Anorak News | Roo-d Awakening

Roo-d Awakening

by | 22nd, June 2004

‘GET ready for a surge in popularity of the name Wayne.

‘Henman! Henman!’

If England do go on to win Euro 2004, the celebratory shags will surely breed a million or so Wayne, Waynettas and perhaps even a few Rooneys.

England still have a long way to go before they win some silver but, with Rooney in his current vein of form, victory is becoming possible.

The Sun is for once right in hailing the new “boy wonder”, whose two goals and one exceptional assist handed England a 4-2 win over Croatia and with it progress into the quarter-finals where they will play Portugal.

So good is he that Sven Goran Eriksson, a man not given to saying very much at all, let alone hype, prompts the Mail to conjure up the headline, “The New Pele”.

“I cannot remember a player of his age making such an impact on a major tournament since Pele in the 1958 World Cup,” says Sven.

“He’s not only a good goalscorer, he is a complete footballer…he is absolutely incredible.”

Praise indeed from a man whose emotions usually run from mildly surprised to mildly disappointed.

And so it goes on, and on, and on, and on. If the young Rooney wasn’t feeling the pressure up until this morning, he now has the weight of an expectant nation on his broad shoulders.

How he handles all the adulation coming his way will tell us a lot about what he is made of. But, as the Mail says, he looks well set to be one of the game’s greats.

But what do the stars say about it? There are a myriad pitfalls and temptations that can yet divert the young Rooney from his path to greatness.

As there are influences on all players, like Sweden’s Frederik Ljungberg, whose astrological chart is profiled in the Times.

Mars is in Pisces, says astrologer Jane Ridder-Patrick, and for Ljungberg (an Aires) that can spell all sorts of dangers, such as a tendency towards confusion and a scattering of energy.

Freddie will doubtless be mindful of that as he attempts to help his Sweden side to victory in today’s match against Denmark.

But what we sports fans really want to know is not if Rooney will be the best ever or if Freddie Ljungberg’s moon is in his eight house, but what Timmy Henman’s up to.

Tennis’ answer to Wayne Rooney (and as an answer it earns a B+ at best) is talking to the Mirror about how this year it will be different.

Gearing up for today’s Wimbledon match against Spaniard Ruben Ramirez, Henman is in bullish form.

He’s ready to give it a decent “crack” before the Henmaniacs, although he did enjoy the relative low-key affair that was his semi-final defeat in the French Open.

“That’s not to say I have a problem with it [attention],” says Tim, “but not having the attention was different and I really enjoyed that.

“It will be interesting to see how my attitude is going to fare at Wimbledon. But if I could choose I would choose playing at home and being with my family and friends.”

And since home for Tim is Wimbledon, and his family and friends are the masses assembled on Henman’s Hill, he cannot fail…’

Posted: 22nd, June 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink