Wayne Rooney has had his fair share of criticism this season and I have been one of his harshest critics, but even I have to admit that the former Everton man has shown of late exactly why he was made Manchester United captain in the summer. On Sunday he had one of his best performances in a United shirt within recent memory, creating chaos for Spurs’ defence who were outmuscled and even a little bewildered by his speed and agility on route to goal. It was like watching the Wayne Rooney of old; a player high in confidence, charging at opposition defences with belief in his own ability, reaping havoc and scoring goals.
In contrast, former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo looks short of confidence and is currently experiencing a dry spell in front of goal by his standards. Since his arrival in Spain Ronaldo has won everything there is to win at Real Madrid. But of late there have been questions about his form his and his relationship with team mate Gareth Bale. This is of course just paper talk and could be nothing more than gentle rumours. But should Ronaldo find his way back to Old Trafford there is no doubt that be reforming one of the best strike partnerships in Barclays’ Premier League history.
Ronaldo and Rooney started their alliance in 2004 and the rest is history. Their relationship is one of ups and downs, there is of course the controversy at the 2006 World Cup which was reported to have damaged their friendship, but to the contrary, they did the opposite reaching the pinnacle of achievement as a strike partnership in English football. Cristiano Ronaldo broke records in the 2007/08 season, scoring 31 goals which took United to another league title with 13 of the assists coming from Wayne Rooney. During their time together Ronaldo and Rooney were to be feared and should a move be on the cards in the summer you’d have to think they would be again.
Ronaldo is the type of player who could play on until 40 (Ryan Giggs style) and Rooney has shown that there is still life in the old dog yet, despite being constantly written off by people like me at just 29. It’s true you can’t teach and old dog new tricks, but when you have a winning formula you have to hold on to it. Chemistry is always hard to find but when you find it it’s not easy to erase, Rooney and Ronaldo had it in abundance and they always will. Whether it will be revisited at United in the not so distant is something for Ed Woodward to decide.