Connect in the back of the net

It was a memorable night as we crowned Wayne Rooney our greatest ever goal scorer at the home of football itself, Wembley. He scored his 50th goal for England surpassing the great Bobby Charlton as England’s all time top goalscorer.

It’s interesting that this isnt being greeted in the most positive of fashion by everyone. Many feel that he is not so deserving of such a high honour.

You can’t argue with the stats, but you could say that Rooney hasn’t played like England’s greatest over the course of his career. If he had have been more like the player he was in his first European tournament for 10 years, we arguably would have seen more goals and maybe had better tournaments.


Rarely the main man

However, England’s shortcomings can’t be blamed on Rooney. Rooney has forged a career where he is actually rarely the main man.

At Manchester United he often plays second fiddle to another player such as Ronaldo, Van Persie or Van Nistelrooy. Don’t get me wrong he’s had some good spells as the main man, too.

However, it seems when he became England’s main man he hasn’t inspired England as a team, as much as all England fans would like anyway.


A momentous occasion

With all that being said, when that goal went in, I felt a little differently about it. I already believed that this was a momentous occasion, but it felt some how grander witnessing it first hand.

It’s legendary after all, his name will be remembered for generations to come and quite possibly he will be remembered more fondly than he is looked upon right now.

He never said no to England, he has turned up to every game and given 100%. It may not have always been perfect, there was red cards and shouting at cameras. But not many players have ever performed to such a high level for so long.

He should become United’s top scorer this season too and to be picked for a team so consistently for so long is proof of his talent and his work rate.


One of England’s best strikers

While perhaps he has earned himself a place in the England team regardless of form, the same principle applies. He is still unquestionably one of the best (probably the best) strikers England have.

At 29 years old, he still has a long way to go and many more chances to add to the record will be available.

While we would all like to see some better goals and more against the better opposition, we can’t ignore his contribution to England. Everyone is, essentially, given the same opportunity to play for England and when all is said and done, Wayne Rooney has scored more than any other player in England’s entire history — and that is indisputable.


This piece was first published at the excellent The Players Only Club here

Written by Jonny Troy

Follow Jonny on Twitter @Jonny_Troy

Check out his excellent football blog, where this piece was originally published: The Players Only Club

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