Facebook was not yet born, the iPhone was five years from sale and British troops had not yet entered Iraq. If that gives you an understanding of all that has happened in the past 10 years to the day then not much will. On the 19th October 2002 one of the great moments of modern day football commentary was born. Joining the likes of Martin Tyler’s ‘IT’S FIVE!’, Andy Gray’s ‘YOU BEAUTY!’ and the infamous ‘Jay-Jay Okocha, so good they named him twice’ was Clive Tyldesley and his exclamation:
Not only was a great piece of commentary born but also the birth of a since polarised sporting personality. A clearly blessed footballer with the raw ability of Paul Gascoigne, tenacity of David Beckham and gifted feet of Matt Le Tissier and also a celebrity figure; who has not helped himself with the press with his continued steps out of line both personally and professionally.
Professionally the main criticism that has been levelled at Rooney in the ten years since he became the leagues youngest ever goal-scorer (a record since surpassed by James Milner and James Vaughan) is his temperament. The warning signs were there from the start with his wild lunge on Birmingham City’s Steve Vickers and confrontation with Geoff Horsfield. Since then we have seen him stamping on the groin of Ricardo Carvalho, sarcastically applauding Kim Milton Nielson and kicking out at Macedonian Miodrag Dzudovic all with the similar show of red.
He has also got amorous with the camera’s in the past, after the worst international performance I have ever seen from England against Algeria in 2010 and when sending a four-letter vitriol down the lens after his hat-trick against West Ham in April last year.
As an Everton fan, who at the time of Rooney’s goal was 13-years-old he filled me with hope for the future of Everton FC and the England national football team. So I would be within my right to be bitter toward the ‘Once a Blue Always a Blue.’ However in the grand schemes of reality his exit was inevitable if he was to improve his career. Everton were fairly compensated and he has since gone on to become an excellent player at Manchester United.
His game has changed since those days but his tenacious will to win is still apparent. He might not be in the same class of Ronaldo or Messi (or even the same universe) but his record of 199 goals in 477 club games is not to be shirked at, and scoring his 200th such goal this weekend against Stoke City would be a fitting tribute to this personally historic weekend.
And to have another look at one of his best moments here is my personal favourite…
What is your favourite moment from 10 years of Wayne Rooney? And is he living up to his billing, or is there more to come?
image: © nasmac