
The 1-0 win was a huge victory for United. Moyes now has that big game win under his belt, and they have narrowed the gap on not only Premier League leaders Arsenal, but also rivals Chelsea, Manchester City and the Spurs, who all faltered. United kick started their campaign today, and the catalyst was Rooney.