No Need To Compare England Legends… Just Salute Wayne Rooney’s Achievement


Congratulations to Wayne Rooney, who broke England’s all time goalscoring record with a convincing penalty against Switzerland.

But no sooner had his historic rocket hit the roof of the net than we had debates raging on social media with people desperate to compare the Manchester United striker with the man who previously held the record; Sir Bobby Charlton.

Even respected Guardian journalist David Conn was at it when he tweeted:

Ok let’s overlook Conn’s poor choice of words and his misspelling of ‘plain’, auto-correct can be a pain (not payne). But why on earth should we compare careers? 

That tweet came within an hour of Rooney’s penalty, why put a downer on things?

Surely it was the right time to congratulate Wayne and appreciate the record.

The fact is no other striker has ever scored fifty goals or more for the Three Lions.

Rooney has done it before reaching the age of thirty and has also gained 107 caps for his country. We cannot doubt his ability or commitment in an England shirt.

Great strikers of the past such as Alan Shearer, Jimmy Greaves, Michael Owen and Gary Lineker all had successful England goalscoring careers but none of them managed that magical fifty mark.

Just because Wayne Rooney has broken the record doesn’t mean we should now compare him to Sir Bobby.

I really don’t get the need to compare two firmly established players. It’s fine when you try and explain a young players attributes by comparing him to a veteran like saying ‘Anthony Martial is the new Thierry Henry‘. It is a bit lazy but it is the easiest way to tell the reader what to expect from a new star.

Yet we still get papers and websites with the same old guff asking ‘Is Messi better than Maradona?‘, ‘Can anyone compare with Pele?‘ and now we have ‘Rooney or Charlton: Who is the best English striker ever?’. The BBC is live reporting that one now!

In the end it is all subjective. We cannot fully compare, especially when it comes to two players from very different generations and footballing eras.

Rooney has probably not reached his full potential and become the world-class striker that was predicted of him. But he is still a top talent who has scored a barrel-load of goals and won a phenomenal amount of trophies and caps. Yes he hasn’t won a World Cup (or had a particularly stunning international tournament) but England have had full generations of players who have failed to hit those heady heights.  Also don’t forget that the striker has scored in games against Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Uruguay and the might Scotland! So he hasn’t just got goals against the minnows like San Marino or Macedonia.

Sir Bobby Charlton will forever be remembered as an England hero. He will always have that.

But his goalscoring record has been broken. We should just say congrats Wayne and I will end with Sir Bobby Charlton’s message to England’s new all time leading goalscorer:

“I obviously cannot deny that I am disappointed that I now don’t hold this record, however, I am absolutely delighted that it is Wayne, as captain of my beloved club and country, who now holds this record,” 

“On behalf of myself and everyone at Manchester United I would like to say ‘Congratulations Wayne, this is a very proud moment for you and your family’.”

One Response to “No Need To Compare England Legends… Just Salute Wayne Rooney’s Achievement”

  1. […] England’s press have fallen over themselves to congratulate captain Wayne Rooney for his new historic scoring feat that he achieved for his country last night. In fairness I also wrote about it in the previous blog post. […]

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