Anorak News | Roon At The Top

Roon At The Top

by | 11th, September 2003

‘OF all the hype and bilge written about England’s prosaic football team the story that is increasingly hard to deny is that Wayne Rooney is, in football parlance, a bit special.

Wayne has the world at his feet

The face of the England player celebrating his goal in England’s 2-0 win over Liechtenstein last night is plastered all over the papers.

The Express pays reference to Rooney’s Liverpool roots with the headline “The Likely Lad”, before saying how the tyro’s tireless performance rescued England on another night when expectation collided with reality.

The fact now is that England do have a genuine young star, perhaps the most exciting talent in the game. And it’s led England manager Sven Goran Eriksson to tell the Sun, “It will be very difficult to leave him out of the Turkey game”.

It would be nothing short of stupidity. After Michael Owen and David Beckham, Rooney is the only England player who shines.

The Mirror thinks his performance was worthy of a “9” out of what one imagines to be 10. Although keeping our Football Cliche Book 2003 handy, we note that a score of 11 out of 10 is achievable, as is giving 110%.

We also note in the Mirror that Wales have clinched a play-off position for the Euro 2004 Championships. Given the lack of depth in the Welsh squad, this is a terrific achievement.

But it could have been even better had Mark Hughes’ side hung onto their most slender lead against Finland and not surrendered a goal in the 80th minute.

A win would have taken them back to the top of their qualifying group ahead of Italy.

Wales certainly do not lack the fight, but one who many think does lack the basic aggression to succeed is Audley Harrison.

The Mail reports that the Olympic boxing champion needed only three rounds to knock out America’s Quin Navarre in Miami last night.

“I’m going to be world champion,” said Harrison afterwards. “I’ve a long way to go, but I’m happy with my performance.”

It all sounds so good. Until you read the Mirror, which tells of “Scorn In The USA”. Harrison’s opponent, now known as Quinn, is called a “journeyman”, and no better than a “club fighter”.

But let’s listen to some more from Harrison. “I don’t plan to be a contender or a pretender, I’m going to be heavyweight champion of the world,” says the boxer now nicknamed A-Force.

Just as England without Rooney, Beckham and Owen can win a football match…’

Posted: 11th, September 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink