Cundy: Despite the trophies people will wonder ‘what if’ about Rooney

Wayne Rooney had his testimonial at Old Trafford last night, with Manchester United playing out a 0-0 draw with Everton.

The 30 year old has spent 12 years at Old Trafford where he has pretty much won everything, is the leading all time scorer for his country and is 5 goals away from breaking the goal scoring record at United, something that he will surely do this season.

With that in mind, why do there remain doubts over his legacy not only at United in the game?

Too many spells of poor form, holding the club to ransom for a new deal after the flirtation with Man City, crossing Sir Alex Ferguson all of these things are held against him when his career is reviewed and for some outweigh all the good he has done.

With the clear waning of his powers, he finds for the first time in his career that his place in the starting XI is no longer guaranteed but if his career was to end tomorrow how would he really be perceived?

Jason Cundy breaks down the England and United striker:

Firstly you can’t knock Wayne Rooney’s trophy cabinet. With a CL medal, numerous Premier League medals as well as other domestic cup medals he could retire today and be absolutely fine. Add to that his goal scoring records for both club and country and you would imagine that he would automatically be placed in the pantheon of footballing greats.

But when you look at the player that burst on the scene as a precocious 16 year old, you ask did he get the best of his ability?

If you look at the players from his era the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard etc Rooney has more ability than any of those players but there have never been questions over whether we saw the best of them. They got the best out of their ability and their careers told, and again as already said Rooney hasn’t had a bad career but you wonder, could he have done more?

You look at Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and again wonder what could have been. Both are older than Rooney but because they have taken care of themselves are still operating at a higher level whilst we are seeing a steady decline in Rooney.
Even worse is that Rooney was once looked at as a bigger talent than Ronaldo, yet the differing paths that their careers have taken is drastic.

Rooney has been a brilliant English football, but with the promise shown when he broke onto the scene could have gone one to become the greatest ever yet I don’t think we can say this about him.

Other factors have tainted his image at Old Trafford amongst fans like his perceived holding the club for ransom, flirting with Man City and from the outside looking in, having played against Cantona, I don’t think Rooney holds a candle to him in terms of importance to the club or in fan’s esteem.

Cantona will potentially go down as the greatest, where as Rooney will be seen as a very good or maybe a great but there will always be that ‘what if?’

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