Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has criticised Wayne Rooney suggesting that the English striker may have peaked early in his career.
Writing his blog for Paddy Power, the former Manchester United midfielder suggested that Wayne Rooney might have peaked earlier than other players and hence could well be on a downward spiral in the years to come. Scholes also suggested that Wayne Rooney’s ‘peak’ season might be well behind him, labelling the 2011/12 season as his best when he went on to score 27 league goals.
“There’s a chance he’s worn out. Wayne’s peak may have been a lot younger than what we’d expect of footballers traditionally. Age 28 or 29 has been the normal ‘peak’. With Wayne, it could have been when he scored 27 league goals in 2011/2012 when he was 26.”
Scholes however was quick to praise Wayne Rooney’s commitment towards the game but was quite honest to point out that the Englishman has a lot to prove this World Cup having gone 8 World Cup matches without scoring a goal. He also challenged the national management team, wondering if they had the courage to drop their star striker.
“He’s got a brilliant scoring record for his country with 38 goals in 89 internationals, but he’s played in eight World Cup games without a goal. You expect more of him. I’m not saying Wayne needs to be dropped but if form doesn’t get up to scratch in the warm-ups, or in the first game of the World Cup, it’ll be interesting to see if the England management team has the b**s to make that decision. We have quality forwards in the squad this time. That should give Wayne the competition he needs to spur him on a little more.”
Paul Scholes also shed some light on Van Gaal’s appointment and suggested that Rooney will have to fight with Robin Van Persie for a starting position in the coming seasons.
“It’ll be interesting next season with Louis van Gaal at Manchester United and how he decides to play Wayne. It looks like it might come to a straight choice between Wayne and Robin van Persie.”
The midfielder also suggested that Wayne Rooney cannot afford to continue playing in the manner he does and must look to adjust his game in order to prolong his career. Scholes cited Ryan Giggs as an example and seemed to be urging Wayne Rooney to adapt himself into a deeper role in the years to come.
“Ryan Giggs has been on the go for ages, but he adjusted his position. Can Wayne do the same? I don’t think Wayne will be able to play centre forward until he’s 34 or 35. But he could play centre midfield, possibly, into his mid-thirties. He’s got all the ability to take over my old position at Manchester United.”
The former United midfielder who was a part of Ryan Giggs’s backroom staff during the fag end of the season has made it clear that he doesn’t expect to be given any role in his former club under Louis Van Gaal. Scholes was extremely critical of Ed Woodward and made it clear that the Manchester United Chief Executive has a lot to prove in his role at the club. He also criticised the management for David Moyes’ sacking, claiming that he was not given enough support or time to prove his merit at Manchester United.
“Edward Woodward has an awful lot to prove this time that he’s good enough at his job. He has to bring the players in that the new manager wants. It’s obvious that last year he didn’t manage to do that. If he doesn’t, we are not going to get anywhere near the top. David Moyes took a lot of stick, but I believe he’s a top manager. I’d question if 10 months was enough time.”
Known for speaking his mind, it remains to be seen if Paul Scholes’ words have an impact on Wayne Rooney and Ed Woodward. Both individuals face a challenging future as Rooney heads to the World Cup to justify his ‘reputation’ while Woodward heads to the boardroom to ensure that he signs the correct players for Manchester United.