Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

David Healy: Magic Rooney has made United fans forget Ronaldo

Wayne Rooney

When Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United for Real Madrid last year, Red Devils fans were fearful of the impact it would have on their team.

Early on this season those fears appeared to be well founded with United dropping points they would normally pick up.

In the last couple of months, though, that has been forgotten because of the sensational form of one man.

I think you all know who he is — Wayne Rooney, fast becoming a United great.

I’ve always had a great deal of respect for Liverpool’s Fernando Torres, who I’ve seen as the best forward around, but even if he were fit at the moment he would have to be performing at an incredible level to keep pace with Rooney, who I feel has become the number one front man in the world.

Rooney’s performance last weekend against Arsenal in United’s 3-1 victory at the Emirates was magnificent.

The defining moment in that match was United’s second goal and it was fitting that Wayne scored it.

The finish was sweet but it was what preceded it that made his 100th Premier League goal so impressive.

Rooney’s energy, desire and commitment to the cause was there for all to see as he made up ground to go past Arsenal defenders, take Nani’s pass in his stride and then put the ball in the net.

It was outstanding.

Rooney is so good at present that I would say he is virtually unplayable.

I wouldn’t like to be a Portsmouth defender facing him tomorrow, that’s for sure.

Last season and in the previous campaign Ronaldo was very much the main man at Old Trafford. Rooney has taken over from him and then some.

And I believe he is a bigger hero to the United fans than the Portugal star.

There’s no doubt about it that Ronaldo was a class act for United — and still is for Real Madrid — but on occasion he tarnished his reputation with a few dives here and there and last season there was a feeling that he wanted a move away, which didn’t exactly go down well with some Stretford Enders.

There has been talk about Rooney following Ronaldo to Spain with Real Madrid and Barcelona interested, but I feel he will be around at the Theatre of Dreams for a few years to come.

And that means United will continue to be in the hunt for silverware.

Rooney’s quality seems to be rubbing off on a few others as well.

Nani looked a different player against the Gunners.

If he keeps up that form, United are going to have another special player on their hands.

He’ll still have a long way to go to get anywhere near Rooney though.

I didn’t think I’d be writing this, but Rooney’s performances have made United followers forget about Ronaldo.

I’d say that’s just about the highest praise that Wayne could get.

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