Is Wayne Rooney Simply An English Carlos Tevez?

Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez are essentially the same player. They are both world class but neither are saviors, no matter how much the English hope Rooney will be. Yet these two players in England have been seen as two players of completely different caliber in the UK, with one praised at every turn and the other dismissed as a headless chicken.

Wayne Rooney has 14 goals in the Premier League this season, which is quite a showing in just 20 games. However, four of those goals are from the penalty spot. So if Rooney didn’t take spot kicks, as was the case last year, Rooney would have 10 goals in 20 games. This isn’t bad, but it hardly fills the void left by Ronaldo (not to mention Tevez) and helps explain why United are struggling a bit more this year. Tevez after his recent hat trick has 12 goals in 19 games, subtracting penalties, 11 goals in 19 games.

Now there is much more to a player than just how many goals they bring to the table. But it strikes me that both Rooney and Tevez essentially offer the same thing: a good (not spectacular) amount of goals and a massive work rate that epitomizes defending from the front.

Yet Rooney is supposed to be the savior of United. He by no means has had a bad season, but he has come nowhere close to filling the void left by Ronaldo. And claims that he would elevate his game to another level have not yet happened. I think Rooney is an amazing player, but he is really basking in the glory of his early years when he burst on the scenes scoring goals all over the place. Yet over the last few years, Rooney has not played as an out and out striker. Ferguson deployed him wide, and centrally, and in the whole, but he infrequently led the line as a traditional #9. I think as a result he lost some of that cutting edge that goal poaching forwards and scoring machines like Fernando Torres and Jermaine Defoe have and that he seemed to have as a teenager. I am not saying he isn’t a better player now than he was, but he has not developed that goal scoring knack in a way that would make him one of the top few strikers in the world.

However, the English press at every turn goes out of its way to praise Rooney. Wayne Rooney is to the Premier League, what Tim Tebow was to college football – the presses ideal hero. Tebow is white, extremely religious, does good deeds, and plays like a man possessed – in other words he fits the American press’ ideal. Similarly, Rooney is a white Englishman who comes from a lower class background, he looks like you and me, and works his but off – he fits the English ideal. Yet the British press have frequently lambasted Tevez, an Argentine, who apparently refuses to “learn English,” as someone who runs around like a “headless chicken.” While Rooney is a hero, Tevez on the other hand is a ridiculous Argentine.

In my eyes, these two players are simply put almost identical. Both are amazing and world class. But I think it would be wise for Bob Bradley going into the World Cup to not treat Rooney as the second coming. View him as an English Carlos Tevez, someone to be feared, a reason for your centerbacks to not dawdle on the ball, and someone that can produce magic. But don’t rearrange the team on his behalf.


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