Monthly Archives: November 2014

Why Isn’t Wayne Rooney Considered A Great Player?

Wayne Rooney recently earned his 100th England cap in a European Championship Manchester United v Manchester Cityqualifier at Wembley Stadium. He scored in that game, and then netted another two goals in a friendly against Scotland, putting him within reach of Bobby Charlton’s England goal-scoring record. At club level, Rooney has won five Premier League titles, a Champions League, several domestic cups, and a handful of individual awards. And yet many pundits insist that, despite his prodigious talent, he will never join the pantheon of footballing greats.

Rooney’s detractors emphasize a few key criticisms. He has repeatedly underperformed at the World Cup. He has endured long goal-scoring droughts. He can’t control his temper. He smokes cigarettes and eats unhealthy food. But the real reason Rooney hasn’t achieved greatness – or, at least, the kind of greatness pundits recognize – is the same reason he continues to be one of the most interesting players in world football.

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I’m Roy Keane. Who The Hell Are You?

This morning, Roy Keane announced he’s leaving his coaching role at Aston Villa to keane beardconcentrate on the Republic of Ireland’s campaign to qualify for the European Championships. “My roles with Villa and Ireland and combining my commitment to these have become too much,” Keane said.

It’s easy to understand why Keane feels overcommitted. Since August, he has juggled managerial jobs in two different countries, promoted a best-selling autobiography laden with gratuitous sniping, and cultivated what I do not hesitate to call the scariest beard in football (sorry, Tim Howard). But earlier this month, when an Irish journalist asked Keane whether his book tour, which recently led to a fistfight with an autograph-seeker, and his Premier League job had become “distracting,” Keane responded with a polite, reasoned objection: “You think I’ve got to justify all that to you? Who the hell do you think you are?”

So today’s announcement marks an unusual moment in football history. Believe it or not, Roy Keane just admitted he was wrong.

Angel Di Maria Is Making Me Nervous

Just two days after he signed for Manchester United, Angel Di Maria – the man on whose bony shoulders United’s hopes di mariaof a post-Moyes resurgence rest – released a farewell letter to Real Madrid fans saying he wished he could stay at the Bernabeu. At the time, I wrote the letter off as a PR stunt designed to preempt accusations of footballing betrayal. But now I’m not so sure.

This weekend, Di Maria told the French channel Telefoot that he would have joined PSG instead of United were it not for a “money problem.” He added, “Now I’m in the English league. But you never know. There is a lot of movement in football. You can never predict where you’re going to play.”

Cristiano Ronaldo won a handful of domestic titles and a Champions League before he started telling reporters that “only God” knew whether he would stay at United. Di Maria – who clearly didn’t want to move to England in the first place – has spent three months at Old Trafford, and he’s already pondering aloud about the strange, unpredictable forces that supposedly control the summer transfer window.

This can’t be good.

David Moyes: The Toast of Europe

Since Manchester United sacked him last April, David Moyes has been linked to a series of semi-prestigious moyes confusedcoaching jobs. For a while, Galatasaray wanted Moyes, then Inter Milan expressed interest, and now, according to The Guardian, Real Sociedad has placed him on a four-man shortlist. Curiously, Moyes – whose embarrassing, one-dimensional tactics made him the laughingstock of the Premier League – seems to have transformed from a middling British manager into a cosmopolitan football celebrity with a line of European suitors.

As a United fan, I feel it’s my duty to remind Real Sociedad chairman Jokin Aperribay about last season’s 2-0 loss to Olympiakos. And about the home defeat to Newcastle. And about the summer transfer window from hell.

I’m currently sending telepathic warning signals to Spain.

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