Wayne Rooney admits to packing on too many pounds
Take solace, Manchester United fans. There may be a reason why Wayne Rooney looked so bad in his one Premier League start. At least, there may be a reason beyond “maybe he’s just not as good anymore.” He might be out of shape.
That news comes after the Guardian published excerpts from Rooney’s upcoming book, one chronicling 10 years in the Premier League. It’s Rooney’s second book, with the 2008 release My Story chronicling the hard-earned lessong of a 22-year-old soccer protegé who’d already earned a move to Manchester United.
Busy cranking out these tomes rather than training (as if he writes them himself), it’s no wonder Wayne’s put on a few pounds. How much weight? A whole seven pounds, which doesn’t sound like a big deal considering the peak state at which most soccer players play through their seasons (at the end of which, it’s not uncommon for them to be under-weight). For Rooney, however, the scales were quite a shock:
As Rooney later hints, the weight shouldn’t be a problem, but if he was more out of shape than normal when he returned to Carrington, it’s no wonder he looked behind the pace when United opened their season at Goodison. Rooney concedes as much when talking about the demands on a center forward:
So Rooney probably wasn’t surprised when he was benched for Fulham.
The weight revelation, headline-material though it may be, is one of the least interesting parts of the Guardian’s excerpt. More compelling (and quiet sad, considering Rooney’s age), is his current physical state.
All of which makes you wonder how much longer Rooney can be a top player. His rings count 26, but his miles count closer to 32. While we marvel at the collection of attackers Alex Ferguson has been able to amass (signing another one, Angelo Henriquez today), that depth looks entirely different when you consider the minutes piling on Rooney’s body. Undoubtedly, United’s staff have witness the effects.
Particularly with post-Cristiano Ronaldo United, Ferguson has had to rely on Rooney to an uncomfortable degree. Perhaps that time is over.