In the run up to the World Cup, it was impossible to avoid the hype in the mainstream media over whether Wayne Rooney’s fractured metatarsal had healed sufficiently for him to play in the competition. Surely, football is a team game, and whether or not one player can make it shouldn’t matter, as you have a whole team of top-class players. How can the others feel to be collectively written off just because one individual isn’t playing?
When it was finally announced that Rooney would be playing, I thought: wouldn’t it be ironic if, after all that hype, he’s the one who puts England out of the competition – most likely by missing his penalty, as that’s how England normally lose?
Well, in the event it wasn’t quite like that, but it was close. Rooney was sent off for stamping on an opponent, meaning his teammates had to play on for over an hour with only 10 men. England then lost the subsequent penalty shoot-out.
Whether or not Rooney’s dismissal prevented the team from scoring a winning goal can be left for the pundits to decide – and ultimately no-one will ever know. But it can hardly have helped, and will certainly have given the opposing Portugese team extra confidence.
For a team game, surely you need a good team? Yet the media persist in concentrating on one or two players who make the headlines.
By all accounts, Rooney is an unpleasant young man both on and off the pitch. He’s an extremely bad role model. It’s time the media stopped glorifying this sort of behaviour, and revering this type of person. People would do well to remember what Rooney’s most significant contribution to the 2006 World Cup was.